Ebele Wybenga, Coverstories, Netherlands:
It was a premiere for all of us: instead of having people around at the Media Match lounge as part of the OMR Festival, we brought our successful matchmaking event to the Internet. Without the atmosphere of the event location, but with the convincing energy, enthusiasm and commitment of over 200 participants we made it happen: our first Virtual Media Match.
In challenging times like these, the event was a no-brainer for innovative startups, investors, and media executives from all over Europe. More than 200 professionals came together in over 160 meetings. Thanks to great technology, everything could be done in one place: the sign-up process, the match-making and the video-calls.
Kai Diekmann (Founder of StoryMachine and NMA Global Advisor):
“There is hardly a more efficient way to bring startups and media professionals together. I especially liked the strict 20-minute format. It forces both sides to get to the point quickly. I am sure that soon we will see many more formats like the Virtual Media Match in the media scene.”
Mila Dayan, co-founder of Moderne (Italy):
It was an excellent opportunity for us to connect with relevant people from all over the world. We had matches with investors and potential clients from the USA, Israel, Belgium and Germany – all in one place! 20 minutes per call is a tight schedule, so we prepared well for the matches. It had to be as productive as possible.
Anu-Maaria, co-founder of VibeVision (Finland):
During Media Match I learned that online matchmaking can work. Actually it even saves time and money for traveling. A little anecdote: I had to make the calls in my son’s studying room. So I had to remove the student’s items like socks on the floor and replace them with Mama’s office-items such as green plants. Then we had six meetings with investors, media companies and even a company from the banking sector. We had to reschedule two more meetings, so the Media Match continues for us!
Vanessa Naumann, co-founder of Followistic (Portugal):
The Virtual Media Match was a new experience for us. The main benefit of meeting online is its efficiency: as you have the 20-minute slots you get straight to the point. I prepared a short pitch, including a little product demo so that people can visualize what we do. At one point my Internet connection was a bit slow and the audio didn’t work. However, it’s important to go with the flow and not to get frustrated. We found a solution on the spot: they called me on the telephone while I shared the screen. Staying calm and positive is good because it’s better to remember a nice chat than awkward silence – the same as in a face-to-face conversation.
“Media Match is always a milestone for our program and the NMA team puts a lot of effort to carefully organize the event. Every year we are looking forward to having our international community together: alumni teams, investors, partners, mentors – and new connections, all in one place. Of course, we miss the hectic, crazy days when we were all gathered in the venue during the OMR Festival. And going out to celebrate it afterwards. But I feel super happy to see how smooth the online edition went. I guess we saw the potential of digital networking and we learned a lot about it because of the unusual times we’re living in. At our first Virtual Media Match the most important thing happened: people made valuable connections”, summarizes Julia Mandil, program manager of the next media accelerator. Six successful editions of the event have been held already, three in Hamburg and two in New York City – plus one in the virtual space. And it’s not going to be the last one!
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