For the third edition of the Virtual Media Match, Ines Woermann made sure that it’s really quiet in her home office. The founder of helloguide put up her new ring light and prayed that Amazon would not ring the doorbell. “This year, networking is challenging. Companies often lack time for focused discussions with potential startups, as many have switched to short-time work and have enough to do with their core business”, Ines told us.
Like Ines, most of us spend every day working remotely from the same desk at home. Hours of video conferencing fly by as we sit glued to the screen. That may be tough, but there are no big conferences to attend right now, at least not the real ones with thousands of people and nice encounters on the sidelines. It’s something our Managing Partners Nico and Christoph really miss.
So, how do we create opportunities for one-to-one meetings with fresh sources of ideas? With inspiring people? With potential business partners that have a similar mindset?
One of our answers is to regularly host a Virtual Media Match. In November, nearly 120 people joined our third edition of the proven matchmaking event, sending out more than 160 meeting requests. Overall, we held three editions of the Virtual Media Match in May, August and November. All that combined, over 440 people met in 300 sessions.
The idea of Virtual Media Match is simple: Lots of people with different backgrounds connect with each other prior to the event. When the day of Media Match has come, attendees have already scheduled their meetings and are ready for individual video sessions, 20 minutes each.
For each of the three Virtual Media Matches we brought together enough people for a gainful experience – partly because we offer everything in one place. At the beginning of the Coronavirus Pandemic, it was a new experience for us to host events virtually only. But we started to see the beauty in it.
Christoph, one of our Managing Partners, sums it up like this: “The big strength of our Media Match going fully virtual is that the participants make valuable connections on-screen, in a very convenient and time-efficient way without having to travel anywhere.”
Of course, we prefer real conferences with real stages and real encounters. But matches are matches and people are people, right? Yes, we have to admit that it’s not easy to get people to join virtual events especially toward the end of the year. (is “Zoom fatigue” really a thing?). But the Virtual Media Match is worth every email, every campaign and every call, even after its third edition. We just love to connect with people and be up to date when it comes to media innovation!
For Ines the digital solution is also not a complete substitute for face-to-face meetings in real life: “The third dimension is missing, as is the chance encounter.” Still, she insists that the Virtual Media Match is much more than just a pale substitute in Corona times. She has had very efficient conversations, people have been concentrated and scheduling prior to the event was quick and easy. “It’s something that may remain, even when we can all meet again.”
At this point of 2020 we could not agree more. But while looking at the coming year, we start to wish for more: organizing matchmaking in real rooms AND in a virtual environment.
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