Persol Career, one of the largest human resources companies in Japan used EventHub at one of their recent events JAPAN OPEN INNOVATION FES to boost business matching. We asked the organizer, Midori Tanaka, about her experience using EventHub to make her event a success.
Please tell us about your event JAPAN OPEN INNOVATION FES. What kind of a conference is it?
JAPAN OPEN INNOVATION FES is semi-annual event that my group, eiicon company within Persol Career, hosts to promote open innovation. We run this event because eiicon is an open innovation platform to promote business partnership among corporations, governments and universities.
The event’s theme is“Re made in JAPAN” – to promote open innovation to drive the Japanese economy forward with technology. Attendees at our event are startups, SMB’s, large corporations and governmental organizations. This year 600 people attended the event to learn from speakers’ panels, see exhibitions of newest technology, and to network.
What kind of business matching were you hoping to achieve at this event?
Since our theme is open innovation, we did not want to make any restrictions around attendees’ experience of meeting other attendees – we really wanted everyone to meet whomever they wanted to and for that experience to be very easy. Since we had a wide category of attendees – from startups, to SMBs, to large corporations to government officials – we wanted them to meet up with folks that they generally would not have the opportunity to meet up with.
Business matches made at our events lead to very innovation and exciting partnerships. For example, we’ve connected Fujitsu and Asilla at our event, who have formed a partnership to apply the two companies’ technology to solve dementia. They have already started co-developing their solution and conducting demonstration experiments in Machida City. Our mission is to create partnerships like this, among companies that otherwise would not have met had it not been for our event and the business matching experience we provide.
Why did you decide to use EventHub?
We had been holding events for a while, and we had always wanted to increase attendee engagement and matches being made among attendees. Our team was brainstorming one day and searching online for good solutions, which is when we found EventHub.
The open innovation platform that we run already has matching features, but out tool is unfortunately not made for events, so we decided to try out EventHub.
What effect did using EventHub have on your event?
A lot of attendees – more than we had expected – used EventHub and a lot of meetings were made. The majority of attendees started using the matchmaking service before the event, starting to make appointments with each other well before the first day of the event.
On the event venue we installed eight tables for attendees to use for meetings, something that we had never done before but wanted to test out with EventHub. These tables, to our pleasant surprise, were all booked throughout the day by attendees conducting meetings with each other.
It was really helpful that all we had to do was set up meeting tables since EventHub’s system comes with automatic scheduling and table booking features. Once the site is live, attendees can book meeting tables and scheduling meetings with each other, without the event organizer coming in the way and dealing with logistics.
Before EventHub, our event used to be booths, panel discussions, and a small networking party at the event. With the addition of EventHub, we were able to add a whole new event experience for attendees and exhibitors. It definitely added to the liveliness and attendee engagement of the event.
Because we are a conference that promotes open innovation by matching corporations, the sheer fact that we were able to increase the number of matches was such a huge addition to the success of the event. Because innovation often happens when two dissimilar companies join forces, creating matching that otherwise would not have happened is important for open innovation. EventHub helped us achieve this goal.
Side note: This is especially poignant in Japanese business, where attendees are shier about approaching each other at events compared to events held in the West.
Another benefit of using EventHub was the data that we get access to. Event organizers often have a hard time assessing attendees’ demands. In our case, it’s very important to assess what attendees are looking for in “open innovation” – what types of partnerships they are looking for – so that we can improve our event experience to meet those needs.
EventHub allows organizers to look through what types of keywords are used for partner search and what types of matches are being made, which allows us to better craft our event experience to produce good business matches.
We plan on using EventHub at our next event. Once you get used to the process, it’s surprisingly easy and hassle-free to use. It does not add additional burden to our already busy event operations.
In our post-event reflection session (note: EventHub and customers conduct a reflection session after the event is over to go over numbers and come up with improvement initiatives.) we came up with specific to-do’s for our next event to increase the number of matches furthermore.
Persol Career Co., Ltd.
Co-founder, eiicon company