What is a Hosted Buyer Program?

If you’re an event organizer, you’re probably wondering how you can make your trade shows and exhibitions more exciting for your guests. While the last two years have made it hard to get the most out of your investments, you may find better results using hosted buyer programs. Below, we discuss the basics of hosted buyer programs and how to put on a hosted buyer program.

People will typically come to trade shows and other B2B events as a regular attendee, but other times, they could be part of a hosted buyer program. Organizers for these events will usually host buyers by being a sponsor for their accommodation, travel, transfers, meals, and the whole bespoke experience. In other words, a hosted buyer is someone who gets incentives to come to an event to attend meetings with suppliers. 

All this effort goes into setting up pre-arranged appointments between suppliers and exhibitors. All hosted buyers are pre-qualified depending on their spending power and decision-making within an organization. They have only one goal, which is to find the best suppliers to provide you with the best business solutions.

Meeting with them can give you a great opportunity to win new businesses without the need to go through the traditional way of searching, nurturing, then converting leads.

What is a Hosted Buyer Program?

A hosted buyer program supports businesses by securing appointments between interested sellers and pre-qualified buyers. While the exhibitors and suppliers maximize their potential sales, buyers can make well-informed purchase decisions. As such, this system allows for a highly targeted environment for business, and at the same time, it connects key industry players with the top business leaders.

What Makes Up a Hosted Buyer Event?

If you’re wondering how to put on a hosted buyer program, there are a few things that make up one of these events, which include the following:

Hosted Buyers

The event producer who picks up all the buyer’s expenses during these events eliminates one of the biggest pains in attending a traditional conference but will also experience a caveat. First, the individual needs to be a qualified buyer representing a reputable organization in the industry. Second, buyers need to come to all the pre-scheduled appointments with the suppliers. 

Furthermore, some producers of hosted buyer events will need buyers to pay back the costs of their participation (such as hotel, meals, and transportation) if they miss their appointments. However, buyers also enjoy this system for more than just the aspect of an all-expenses-paid experience. They also enjoy the business-focused environment as well as the time well spent making connections.


To participate in the event, suppliers need to pay a fee where they will be provided with a table or booth setting. In some cases, suppliers may be provided with a hotel suite where they can meet with buyers. The suppliers are then able to present their products and services in a personal and face-to-face manner.

While these events can be presented in a wide range of ways, the typical supplier fee includes the following:

  • The supplier’s hotel accommodations, ground transportation, and meals. Their airfare may not be required in a regional event, and may not be included in their package.
  • Some of the pre-arranged and pre-qualified meetings — could occur between 15 to 20 times throughout the event. These usually last for 20 to 30 minutes each.
  • Other relationship building and networking opportunities such as team-building exercises, and interactive food and beverage functions.


These are the event manager who put up the event and are known as the matchmakers. They are the ones who locate the right suppliers, handle the pre-qualification process, as well as have the needed software to manage all the buyer and seller appointments. The scope of their job is closer to what a corporate planner is required to do. Furthermore, they’re also required to use all kinds of social media and marketing tools to market the event.


The location, venue, size, and schedule of the event are also important factors in hosting a great buyer program. While these events can be held in a traditional convention center, many can also take place in a less formal setting such as a resort or hotel. Moreover, the participating parties need to be limited to a small number of participants, such as:

  • 50-75 suppliers
  • 100-150 buyers
  • 2 to 2 ½ day schedule of events

Service providers

Service providers are responsible for organizing everything you need for these events. These include the following:

  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Taxis
  • Invitations
  • Marketing
  • Softwares
  • And more

What’s so Special About Them?

There are many benefits to organizing a hosted-buyer program, such as its ability to create plenty of business deals in a short amount of time. Furthermore, everything will already be on the table according to your pre-defined criteria, including:

  • Purchasing power
  • Decision making
  • Annual budgets
  • The number of events

Both buyers and suppliers can get access to priceless networking opportunities as well as direct business results without having to filter needs and go on endless meetings. Other advantages to these programs are:

  • Sellers can measure ROI using clear terms since sales can be traced back to their pre-booked appointments.
  • All matchmaking is guaranteed to be high-quality and the sellers will have increased sales potential.
  • There is ample time for sellers and buyers to research one another before the event. They have the opportunity to provide feedback for growth and a more effective meeting.
  • Attendees won’t have to listen to a constant bombardment of messages, emails, and sales pitches. The fixed schedules can free up some time to engage in training sessions and knowledge-sharing.


Hosted buyer programs help buyers cut through the usual process of sorting out leads by networking with handpicked sellers as a result of rigorous research. The idea of organizing these kinds of events can bring all kinds of businesses together, even in this pandemic. If you live in an area where face-to-face meetings aren’t possible, you can still organize a hosted buyer program online.