Matched Networking

This year’s Virtual Small Business Conference features one-on-one appointments between Small Businesses and Government Agencies/Large Businesses (“Hosts”). These meetings will lay the foundation to develop new client-consultant relationships! All appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis. Parties will be matched based on criteria that Hosts need to fill.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Government Agencies/Large Businesses ("Hosts") will complete a profile indicating what types of Small Businesses they are looking for (criteria such as primary NAICS code, small business designations, where business is conducted).
  2. Upon registering for VSBC, those individuals who indicate they desire to participate in Matched Networking will complete a profile about their company and the work they do. Some of the profile questions correspond to the Hosts' requirements. Other questions on the profile have specifically been requested by Hosts as important to understand.
  3. Attendees will see which Hosts they match with and can request appointments with them….and know that they have met some or all of the desired criteria for the Host, making a future relationship that much closer!
  4. READ OUR HOW-TO GUIDES so you understand how to manage your participation in matched networking.
    1. For Hosts
    2. For Attendees

PLEASE REVIEW this page so you understand the processes and procedures! Hosts (Government Agencies/Large Businesses) and Small Businesses will control their own appointments in real-time through the Exhibitor Service Center (for Hosts) and the Attendee Service Center (for Small Businesses).

One-on-One Matched Networking appointments will be conducted on the SBC live event platform from: 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020: 1:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST
Thursday, November 5, 2020: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM EST
Friday, November 6, 2020: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM EST

*Please note, availability is at the discretion of each Host; Hosts are not available for the entirety of the posted time period.

Hosts (Government Agencies/Large Businesses) can update their profiles and schedules starting Monday, October 5th. Attendees will answer similar questions when they register for the event. When a Host logs into their Matched Networking scheduling portal, they can see the attendee’s information and matched networking score. The score is based on the correlation between questions answered by each party. The score will help the Hosts determine if the attendee is a good fit. Attendees can make appointments with any Large business/Public Agency regardless of their matched networking score.

What you need to know:

  • Appointment requests will open according to the following schedule
    • Small Business individual registrants: October 23
    • Medium and Large business registrants: October 30
    • All individuals are limited to requesting 3 appointments prior to the conference.
    • Individuals may request additional appointments beyond the initial 3 starting Tuesday, November 3.
  • Appointments are 10 minutes long with a 5-minute break between appointments.
  • All appointments are ONE-ON-ONE! Participants will meet with the Host individually.
  • All appointments are by virtual video chat through the Virtual SBC event platform
  • If appointments are available once the conference begins, individuals may book additional appointments beyond the initial 3.
  • Please honor all appointments in your schedule. If you are unable to make an appointment due to a schedule conflict, Please message the other party and ask to reschedule.
SAME is not responsible for making appointments, approving appointments, accepting or denying appointments, checking appointment schedules, providing appointment reminders, insuring accuracy of the Host's availability, and does not guarantee that appointment requests will be accepted by the Hosts.


Small Businesses

Here's How You Will Request Appointments

Login to the Attendee Service Center (ASC) and look for the Matched Networking menu item. Review your profile and make sure it is complete and up-to-date; certain questions in the profile are used to create your matches. When appointment requests open, you will see a tab “Matches” – look here to see with which Hosts you match – THESE ARE THE AGENCIES AND COMPANIES LOOKING SPECIFICALLY FOR WHAT YOU PROVIDE.

  •  You’ll see a score under the column “answer match” which shows you how many criteria you have met
  •  Under the “Make Appointment” column, click on the calendar icon to request an appointment with that Host. Remember you may initially request only 3 appointments.
  • Hosts must, in turn, accept your appointment request – not all requests are guaranteed. Notifications are sent from the system to alert both parties of the appointment.
  • You can log into the ASC at any time to see your personal appointment requests, approved appointments, and appointment schedule.
  • To view our step by step guide on how to request appointments and manage your schedule, click here!
  • Prior to your appointment with any host, make sure you:

Government Agencies & Large Businesses (Hosts)

Here's How to Manage Your Appointments Once the System is Open

Hosts (Government Agencies/Large Businesses) can access and complete the Matched Networking Host Profile form in early October, via the Exhibitor Service Center (ESC). Anyone who indicated an interest in serving as a host will receive notification and instructions when it's ready to access. 

The host profile correlates to questions posed on the attendee profile, creating a list of matches presented to the attendee.  Attendees can then request an appointment with the Hosts.

When a Host logs into their matchmaking portal, they can to see the attendee’s profile and matchmaking score. The score may help hosts determine if the attendee is a good fit for them. Attendees can request appointments with any Large business/Public Agency regardless of their matchmaking score. After reviewing the attendee’s profile, accept the appointment if you’d like to meet with the individual. Decline the appointment if you are unable to work together at this time; it is appropriate and acceptable to decline an appointment if they cannot fill the requirements you need – set up an informational meeting after the conference to discuss possibilities down the road! Remember that there are thousands of participants so someone else will definitely want that time slot!

Hosts should login to the ESC and look for the Matched Networking menu item to manage their schedule – the Host controls what times they are available for attendees to request appointments. The schedule defaults shows the Host is available at every appointment time frame – it is imperative that the Host blocks the times the Host is not available. Please block necessary breaks, sessions you need to attend, meetings and lunch as you see fit. It is the Host’s responsibility to log into the ESC account to set and manage their schedule!

Small Businesses will request appointments with you.You must either accept or decline the appointment requests. Notifications are sent from the system to alert both parties of the appointment. You can log into the ESC at any time to see your appointment requests, review the profile of the attendee, approved appointments, and appointment schedule. There is no deadline for small businesses to request appointments for time slots that are open so it is important to check your schedule and appointment requests through the conference. It is imperative that Hosts honor all appointments that they approved.

To view our step by step guide on how to set up your availability and manage your schedule, click here!

During the Event

All One-on-one Matched Networking Appointments will take place through the Virtual Small Business Conference website platform. All appointment holders and Hosts Should log into their event VEM accounts at the start of each scheduled appointment. As a reminder, each appointment is 10 minutes long with a 5 min break in between. SAME will not keep track of time for each appointment so we ask that both the Host and attendee respect each other’s schedules and arrive to the virtual appointment on time and be aware of length of each meeting. 

SAME is pleased to offer a complimentary virtual booth space to your service or agency. Having a booth in the virtual exhibit hall allows for businesses to easily find information, documents and videos that you upload as well as chat with representatives from your agency throughout the virtual conference. If we are not currently holding virtual booths for your agency and you’d like to participate, or have questions regarding the virtual exhibiting experience, set up and function please contact Kelly Dawson at or 703-549-3800, Ext 111. 

Questions?  Need Help?  Contact the help desk by using our chat widget, call us at 703-549-3800, or email

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