In the event world, there are so many moving parts – products and services – that need to come together to produce a successful event experience; it is nearly impossible to do this on your own, without working with partners, suppliers and sometimes even competitors!
And this is especially true in the software world that etouches lives in. We want our clients to be able to offer their delegates the best possible event experience and that often means looking far outside the walls of only what we offer at etouches. For this very reason, we have created a partner “ecosphere” to ensure our clients can have access to whatever they need to make their event a success. Gone are the days where one company could be “everything to everybody”, especially in the technology world – there are just too many pieces to consider, and invariable if you try and do it all yourself you’ll end up with at best offering some really strong pieces, but some mediocre ones as well. So rather than fall into this category, we have taken the approach of surrounding ourselves with what are considered “best-of-breed” solutions in areas we know are not our main focus. And then made darn sure these companies think and approach the client’s expectations in the same manner that we do. Because the key to success is not just having partners to recommend, but having partners that share the desire to “wow” the client.
The same applies to meeting planners as they start molding the event together – if you simply create partnerships with filling a gap being the primary reason, then you are setting yourself up for a potential fail. Time invested in researching who will be the best partner for a particular role that you can’t fulfill yourself will ultimately be time well spent, as the client looks at you to provide best practices, ideas and innovation. They won’t differentiate between your company and the “partner” if something goes wrong – you are the one that will cop the brunt of it!
So here are some thoughts on a few key areas that make for a great partnership and what to look for in potential partners:
- The partnership needs to offer mutual benefits for all parties – that is you, the partner and most importantly the client (and in some cases ultimately their clients)
- The value of the partnership needs to be apparent – look for complementary partners, with not too much overlap if you can help it, otherwise this can cause some confusion and friction
- Desire and focus on being the best at whatever they are offering
- A proven track record in playing well with others – remember, often you are the one recommending these folks so it’s going to affect your reputation too!
If done correctly and with the right partners, rather than thinking this approach might be “giving up” revenues that you could have, ultimately it can mean an actual increase in revenues because of happier clients – also a wider and better offering on top of your core competencies!
Written by: Steve MacKenzie