Partner, Not Vendor

partner, not vendor

The brand experience and event planning business demands that you possess the ability to adapt quickly. In an environment where technology is ever changing and demands to up the experience will only ever move in one direction how do you stay on top of changing needs for unique brand needs? The key is partnership. We find that there are part of the industry that focus purely on executing logistics and that certainly has its part to play in any meeting or event. But to drive value from an experience takes something more, a depth of strategic understanding of the brand and the people behind the brand. This gets us to one of our core philosophies in meeting and event creation – partner not vendor.

A partner anticipates needs. A partner understands business challenges. A partner sits and strategizes with you before a single box is created to make sure that those specific boxes lead to a brand experience that drives goal when they are checked. They understand where you have been and where you want to go. And they work to understand keys to success such as culture.

What does this look like in the wild? One example would be going the extra mile to see the world from another’s point of view. Recently, for a large automotive brand summit, we learned that high-level executives from Japan would be in attendance and would be a large part of the meeting. Japanese culture is an important part of this company’s roots, approach and product philosophy, so we became passionate about understanding as much as we could about the unique aspects of the culture. We wanted to better see the world from their eyes when approaching this important national meeting.

As a company, we enlisted the help of a Japanese cultural expert and educated ourselves via a deep dive on Japanese business philosophy and practices. We explored the nuances of the culture and the values that make it up. What drives those values and how they are similar and different from those we are accustomed to in our own day-to-day lives. For the brand summit itself, we designated two of our staff as VIP liaisons, and printed them a set of business cards with their names in the executive’s native language for ease of use. Each executive received a welcome gift with a focus on helping each feel as at home as possible while visiting. It is always worth the extra mile to ensure that every level of a brand experience is attended to with purpose and a relevant point of view. The results of a partnership will always be worth the investment of time and energy. In this instance – creating a national meeting that drives engagement and inspires action.

When it comes to designing and creating the best brand experiences our advice is to seek out the best partners rather than selecting a vendor. Both with clients and with our own partners seeking those that drive first with strategy, objectives and sharing cultural values leads to the most exciting experiences and ultimately, results.

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