Ep4. Partner Relationships: Creating Them and Maintaining Them

September 6, 2016 Mark Thomas

Partner Relationships - Creating Them and Maintaining Them

Whether you're an end-user marketer, procurement manager or agency executive—having the right partnership in place drives creativity, collaboration and continued success for both sides.

This EM All Access episode focuses on great agency partnerships—what makes them and what maintains them.

Video Transcript

Hey there event marketers, Jessica Heasley here, welcome to another episode of EM all access. Where we connect you with some of the industry's most innovative events and the marketers behind them.

Today’s episode is sponsored by GES, a global, service provider of live events. And it focusses on great agency partnerships—what makes them and what maintains them. I spoke to GES executives Renee Mancino and Mark Thomas about the anatomy of great client agency relationships. Let’s listen in...

In the event community, there are essentially three kinds of clients—end-user marketer, procurement manager and agency clients—how do they view partnerships differently?

Thomas: I think what we have to do is look at that as one cohesive unit because we have to pay attention to each one of them. We have to look at the procurement person and see what their needs are. We have to look at the marketing team's needs are, and see what their needs are. We need to see how they all interact and how we can handle things with each one of them. It's almost an educational process with each of them because we have to help the marketing person understand where the procurement person is coming from. And we have to help the procurement person understand where the marketing person is coming from. We have to be a chameleon to each of those people.

Mancino: It's really important, specifically from the end-user marketer, for them understand that they should look for agency partnerships that offer more than just robust amount of work in their vertical. They really need to look to partners that can bring a lot of different experiences into their partnership and into their programs. For any partner that we work with, it's really about being a hundred percent all in with them, and understanding that we know their business as well they do. But at the same time, our job is to really challenge them—if they're willing to accept that kind of challenge or relationship.

What defines a great partnership, a partnership that is really working and producing great work, and a long-term relationship?

Mancino: We say, passion and compassion for what their mission is. If we really understand what that mission is, we have compassion for it, and we have a passion for it.

Thomas: Being a very valuable partner, means being a thinking partner. We create epic events, so we can't do that alone. We need everybody’s input, we need everybody to look at things from a different perspective. So it's not only our perspective that makes an event a success, it's the clients, it's the procurement person, it's the marketing person—it’s… how can we be a coach to those people? How can we take them to the next level? How do we create their event, so it is an epic event?

Mancino: When you have a great partnership, the lines are really blurred between who is the client and who is the vendor or partner in the relationship.

Thomas: One of the great parts of that is the creativity. Just because you can't draw pretty pictures doesn't mean you're (not) creative. We have to approach every one of those entities as being creative. We can be creative with a procurement person, just like we can be creative with the marketing person. It's just a different level of creativity—whether it's in scheduling, budgeting, the way we approach something. Creativity that ultimately aligns with that attendee experience.

How is a partnership different with GES than with other agencies?

Mancino: We have experience through so many different channels with B2C and our trade show and exhibit. For GES we bring everything to the table, so we are literally tapping into our other business units and bring those thoughts and those ideas and the execution and the creativity into our events for clients. They're kind of getting a much bigger package with GES, because we do have so many things to offer which is unusual. For a lot of agencies, they usually will be specialist in one thing—we are specialists in many things, and those experiences translate into the programs that we’re able to execute.

Thomas: Being a thinking partner is important for our clients, and it's important for us. So having that ability to be a chameleon with every one of our clients, and put on a different shade and different hue, and being able to adapt to what their needs are, I think is what makes us unique. We have the ability to bring things to the table that nobody else does, and I think it really is our knowledge, it is our experience, it’s our depth of services, it's our breadth of services, it’s our globalization, its every aspect. I think what we do is we create a puzzle. We know what the frame is going to be. We know what the picture is going to be, and we have to put that puzzle together in a different way with each client

Whether you're an end-user marketer, procurement manager or agency executive—having the right partnership in place drives creativity, collaboration and continued success for both sides.

I'd like to thank Renee and Mark for joining me, and you for watching.

Learn more about GES’ top influencers and problem solvers through our in-depth EM All Access video series on thought leadership.

 

 

 

About the Author

Mark  Thomas

Mark is the Senior Vice President of Business Development for GES Corporate Events team. He has more than 30 years of experience in corporate events and client engagement which places him in a unique position to be the strategic champion for clients.

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