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Leveraging the Power of Partnership for Smarter Private Events

By: Dennis Church
Posted: February 2, 2010, from the February 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Event within an event: Several companies are realizing a highly effective way to ensure uninterrupted, personalized time with a targeted audience is to combine a private event with a trade show, or other industry gathering. Private events help cut through the competitive noise on the show floor and build relationships between your brand or company and the audience or prospects. The result is a dramatic shortening of the sales cycle, and reduces the time for making the sale.

Despite budgetary concerns, professionals are still attending trade shows because they are looking for solutions to challenges or ways to build business. However, they are pressed for time. Inviting other brands to participate in your event allows attendees multiple engagement at one location. Plus, with each brand contributing to production costs, a shared approach allows the partners to essentially do more with more, but using less individual resources.

Self-funded expos: Holding a self-funded product showcase event brings the target audience to your doorstep. Unlike trade shows, your brand or company is the centerpiece in what can be a highly memorable and profitable attendee experience.

Typically in these events, non-competing companies engage attendees by offering access to a wide range of products and services. With each partner inviting its “A-list” audience, the event helps garner wider brand exposure for all companies involved.

Identify Target Audiences and Partners

Like any marketing program, you have to know who you are trying to reach or influence when formulating an event strategy. This could include retail buyers, suppliers, consumers or media. Honing in on your specific audience will also make it easy for you to identify other products or services that may appeal to them and strategic partnerships to pursue.