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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.

page 4 of 4

Build for form and function: An event provides an opportunity to showcase a brand and engage new and existing customers. Their experience is a critical component of the event, and, therefore, there needs to be a balance of fun and functional elements to appeal to the audience.

Assess the opportunities to determine the best mix of elements that would offer higher value and help create a high-impact event.

  • Location, location, location.


  1. Form: Find a great location that offers some in-demand leisure activities.
  2. Function: Base the location of the event on its proximity to your audience.
  • Let us edu-tain you…
  1. Form: Hire a major industry talent to speak at the event or live entertainment and create dynamic presentation videos.
  2. Function: Offer industry-specific training that would attract otherwise reluctant attendees. Also, consider adding general sessions with buyers or retailers, press conferences, keynote presentations.
  • More appeal than meets the eye. Form: Create engaging displays and marketing materials that reflect the general theme of the show.
  1. Function: Expand production elements and marketing tools to include online platforms, which will help engage attendees after the event as well as those who couldn’t make it.


Self-funded events have proven to be an effective way for brands to achieve marketing goals with high impact and lower marketing spend. If done correctly, long-term partnerships can develop and attendees will have had a rich, personal experience. With the proper partnership, the brand will also generate better ROI than if it were to have produced the show on its own.

Dennis Church is an award-winning event producer, who has produced numerous self-funded events for Fortune 500 clients globally. He is currently the Southeast division president of Georgia-based MC², which specializes in design, production and management of integrated marketing programs.