Vendor Versus Partner – Corporate Event Marketing

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Vendor Versus Partner – Corporate Event Marketing

What’s the difference between a corporate event marketing vendor and partner? How do your customers refer to you and how do you refer to those whom you hire to provide goods and services for your company? Language matters. When your customer places you in the partner category, they are sending a message that they value your expertise and unique contributions as a key component of their success.

What’s the difference?

A vendor sells you something and the customer generally specifies the details of that something. It feels like a transaction. You are the order taker and you deliver the goods and services, rarely challenging the order.

A corporate event marketing partner first engages with the customer to better understand their goals, needs and culture. From there, they tailor the corporate events services to support the customer’s needs and desired outcomes. The dialogue then continues as both parties learn more about each other. Perhaps most importantly, the work is a collaboration.

Simply put, a partner is invested in their clients’ success and that is understood by both parties.

What else defines a partner?

Partners actively seek information in order to provide innovative solutions and corporate events services for their clients. they engage in strategic event marketing. They pay attention to what’s happening in the markets, what the competition is doing, and what is relevant. They notice what makes their customers tick and what keeps them up at night. They challenge their clients and are not afraid to push back. They anticipate, innovate and are really good listeners. They contribute corporate events services to their clients’ philanthropic events and know and support their clients CSR initiatives. They stay late to meet a deadline. They call simply to check in. They care.

So the question is: are you a vendor or are you a partner? Part of this is how you define yourself and your services, and how you behave and communicate. Is it time to re-evaluate some of your business relationships and re-establish yourself as a partner? The first step in being a partner is defining yourself as such and living up to that definition. Vendors come and go. Partnerships are the key to long term success.

Cindy Wilson

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