n BY DENNIS CHURCH
Leveraging the Power of Partnership
for Smarter Private Events
When planned, managed and executed properly, self-funded events produced with appropriate partners/
complementary brands can be a valuable marketing vehicle to build brand awareness and relationships.
The new economy has left many marketers with scaled back budgets or having to defend strategies regarded by
some as extravagant, such as events. However,
when done right, events offer high value—
and even an opportunity to generate a profit.
While not a new concept, self-funded
events are a smart option, especially in
today’s economy. With expenses shared
between participating brands or companies,
this approach provides cost-savings benefits
for the organizer and its partners—and,
just as importantly, there is added value for
attendees, gaining access to several brands
at one event rather than investing time and
money to go to several.
So, where do you begin? The key to
executing a successful self-funded event is to
start with a focused, targeted and customized
The key to executing a successful
self-funded event is to start
with a focused, targeted and
customized approach. e
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
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
Focus on a Specific Purpose
Self-funded events can take many forms,
including being held in conjunction with an
industry trade show or as a stand-alone expo.
No matter the format, all events warrant a
specific purpose and set of goals.
Understanding the desired outcome helps
establish a framework for a self-funded event.
Here are two types in a little more detail:
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
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.
20 Marketing Matters
GCI February 2010