Running a partner summit within a specific sector

Posted by Jo Kelly

Partners summits can bring together the key people in you and your partners’ businesses, using big budgets to get bigger messages across. But these large events can be especially effective when held for a specific sector – from showcasing the latest technology and brainstorming new ideas, to providing networking opportunities and the tools to meet objectives, to celebrating industry achievements and preparing for the challenges to come.

We’ve already shown you what to consider when planning an effective partner summit. Now we look at what to think about when running a partner summit within a specific sector.

Deciding on a Location

A well-thought-out location for a partner summit can always add to these events, particularly when it’s for a specific sector. Think about choosing a location that’s relevant to an industry, can sit the event right in the hub of where that industry started, has evolved, or continues to develop. It can also give the event an edge – emphasising its themes and focus, while making it stand out and feel more connected to a sector.

For instance, if you and your partners’ companies are dealerships in the automotive industry, you could choose somewhere, like Michigan – the US state known as the car capital of the world. Or if you don’t have the budget to head to America, you could consider a European city that’s home to a leading car brand, such as Munich, Germany, where BMW’s headquarters are based. It’s also important to ensure your location provides good transport access for all your partners and attendees so they can travel there without difficulty.

Selecting a venue

When it comes to choosing a venue for a partner summit within a specific sector, size and space are key. Whatever the sector, you should aim to create a spectacle and a visual treat for the eyes of your guests.

If your event is for the home building sector, for instance, you might want to think about having space for construction machinery and equipment, as well as to display roof designs, building models and the latest building materials. Whereas, if your partner community is in the automotive sector, you might need space to display new cars and demonstrate new vehicle technology, like tyres, windscreens and seating.

It’s worth also considering space for areas like mini events and gamification zones, which will help give your event the edge. This could include virtual reality experiences via headsets, from virtual tours around the homes of the future to virtually driving cars for the next generation. It’s wise for the venue to also reflect the nature of your sector. Flash, new, technologically advanced cars, for instance, will sit better in a stylish, state-of-the-art venue rather than an old and plain conference building.

When considering your event agenda, the partner summit should tie seamlessly into elements of your sector, with the aim of informing, educating, inspiring and entertaining your partner community.

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Putting together an agenda

You should aim to give your partners, their staff and other attendees a full experience – seeing, hearing, listening, discussing and interacting – with the aim of engaging them in your offering.

For this reason, the agenda should contain a wide range of elements that achieve these different things, while being specific to you and your partners’ businesses and your sector.

This could include:

  • Keynote speeches – about the latest challenges of your industry
  • Workshops – teaching about new sector technologies or products
  • Roundtables – providing one-on-one time with speakers and key industry representatives
  • Brainstorming sessions – observing ideas to overcome specific obstacles
  • Demonstrations – of latest technologies or product designs
  • Networking events – to build peer and partner relationships, like champagne receptions and networking lunches

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Selecting speakers

An impressive list of speakers can dramatically add to a partner summit. When it’s for a specific sector, it can provide a great opportunity to give your audience something really special, generate some excitement and further heighten the experience. This could involve someone famous in your sector who works for a top brand, who attendees highly regard, would feel inspired by and honoured to listen to.

If your partners are FMCG sellers or distributors, for example, one of your speakers could be a business developer of a top-selling chocolate brand or soft drinks company. Meanwhile, a speaker for an automotive partner summit could be a head designer or technology developer of a leading car manufacturer, while an event for the home building industry could be a famous architect.

Other factors to consider for a sector-specific partner summit

Theme – This can help tie different elements of your partner summit together and give it focus and visual appeal. Themes can help with anything from finding angles and topics for speeches, to the choice of refreshments you sell, to decor and your event merchandise.

Technology – This can capture aspects of your event in engaging and innovative ways, from displaying Twitter walls to enhance social networking, to using spatial augmented reality to display 3D images during products demonstrations. You can learn more about such examples in our blog, How can technology transform your partner summit.   

Entertainment – This provides an engaging and effective way for your partner summit to end on a memorable high note. You can also theme your entertainment on your sector and have fun with it. For instance, an automotive event could have a top band performing songs, inspired by driving, on a stage lined with a selection of the latest range of cars.

 Putting together an effective partner summit for your sector

Partner summits can be a great way to bring together the workforces and talent of a sector and put them under one roof, while showcasing the sector in its best light. The most successful events can allow partner communities to find new ways to overcome challenges, and work together to improve their businesses and their sector too.

At CR Worldwide we can quickly, plan and implement events that do more for you, your partners and your staff. Our events are:

Easy to implement – Our events can be quickly and easily set up and planned, and are tailored to suit your staff, your needs and business goals.

Engaging – Enhance loyalty and performance, creating an instant emotional bond with your brand, and increasing company awareness.

Easy to manage – Run and hosted by dedicated managers, who provide exciting schedules of activities and experiences, doing the hard work for you.

We’d love to excite, engage and inspire your staff with our conference services. To speak to a member of our award-winning team:

Jo has worked at CR Worldwide as Events Operations Director since 2004. She is responsible for scoping and delivering all types of events, for clients of all sizes, globally. She manages the division’s team who organise and execute award-winning events – ranging from one-off sales floor days, corporate hospitality events and incentive travel trips, to annual conferences and partner summits.