Allowing partner relationships to evolve
Following on from the success of the EMEA Solutions Partner Summit in 2015. Our client challenged MCI UK to provide a meeting programme to help them build on the relationships established with their Partners; there was a need to enter the second phase of partnership development. The three stages were identified as 'developing, maturing and matured'. The first stage was achieved in 2015, how would MCI create a programme to allow our client to move from developing to maturing?
To achieve this we had to create a more inclusive experience for all involved. We wanted every attendee to relax, engage openly and adopt a collaborative approach to business in a vibrant environment; we started by re-imagining the meeting space...
Out went the standard conference chairs and tables; in came sofas, poseur tables, free-flowing coffee and refreshments spaces. We would challenge anyone not to be able to relax on a sofa, next to trusted partners whilst sipping on a cappuccino and enjoying an Amaretti!
Presentations are an essential part of the programme on any event but if you want to engage with your partners you need to include them in the conversation rather than talk at them. We re-designed the stage set to allow the presenters to enter at will into the audience. To keep a 'buzz' in the room we placed the proposed breakout rooms into the main room creating a 'campus' feel. To keep interaction high we created a bespoke interactive platform with our in-house digital team to allow real time questioning and commentary from both parties, whilst pushing data to individual smartphones and tablets simultaneously.
Last of all we had to look closely at the social programme around the business sessions; some would argue the real time when relationships are formed. We wanted the group to experience Venice and its tradition, create experiences that create conversation and memorable moments. On the first night the group enjoyed dinner at the breathtaking 15th Century Venetian Palace, the Pisani Moretta. 147 individually lit candles, a string quartet and a fine dining experience amazed the attendees. By contrast, on the second night we placed the group in and around the canals of Venice on a traditional Venetian Galleon. The sights and sounds of Venice, good food, traditional refreshments and the most amazing sunset (which was luck, we cannot organise the weather...yet) was a fitting finale to truly successful event.
Partner attendance at the 2016 event increased by 23% from 2015 and as we move into the planning for 2017 we believe the experience and word of mouth generated by the 2016 event will have a positive impact on 2017 attendance.
"The MCI team were outstanding from start to finish. Not only on site, but from the very first meeting we had to kick off the summit planning for this year."