A well-rounded Practice Enterprise event cannot exist without a well-founded partnership. A partnership means each party takes on some responsibilities, risks, and benefits of an event.
Practice Enterprise Event Partnerships support and strengthen PE activities and the needs of the respective target groups. External stakeholders from real-world businesses can share their experience and expertise with PE trainees and trainers to make the connection between education and the real business world.
A Practice Enterprise Event Partnership also benefits external stakeholders as it helps attract new audiences and customers, offers cost savings for HR recruitment and increases brand awareness.
Three Key Points to think about when setting up a Stakeholder Partnership:
- Why do you need a partner?
- What do you want from a partner?
- What can you offer to partner?
1. Why do you need a partner?
- By mobilising partner’s knowledge and experience, event organisers increase the efficiency and cohesion of event planning and implementation.
- An event partnership can provide financial support and increase interest in the Practice Enterprise concept at a local, national and international level.
- Through the partnership, the integration of real-world tools and skills into the Practice Enterprise is a major added value for learners.
- Cooperation with pertinent and well-established partners can boost interest and build credibility for your event.
2. What do you want from a partner?
Clearly define the role of the external stakeholder and ask about the partner’s possibilities to collaborate and support. Usually the cooperation is either through:
Operational Support: supporting as judges, visitors or sharing tasks from real business world, advising on event organisation, etc.
Financial Support: supporting with prizes, coffee breaks, monetary donations, facilities, marketing items, etc.
Tip: Ask potential cooperation partners what they would like out of the partnership. Then provide support for them during the event
3. What can you offer a partner?
Always present the benefits of collaboration for partners. Here are some possible benefits for external partners:
- Access to the participants list during and after the event
- Using the event for recruitment purposes
- Inclusion in pre- and post-event promotion
(logos on marketing material, CSR certificates, etc.)
- Logos on the event website
- Promoting their company through your event
- Promotion as event partner through event press releases
Tips and Recommendations for Stakeholder Involvement
Maintaining your contact is crucial to long-term collaboration with external stakeholders. Having a personal connection to partners may come in handy and it is usually easier to ask them for support. Also be ready to support them and also share and market what they did to support your organisation, Central Office or institution.
It is important to carefully plan and invest enough time in event preparation. Make sure you can present the future event well to possible stakeholders so they can see the benefits of engagement. Provide a timeline of events and activities, guides where needed, publication agreements if necessary, etc.
Always present the partnership benefits to the partner. What may seem important and useful to one partner may not necessarily be useful to another. Make a checklist and emphasize what is most important to each partner, considering what values, strategies, and organisational goals are presented on the partner’s website. Look at how the company’s branding is presented on their website and what the company shares on Social Media and elsewhere.
Every event exists for a reason, however for external parties it may be harder to understand the strategy of the Practice Enterprise event. Understanding an event’s point and purpose is one of the important aspects of defining an event partnership.
Always prepare a clear explanation of the Practice Enterprise concept and present the event’s goals.
Be ready to research and negotiate. The best way to get the most out of a partnership is to have someone on your team take charge of the partnership. Keep in mind the possible challenges. You may face any of the following:
- Differing management styles
- Differing personal habits and interests
- Financial and equity issues
- Different boundaries/limitations
- Different commitment/responsibility levels
- Time constraints
- Disparities in skills and roles
- Disadvantageous event partnership contract, terms, and other issues
To avoid challenges in your new partnership, research and prepare and address the challenges you may forsee – and plan possible solutions. This will help to strengthen the partnership and collaboration.
Look for a “win-win” solution. Create a compelling partnership proposal and present it the right way. Include the following information:
- Who you are (include info about the Practice Enterprise concept)
- Why you are organising the event
- Who will visit the event
- Who attended the event the last time (statistics can help support your sales pitch)
- The size of the event
- The target audience
- Previous partners
- Why you need a partner
- Why you want this specific partner
- Be clear on what you want from a partner
- Be clear on what you have to offer
Actively listen and learn to understand the needs and objectives of any stakeholder. Needs and objectives may be different from partner to partner. Take notes and ask questions to get to know them.
Quality, location and meaningful purpose help make an event memorable. At the end of the day, it’s the experience itself that lingers in the participants’ memory. High-quality content and an immersive experience can transform an event from memorable to unforgettable.
Create a list of active and interested contacts with all contact information and descriptions of possible future collaboration. Reach out well in advance and prepare clear information about expectations and timeframes for the collaboration. Don’t overwhelm stakeholders and contacts as they have busy schedules, so plan a maximum of 90 minutes for their involvement.
Practice Enterprise alumni would be well suited to be invited to a partnership as they understand the Practice Enterprise concept and activities.
Create material that demonstrates your impact. Remember: Impact = Value
- Pictures and videos of the event
- Social Media and Hashtags
- Recap Stories
- Thank You Messages
- Press Releases
- Follow-up Emails
Effective organisers develop follow-up strategies to keep attendees engaged after the event. Event partnerships shouldn’t end when the curtain falls. Consider additional partner outreach after the event. Treat each affiliate like a sponsor. Whether they add value or donate money, treat them as if they were actually paying to attend the event.
The Stakeholder Flyer is useful for first outreach to possible Event Supporters who are unfamiliar with the PE Concept.
The 2-page Stakeholder Benefits flyer lists advantages for companies and external stakeholders to collaborate in PE Events.
Use the PE Benefits PDF to encourage trainers and trainees to look for stakeholder cooperation opportunities.