Discussion at the Association Forum at International Confex yesterday, 19 February, revealed there is still room for improvement in the collaborative nature of working relationships between association event organisers, destinations and venues.
In a session on Collaboration and Partnership, representatives from venue, destination and event planning, discussed best practice, and how a partnership approach can build better and more profitable events.
Chris Trimmer, CEO of World Obesity, represented the event organiser with Kathleen Warden (pictured), director of conference sales and the SECC, and Aileen Crawford, head of conventions at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, representing the venue and destination sides respectively.
Trimmer underlined the importance of having a strong relationship with destinations and venues. “Regardless of whether you are physically organising a meeting in that destination, there should still be a relationship. This means when you do visit them, all the building blocks are in place: trust, confidence and understanding,” she said.
Warden challenged the nature of the ‘supplier’ relationship, and said the word should be be struck from the lexicon of this industry. “True collaboration is built around shared objectives; to act like a supplier demeans the quality of the relationship.”
Crawford said partnership working was ingrained in the Glasgow ethos and the close city networks and team working approach is recognised by clients.
In a straw poll of the audience, delegates felt their relationships with venues and destinations were good but could be better.
“It’s good to see that planners see the value in collaborative relationships, we can all do better though and we’re working hard at the SECC to make this a key feature of our client relationships,” concluded Warden.
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