The client wanted a mechanism to engender greater customer loyalty, enhanced touch points, increased sales and strengthened partnerships with an emphasis on adding value to their customer’s business.
An annual 3-5 day conference was proposed (this is usually overseas but a domestic conference is now held every 3 years). The conference combined a powerful sales incentive with networking and business training. These customers don’t directly compete as they all have different regions. Consequently they are able to share business challenges and solutions in a non-threatening environment whilst enjoying the company of new friends with similar interests.
The level of contribution towards their costs to attend the annual conference was based on sales achieved. As the businesses are SMEs and the attendees are the owners; spouses or partners are encouraged to attend and become engaged as well.
Prior to commencement of each annual programme, the team at PiC meets with the client to discuss strategy, destinations, communications, theme, content, activities and budget.
Each conference is designed to ensure a number of key elements including:
Social Interaction – customer/spouse/employee functions
Business Education – guest and motivational speakers
Product Knowledge – time allocated to the company’s products
Industry Knowledge – summary of industry activities, market pressures and economy
Family Activities – for those that elect to bring along family; activities to cater for the young
Conference locations and venues are key, and are selected on such merits as access for customers, customer appeal, costs, conference facilities, functionality to manage event, security and minimal risk. To date destinations have been a mix of within NZ and off shore (short haul).
The benefits have included:
- Increased friendships/enhanced relationships
- Improved access to and interaction with the client’s management team
- A sense of recognition and value as customers
- Increased knowledge of products/industry/business
- Increased knowledge sharing between participants
A very satisfied client who is now in their fifth year of providing conferences with PiC. Specifically the client has achieved:
- A powerful tool to retain customers
- A means of attracting new customers from competitors as the event becomes known in the industry
- The ability to foster closer relationships with clients – everyone gets to know each other well over 3-5 days
- Value add to their customers’ businesses by offering networking opportunities and business training
- A key point of difference to that of competitors
- Enhance brand and company values
- Customers are engaged in the programme, work hard to attend every year and some even make it a family event. Almost everybody brings a spouse/partner.