How to be a First-Rate Event Partner

By Sally Rogers
May 30, 2018

How To Be A First-Rate Event Partner

Thanks to some amazingly patient folks, we’ve started making matches. This part of the journey is definitely the most fun, but also scary! It’s not that we aren’t confident in our ability to make a match and support the work of great brands, but it’s that we don’t know what happens once we set a match in motion.

How do companies work together? What might be table stakes for one company (“we always bring product to events to just give away”) may not be a matter of fact for another (“we never bring product to give away - we just bring coupons”).

So in the spirit of being a good partner ourselves, we’re starting to develop some rules of partnership engagement that will help companies work better together. We anticipate we’ll build these out over time, and will use this experience to make them better! We’d love to know what you think about these first three.


Communicate your (Event-Specific) Expectations

Consider this: You’re the marketing genius behind a new fitness tracker, and are excited to showcase what your latest product can do at an upcoming wellness event. Parsnip sent you three match notifications (yay) for food and beverage companies that are perfect to provide food and beverages for your event. But you’re still a couple weeks out, so you thank the three companies for their interest and let them know you’ll be in touch with details.

At this point, those three companies know they’ll be bringing product to a wellness event. They know you’ll be there. But they have no idea who else will be there, or what they need to bring. So, how do you help them bring their A-game and ensure that you both knock it out of the park, together?

Details to Communicate:

  1. Table size and location
  2. Event space address and related parking and access details
  3. Number of attendees
  4. Demographic of attendees
  5. Event duration
  6. Who else will be involved (i.e. any unnamed partners) and related contact information

Once you’ve made sure to communicate all of the important logistical details to ensure a great event, what else can you do to further ever partner’s success (including your own)?

Think about the value you’d have if the four brands actually communicated in advance what they’re bringing so they can compare notes about the products themselves - this level of communication could potentially even impact which brand gets placed where to make sense for the flow of the even! If you haven’t already done so, send an email to introduce all participants to each other and to encourage cross-pollination. A rising tide raises all boats!

TL, DR: Share as much as you know about your event or campaign as soon as you get matched, and with all partners involved.


Make the Introductions and Iron out Important Responsibility Details

Consider this: You’ve launched a new jewelry line and have been on the hunt for an athlesiurewear company to feature in some of your Instagram photos, knowing that your jewelry has a cozy, casual look to it. Parsnip has made your first match and you’re ready to go! You’ve never met the clothing company owner in person, and as soon as you say hello via email, she adds three new people from her team to the email thread. As you exchange notes about creating a photo shoot, you come to realize that one of those people is a photographer. You have your own photographer and are adamant about using him.

Eventually, you start to voice your photography needs and realize that the company is totally cool with using your photographer, but at this point their photographer has been on the email thread for a week and has already started some prelim work. Had you only known from the beginning who each person was that was being added to the email thread, you could have addressed your needs right away and not wasted his time.

TL, DR: Since Parsnip makes digital introductions, it’s important that as soon as you add someone to an email thread, introduce them and share the context for why they’re there. Or better yet, get on the phone to get to know each other and to start working out important details!



Consider this: You were matched with a cheese company that pairs well with your delicious organic crackers, and you partnered up around the launch party for their latest cheese. The party had a great turnout. You shared your crackers with cheese lovers and now have quite a few new cracker lovers, too! You posed for pictures with the cheese team and some enthusiastic attendees, and left feeling really good about the hard work your company puts in.

Several weeks later, you start to see the nice stills that the party photographer had taken appear on the cheese company’s Facebook page. It looked like they’d also made the main photo on their website a shot of the new cheese sitting atop your crackers! And when you received the newsletter recap of their launch party, not once was your cracker company mentioned as even attending the event. You start to wonder whether they even appreciate your support and if they’d ever want to work together again …

It’s important to acknowledge who you work with. We want our Parsnip matches to be strong, grateful for one another, and appreciative that growth only happens when companies work well together. The attendees at that party wouldn’t have been able to eat the new cheese without the cracker!

TL, DR: Don’t let your cheese exist without its cracker. Acknowledge, as much and as frequently as you can, the partners who make your work possible.

Don’t be a crummy event partner! Use these three tips to push you to be a first-rate partner, and let us know if you have any other great tips!