Here are 5 things to think about when planning your next Supplier Day.
First things first:
1. Knowing what you want from your event
This may seem like a basic point but trust us, it is the most important! Breaking down your ambitions for your event encompasses more than you would think. To yield your preferred ROI, you must search deeper into what you hope to achieve both for your suppliers and yourself.
But don’t worry too much if what you want seems unclear for now, you can always start with what you DON’T want and work from there.
Ask yourselves these questions: Does your company have any existing initiatives? How does this event reflect what your organisation is trying to achieve? How can a supplier day be used to progress your plans with your suppliers? And, how are you guaranteeing an ROI from this event?
Nothing is set in stone, your focus will change throughout your planning process but by identifying a few core points you wish to achieve, you can always notice the parts that stray beyond the realms of your agenda.
And if it seems that you have too many things to deliver to your suppliers, maybe just one supplier day may not be enough… but we can focus on that a little later.
The second thing to think about is timing!
Timing is crucial on multiple levels. Whether it’s the timing of your event within the calendar year or even the timings on the day, it can capture your audience’s attention and help them to connect deeper within your conversations.
The ideal time to host your event within the year rests both on your agenda and your company. Pre-existing corporate events will indicate what your organisation is trying to achieve in each quarter, and your agenda will show where your Supplier Day fits within it.
Beginning of the year (Q1) for Kick-Off Programmes
Middle of the year (Q2/3) for Project Reviews/Updates
End of the year (Q4) for Reflections/Recognitions/Awards
Your second thought for timing is reliant on your audience. While identifying your target audience, you will have noticed where the majority of your suppliers are located. This could be in your country or on the opposite side of the world, but hosting your event at an appropriate time of the day, accommodating multiple time zones, ensures maximum attendance from your invited suppliers and stakeholders.
3. What is your audience thinking/feeling?
Understanding your audience is vital to connecting with them. Your supplier day rests on addressing your supply chain’s queries whilst maintaining a hyper-focused event. By gauging what your audience is thinking, you can pre-handedly incorporate information that answers their questions without any major diversion from your agenda.
To do this you must get to know your audience and seize the opportunity to cultivate pre-event engagement from the moment you decide to host a supplier day. You can utilise a number of methods prior to your event but remember, each provides different types of results, so it is important to use the right one for you
At Supplier Day, we tailor our methods to best suit our customers. We employ a range of techniques to help you put your suppliers at the front and centre of the event to ensure they feel heard.
4. How are you enhancing interaction throughout your event?
Interaction doesn’t just exist, it needs to be cultivated. You cannot guarantee that creativity and innovation will flow purely by bringing your supplier together. Your event is a carefully constructed orchestra, so each aspect should bring something new and complementary to the table.
Too much will cause confusion, and too little will leave your audience feeling dull and uninspired. The beauty of hosting a virtual event is the precision and flawless execution.
Again, you want to select the type of interactions you want to pursue – Conversational, Discussion, Negotiation, Problem-Solving, Workshopping – the options are endless and will help you to structure your day. By choosing a type of interaction, you can look at the elements which would bring it to life – Q&A’s, Breakout sessions, Polls, and Speaker Participation are but a few ways to do so.
This would also be the point to think more deeply about the virtual platform you will be hosting your event from. Each platform will have a variety of virtual tools that can be leveraged but you must choose the one which will create the more meaningful interaction for you!
5. Create your “Echo Chamber”
The potential of your event does not end when you’ve logged off, that’s when the work really starts. Supplier days are about creating momentum, and an “Echo Chamber” will help you maintain it.
Even prior to your event you will be striving for consistency within communication. Pre-event comms need to be relevant and reliable to engage with your suppliers and get them excited for the upcoming event. This will create the base of your Echo Chamber. Components such as comms consistency, tonality, and information distributed will all contribute to strengthening that chamber and is the first step to connecting with your supply network.
Once your supplier day is all done and dusted, that is when your organisation can encourage a specific call-to-action. Whether you want to foster better communications or encourage innovation, you need to have a clear strategy in place so your suppliers can approach you with ease. Their eagerness for collaboration will shine through more prominently when you are prepared to receive their comments and feedback.
When a supplier day is well hosted, the post-event engagement will kickstart a new chapter within your supplier relationships.
And that’s it! Simple isn’t it?
All organisations, large or small, are a reflection of their supply chain. By engaging with your suppliers, you are establishing a platform that can yield wonderful insights, not only furthering your initiatives but also ensuring that your supply chains are unified when taking the next step towards it.
Oh, we nearly forgot to tell you:
You must remember: Your event does not exist within a vacuum. Look beyond your event, and you’ll see a plethora of agendas that your organisation wants to expand upon. And if you look beyond that, you’ll see global issues that need to be addressed. Your supplier day is an opportunity for you to delve into something bigger, and suppliers want to be a part of that
Enquire here for more information on enhancing your supplier day.