When f2f makes sense

f2f supplier events

In this era of virtual connectivity and digital experiences, the relevance of in-person events remains a burning question. There’s no doubt that the best supplier event programme is one that combines both virtual and in-person experiences to leverage the strengths of both formats.

Regardless, the investment that hosting an in-person event requires means that we should be more careful about when to do them and why. When done right the investment yields compelling reasons for supplier interactions in 2024 and beyond.

In 2023, Supplier Day supported clients like PepsiCo, Bayer and the NHS to design and produce their in-person events by paying close attention to the below design principles.


Genuine connections & networking

In-person events provide a unique chance for genuine and meaningful connections that go beyond the capabilities of virtual settings. Handshakes, chats, and building personal connections make a lasting impression, sparking spontaneous conversations, building trust, and laying the foundation for future collaborations. 

The real value of this networking experience? The opportunity to arrange one-on-one meetings for candid conversations about challenges, pain points, and opportunities, along with the convenience of conducting quarterly business reviews—all conveniently centralised in one location.


Recognition of best-in-class suppliers

In-person events offer a unique platform for recognising and showcasing best-in-class suppliers. Through live interactions, hands-on demonstrations, and personalised presentations, suppliers can highlight not only their products but also their expertise. 

Inviting suppliers on stage to discuss successful collaborations, showcasing their products in exhibition spaces, and hosting recognition programs or awards ceremonies adds an authentic and prestigious layer that is challenging to achieve virtually. 

These events aim to demonstrate why others are closely aligned with your business, reinforcing your position as the customer of choice.


Genuinely relevant content with direct actions

Going beyond standard business briefings is crucial for success, and face-to-face meetings with suppliers offer an ideal avenue for this shift. Tailored experiences enable a direct exploration of specific business needs, with well-crafted plans delivering not only relevant but actionable content, providing valuable insights, strategies, and plans for suppliers.

It’s essential to invite customers who are integral to your business and aligned with your goals. Strengthen connections with strategic suppliers through exclusive content, C-Suite access, and experiences like workshops, roundtables, and interactive exhibition spaces.

In-person events, particularly for top strategic suppliers, come with higher costs, emphasising the importance of inviting key customers aligned with your business goals. Make attendees feel special by offering exclusivity, whether through content or a sneak peek into your business, creating a sense of value and appreciation for their commitment.


While the challenges and costs of in-person events are undeniable, the benefits are equally compelling. The ability to foster genuine connections, recognise excellence, and deliver relevant content with direct actions makes in-person supplier events an indispensable element in your calendar.

As you navigate your supplier relationships, consider how incorporating these interactions can elevate your supplier events to new heights, creating lasting impressions that make you the customer of choice. 

Invest wisely for an unparalleled supplier event experience!