Kate Vitasek, founder of Vested Outsourcing and a researcher of collaborative business relationships, shared an old cartoon during a recent PCMA webinar, “Contracts, Partnerships, and Sharing Risk in Highly Uncertain Times.” It showed four men in a boat; two of them were frantically bailing water while the third said to the fourth, “I’m sure glad the hole isn’t in our end.”
The business events industry, Vitasek told the nearly 700 attendees, is “kind of in this us-versus-them [situation] and you don’t realize that you’re all in the same boat. … If [you] don’t come together, there will be no events industry.”
Moderator Peter Sheahan, founder and CEO of Karrikins Group, led the webinar’s panelists. Here are comments from each of the other panelists.
Rich Gibbons, president of Speak, Inc., on dropping adversarial attitudes, and understanding what drives success on both sides of a deal: “Everybody should just be open to new ways of conducting business and try to figure out mutually beneficial terms that work for all.”
Bill Reed, chief event strategy officer, American Society of Hematology, on keeping future-focused, start-up mindset: “Everything … has changed so you have to start adopting the mindset like when we were in the early stages of our careers. We didn’t know exactly what we were doing, … but at the end of the day, we figured it out.”
Tammy Routh, senior vice president-global sales, Marriott International, on taking the time and energy to engage in open conversations before getting into the details of the deals: “If we don’t all sit at the table and just be vulnerable and say, ‘These are my pain points right now … Where are your pain points? Let’s trust each other to build something.’ That’s very powerful.”
Watch a recording of the webinar, “Contracts, Partnerships, and Sharing Risk in Highly Uncertain Times.”
Curt Wagner is digital editor at Convene.