I am currently planning our daughters’ 3rd birthday party. I don’t particularly want the contents of our playroom spread to all corners of the house, so I have hired a local hall. Invites have been put into book bags 6 weeks in advance, as the social calendar of 2 and 3 year olds combined with older siblings is a logistical nightmare.
Recruiting the littlies into the hall, at the right time, is a win. Now that I have them as a captive audience, I need to keep their attention for 2 hours.
The entertainment must be appropriate for their age – musical chairs may sound harmless enough but arm them with chairs to sit on when the music stops and the little loves will become warriors when they realise it’s a fight to the death for the last chair. We need to have structure to the party. A hall full of children with no focus or adult direction is a recipe for chaos. One option is craft tables; however, this could be dangerous. Giving children the tools to decorate a crown is a great idea, however it needs to be manned by someone with crown-decorating experience in order to achieve the desired result of the ‘most sparkly crown in the world’. A child thinks they know what they want to do, try it and then when it doesn’t quite work out how they had hoped they have a meltdown and the crown ends up discarded on the floor with glitter everywhere. And we all know how long it takes to tidy up glitter.
Now onto the food. From experience with our son’s previous parties, I have found that it helps to do some background research. Knowing your audience is vital when it comes to providing food for children. It pays dividends to ask the parents if their little angels have any strong objection to pizza, Pom-bears and copious amounts of sugar. All you need is one child to have a violent fear of pizza and you risk the others following suit in a show of solidarity and then you have children dosed up on sugar, without the non-sugar chaser.
Partners are a lot like children at a birthday party. Once they have been recruited, they need to be kept happy and entertained. You can’t just on-board them and then leave them to their own devices. They should be provided with programmes that excite them and given the support they need to build their business through marketing planning and funding. Vendors need to know their Partner audience – there’s no point in running an incentive based on a business rebate (which only interests the MD) if it’s the frontline sales people who are leading the selling. If a Partner has a specialism, the vendor should harness this and support them to build business together.
Experienced external agencies can be invaluable in this as vendors and partners often do not have in-house resource to effectively plan and execute campaigns. They know what they want to do, they just aren’t sure how to best achieve it. Vendors struggle with being able to ‘see’ their Partners full potential. They know who their top guys are, but just below that on the revenue scale there are Partners who if they just had a bit of help getting the top off the glue, would decorate a beautiful crown. You just have to know how to find them. That’s where we come in.
So, the next time you need to plan some activities for your Partners, or if you are a Partner and need some help getting the right marketing campaigns in place to grow your business and are struggling to get support from your Vendor, think of Bowan Arrow and how we can stop you being left cleaning up glitter for days.