“Buzzwords” are great… until they’re not. A particular word almost always becomes popular in an industry or business in general for good reason – it’s important, it’s descriptive, it captures other trends or a cultural shift, it’s the perfect word for the job at hand – but over time, the popularity of a buzzword makes it a prime target for anyone and everyone to latch on to, until eventually it’s overused and under-delivered, and it starts to lose meaning. Once a word becomes trendy, it becomes a natural target, closely scrutinized or easily brushed off. So while that’s all well and good to understand, what do you do when a particular word starts to buzz that is actually near and dear to the heart of what you do, how you work, and your values as a team?
You take it back. This is the first in our new Buzzword series, where we’ll be regularly shining a light on some common industry buzzwords, and looking at how we can reclaim, redefine, and reinvigorate these words in our industry. Let’s start by taking back “partnership,” shall we?
The buzz about partnership
It’s easy to see why this became a buzzword in our industry, because great live events don’t happen by working alone. One of the many things we love about what we do is how built on collaboration it really is! But, for better or worse, it also just “sounds good” to say this word when you’re talking to a potential client – it implies a shared understanding, and a certain level of input and control retained. The thing is that as with any buzzword, while it’s easy to say, it’s harder to actually live and execute on day in and day out. But since this is literally what we built our approach on from day one, we’ve got a pretty good handle on what partnership means to us, and how to live it.
What it means to us
So if we’re going to collectively re-examine and reinvigorate the meaning of ‘partnership’ in our industry, making it more than just another buzzword, then what does it really mean? We’d love to hear what it means to you, and we’ll start by telling you what true partnership means to us.
It means collaboration – start, middle, and finish. If you’ve been following along with us for more than a minute, you know how much we value collaboration. It’s something we do every day internally, but it’s also at the crux of how we approach working with our clients and partners. We don’t go into a project thinking we know best, or trying to push our own idea over someone else’s; all that really matters is working closely with everyone involved to create the absolute best outcome possible, in every way. We talked with some of our clients and partners recently about the keys to real and successful collaboration, and they had amazing things to say – we’d love for you to go check that out here. So when we talk about partnership, we mean working together, striving together, listening and asking questions. We mean being as authentically excited about your vision as you are, and working hand in hand with you and with everyone else involved to make that vision come alive. Excited yet? We are!
We aren’t ‘the best’ at everything – we work with the best. We are totally cool with telling you that we are not experts at everything. You know what we are the best at? Building fantastic, lasting, mutually rewarding partnerships (there’s that word!) with experts in every single facet of this industry. We will create a design that will blow you away, and we will manage the heck out of the logistics of your event. But we will absolutely not pretend we can execute every detail on our own – and why would we want to? We dream big, and when that dream calls for wall-to-wall skyscrapers, an elaborate suspended wall, or never-before-displayed Stampede antiques, we know exactly who to call. And, we know exactly how to work with the experts in order to make all of our dreams come true. Everything is better when you don’t let your ego get in your way.
“Not our job” is not a thing. We’re invested in the final result, and we’re invested in every step of the process. If something needs doing along the way, then you can count on us to help out, hang in there, talk you down, talk you up, and just generally do whatever is needed to make it to the finish line together. (We’ll also run out to help you unload your car or offer to carry your things, because our mamas raised us right.) We’ve always got each other’s backs, and we’ve got your back too. It feels great to be in this together.
So if you’re going to be about the buzzword…
Let’s not just say it – let’s show it! The best way to define partnership is to embody it. The events industry is full of amazing, talented people who work together to pull off some truly incredible things, and we’re thankful every day that we get to do what we do and build the relationships that we build. We’re also endlessly inspired by our peers, who do incredible work that pushes us to push ourselves. We’d love to hear how you define partnership and put the theory into practice, and we’re going to start thinking about some other buzzwords that need to be brought back into the real world too – we’d love to hear your thoughts on that, as well. Maybe we could even partner up on a future blog post… you know we mean it.