The Peak of the Summit

They say that one of the most dangerous parts of climbing a mountain is the descent – and when it comes to the world of events, the very same has been true of the client journey. Until now…

I’ve been talking a lot about the customer journey recently, and with good cause: it’s the epicentre of how we move forward with GDS. Being close, understanding needs and providing the best experience possible all play key and obvious roles. But none of that matters if results don’t live up to expectation – and pointing fingers isn’t an option.

Traditionally, taking responsibility for those results has meant ensuring we place the right people – at the right time – in front of our clients to give them the best possible opportunity to accelerate their sales pipelines.

The problem? That’s not the journey.

Take a GDS Summit. We plan, invite, secure and align everything and everyone needed to make the summit a success. We match clients with decision makers, schedule meetings, work with our analyst partners and create engaging workshops.

"Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley." – Theodore Roethke

“Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.” – Theodore Roethke

Meanwhile, our clients are in their offices planning pitches, writing keynotes and finalising itineraries. We meet on site, introduce them to the next two-and-a-half days and work diligently to ensure everyone is happy. We say our goodbyes, follow up with every attendee back in the office and get that all-too-important feedback.

And then we prepare for the next one.

So what’s missing? Well, think of that summit as a mountain for a second, with its peak being the summit itself, and its sides representing the work rate pre and post event. As the old saying goes, what goes up must come down.

Except for our clients, what comes down often represents how difficult it becomes to secure follow-up meetings with choice delegates. Diaries fill up, sales hierarchies change and office politics get in the way. Before you know it, three months have passed…and that’s where a descent can become dangerous.

Now zoom out of that mountain and look at the entire mountain range. Every one of those peaks is a GDS summit. The mountain range? That’s the customer’s journey.

It’s our job to start building bridges between those peaks to make it easier for our customers to traverse that range and plot more effective journeys.

How do we do that? All I’ll say until next week is it involves no avalanches…

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About Spencer Green

Spencer Green founded GDS Publishing Ltd in October 1993 to specialise in industrial, government-led publications for the burgeoning Chinese market. The company launched over forty business-to-business titles, was name-checked alongside Tony Blair on China’s national news as ‘best for Chinese business’, and – following a move into India – deemed to be ‘of national importance’ by the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. In 1998, GDS Publishing became GDS International and launched its first conference, Enterprise China. The hugely successful Enterprise series of conferences was rolled out across China and Latin America in the next two years. In 2000, GDS International launched its first Senior Executive Summit under the ‘Next Generation’ banner. This became the catalyst for nine years of 25% year-on-year growth... and 40% growth in 2010. In 2011, GDS held over 70 Summits for C-level Executives from a wide range of industries and across the globe, and eight digital marketing conferences. Today, GDS International is determined to become the world’s no. 1 business-to-business media and services company. It’s going to be an exciting journey! Spencer is married to Emily. They have two children, Finlay and Maya, and live in Bristol, UK.
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