Negotiation strategy for event company partners.

Mastering Negotiation: Top Strategies for Event Company Partnerships

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Posted on June 9, 2021

“Negotiation is the most important skill professionals need in the year 2021” 

Scott Tillema, negotiations instructor

Event company partners

Before we get to negotiating with event company partners, it is important to understand the role that event company partners will play. 

Why should I have event partners?

Event partners can lessen the load of event management. When chosen correctly, they can aid in marketing your event to new audiences, be liable for some of the costs, and depending on the company, they could even give your brand a marketing boost.

Choosing event company partners.

How do I choose event company partners?

  • Get referrals

Sometimes word of mouth is the best way to choose who to work with. When a company has a good reputation, it could help its credibility. It is useful to have direct contact with someone from the company or organization that you intend to work with. Employees usually have intel that could be detrimental to your decision. 

  • Get to know your intended event company partner

Once you have your referrals, sift through the event company partners. Look at their core values and see whether they are aligned with you and your brand. Think about the possibilities of how they may benefit you and your objectives and how you may be able to do the same for them. 

Find relevant event company partners

Find relevant event partners

Make sure that the event partners that you choose are relevant to the event that you are hosting. For example, if you are hosting a virtual conference about marketing, consider partnering with companies that are relevant in the marketing industry.

Think about the needs of your audience. In this case, partnering with an established company like HubSpot will most likely give your event an extra level of credibility. This could help build trust with your intended audience as they are well-renowned resources in the marketing world.



In a podcast called “Why ‘Win-Win’ Loses in High Stakes Negotiations with Zabeen Mirza”, the Wall Street Investment Banker turned social entrepreneur explains that many people don’t know the difference between selling and negotiating, and this difference is crucial. 

According to Mirza, “When you’re selling, you’re making arguments – why you’re better, why you’re good, why you’re different, why they need you, etc. When you’re negotiating, you’re not making arguments; you’re making demands. It’s a very different mindset”.

How do I negotiate with event company partners?

How do I negotiate with event company partners?

Negotiation is not a one-time event

Successful negotiation is often built on good relationships rather than a good proposal. While a good proposal may help to seal the deal, strong relationships often override a once-off proposal. When you have a good relationship, you have credibility, and your potential event partner can make a decision based on your character and how you do business.

Communicate clearly

Determine a tone and communication style that suits both your objectives and your personality. Use who and what you already are to drive home your points. Show those who you are negotiating with that you have a clear understanding of your needs, as well as their needs, and how the terms of your events planning contract negotiation will benefit both parties involved.

3 key approaches for negotiating

3 key approaches for negotiating

  1. Hard approach

The hard approach is when one partner contends or persuades the other by being exceptionally competitive.

  1. Soft approach

The soft approach is when one partner puts the other partner’s needs before their own. 

  1. Principled negotiation

The principled negotiation is concerned with a win-win outcome. Negotiating parties consider many options before they reach a settlement agreement. This approach is the best practice for negotiation.

How do I plan my negotiation strategy?

How do I plan my negotiation strategy?

Choose a strategy that works best for you and your objectives. The strategy you choose should also consider who you are negotiating with. It is imperative to understand your intended event company partner and the type of relationship that you have with them. When you have already established a relationship with one another, you already have insight into what is important to them and what common interests you have. 

5 negotiation strategies

5 negotiation strategies

  1. Problem-solving 

The problem-solving negotiation strategy is usually one that is used for long-term partnerships. Both parties discuss their areas of interest and commit to closely examining their issues with immense scrutiny.

  1. Contending

Contending as a negotiation strategy usually favors major wins and could also be used for once-off negotiations. This strategy uses persuasion to get the other party to agree with the negotiating party’s terms. 

  1. Yielding

Yielding is a negotiation strategy that proves to be valuable in ongoing negotiations. When one yields in negotiations, it means that you – the negotiating party – accept terms that might not be valuable to you but are to the other party. 

  1. Compromising

When you compromise, both parties meet in the middle. This could also mean that both parties would only be moderately satisfied with the outcome.

  1. Inaction

When a party takes on an inactive approach, they are buying time. The intention may even be to get the other party to sweat a little, but the main purpose here is to get as much information as possible in order to make a calculated move.

Webinar on Event Planning Contract Negotiations.

Join us this Thursday, June 10th, at InEvent Talks – Negotiation 101, where two top experts on negotiation will tackle the life-saving principles of negotiation & communication and the best tools and tactics for virtual negotiations.

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