07 Jun

Why Executive Roundtables – In Person or Virtual – Are A Far Superior Alternative To Webinars

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Executive roundtables tap our carefully curated network of interactors, identifying those that fit the profile of your ideal prospective client. Those executives are invited to small, intimate gatherings, not to hear a sales pitch, but to discuss a key issue facing their executive function and industry. Of course, the key issue selected is one that you can help these executives and their companies solve. For example, an IT outsourcer may want to promote their nearshore advantages made more relevant by the US administration’s H1-B policy, challenges of re-engineering for a cloud-native ecosystem; Maintaining a workforce in the face of full employment, etc.

The Current US Administration’s denial of H1-B Visa applications creates a tremendous opportunity for nearshore service providers who can tap local talent, or house offshore talent in nearshore locations such as Canada or the Caribbean. An example roundtable might bring together executives to discuss the challenges created by US visa policy for temporary professionals.

It is important that these roundtables are interactive, centered around an exchange of ideas among those present and are not slide shows or webinars (have you ever dialed into a webinar and immediately stopped paying attention?). The roundtables are not presentations, but an interactive environment where these executives discuss these issues freely among themselves, and with your executives participating in the discussion.

As a credible third party, my team & I organize these events in target markets you identify. Prospects attend because it is a true “meeting of the minds” and they know they are not taking time out of their schedule simply to hear a sales pitch. Generally, they are organized in an upscale hotel or other meeting venue in large cities reachable by the majority of the prospects to be invited. Alternatively, guests can be invited, with travel covered by you, to a location city to showcase your facilities. Roundtables are either morning events where breakfast is served, ending with a networking lunch after the session, or afternoon sessions followed by a networking reception. The reception or lunch provides a time for your executives to interact one-on-one with prospects in a conducive environment after hearing in detail the “pain points” expressed by each prospect during the roundtable. Of course, the flow of the discussion during the roundtable is guided in such a way to provide maximum business intelligence for your organization and executives.

Here is an example of a recent Executive Roundtable we conducted for global IT outsourcing firm Unisys. In their case, the US headquartered outsourcer wanted to engage with Colombia’s largest financial firms. https://www.financecolombia.com/executive-roundtable-held-by-microsoft-and-unisys-in-bogota-uncovers-digital-transformation-keys-to-success/ Of course, we publish and publicize these roundtables providing marketing benefit to you as well as sales benefits. In the Unisys example, the roundtable guests were CIOs of Colombia’s largest financial firms (Banks, insurers, etc.) who gathered to candidly discuss their challenges and frustrations with cloud migration. You will notice that we publicized our client Unisys, who was partnering with Microsoft for this event, but did not identify any company in attendance, nor their sensitive security challenges that they shared.

Here is a similar event we organized on behalf of the government of Quebec, Canada: https://www.financecolombia.com/quebec-delegation-visits-medellin-to-connect-with-colombian-construction-industry/

Example Objective: Schedule one or more in-person or virtual executive roundtables over the next year in major target markets, each attended by 15-25 senior executives from identified prospects.

Key Results: You and your team will meet face to face and have the opportunity to engage with each prospect executive during the event. At least 5 prospects will be in an active buying phase, resulting in a minimum of 3 immediate (short-term) opportunities to bid or propose services. A minimum of 75% of the remaining attendees qualify as ongoing prospects for you.

Advantage: Sponsoring typical tech or outsourcing industry events means attending an event with up to dozens of competitors or irrelevant vendors, and prospecting to an audience of which less than 5% might be suitable prospects for your product or service offering. (We have all been to events like this, have we not?) High level executives on the buy-side tend not to attend these events but send lower level managers.

At our executive roundtables, only vetted executives from verified potential prospect companies are in attendance, and you are the only vendor present, unless like Unisys partnered with Microsoft in our example, you may want to bring in a partner or co-sponsor such as an investment promotion agency or infrastructure partner—often they are willing to share costs or offer marketing dollars.

We do all the work from researching prospective companies, identifying and inviting executives, handling the venue logistics, confirming the attendance of the invitees, and publicizing the event, including interviewing willing executives in attendance for future thought leadership pieces and white papers edited on your behalf.

Contact me today to explore putting this winning strategy to work for your organization.


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