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Extend The Reach And Impact Of Your Partner Conference



Partner conferences offer a unique opportunity to reach your channel and to share goals, strategy and even connect on an individual level with members of the executive team. However, really connecting with your audience requires a clear understanding of who you are talking to, and what you want from them.

One effective way to frame your thinking is through a “Know-Feel-Do” matrix. This lets you outline the relevant audiences, as well as the takeaways you want them to leave with. Using this framework as a base, you can also test your messaging across presenters and presentations to make sure that it aligns to your larger goals for the event.

Breaking it down, there are 3 messaging goals to identify:


Like Joe Friday said, “Just the facts ma’am.” This is the academic “what” with which you want your audience to leave.

The Know section can range from an execution plan, to the details of a new incentive program, to the broader strategic direction to which you are moving. The key here is that you lay out the main information points with which people should take away.


Lay out the emotional response you would like to elicit from your audience. For example, do you want them to be scared of the status quo, excited about your new approach or confident in your direction and leadership team?

Knowing how you want them to feel will help you test word choice as you put together your messaging later on.


So now that you have their rapt attention and interest, so what? The Do section is critical since it turns interest into action. When putting this section together you need to consider 2 things:

  1. Limit yourself to 3-5 key actions per audience. If you tell a person that they can succeed after 17 easy steps, the odds of them doing any of them go down.
  2. Be specific. Whether you want them to reach out to an account manager or review the revenue opportunity of selling your latest offering, this is no time to hide the ball.

Clearly knowing your audience will help you build a better relationship, which in turn can help change a point in time event into something far more enduring. Coolio said it best, “They say I got ta learn, but nobody's here to teach me. If they can't understand it, how can they reach me?”

What do you think? What has worked for you? What didn’t?

Richard Flynn

Richard Flynn

Richard Flynn is a recognized leader in channels and go-to-market business strategy and execution. A Founding Partner and Chief Marketing Officer for The Spur Group, Richard has over 25 years of go-to-market experience in sales transformation, channel management, and customer marketing. He leads the firm’s strategic planning and marketing efforts, including customer experience, competitive strategy, and market execution.