New Partnerships—What to Look for to Get Them Right

Looking for a partner with a solid reputation isn’t just a good piece of advice—it’s essential— as is aligning organizational goals, objectives and values. And that goes for any industry you may be in.

So, how exactly do you go about finding such a match?

You can start by doing some online research, but these days digital reputations can be manipulated by skilled consultants, so caution is advised.

Word-of-mouth is often a solid source since good news spreads fast, and bad news spreads even faster.

However, we think the most reliable form of reputation truth-telling is professional endorsements, awards and certifications. So what is it that makes them so valuable? 

In a word, objectivity. These third-party approvals actually put the endorsing body’s reputation on the line, so they typically put a great deal of effort into getting them right. Plus, they’re done by industry professionals who are in the perfect position to know what elements of a reputation matter most and how to accurately assess them.

Different certifications also cover a range of key qualifications you may be looking for in in a partner. For example, in our industry, a couple crucial certifications to look for are Event Marketer’s Fab 50, and Exhibitor Magazine’s Find It – Top 40, both of which are lists of top U.S. event and trade show fabricators. The Experiential Designers and Producers Association (EDPA) also has an RFP Certification program that screens experiential agency applicants so thoroughly, you can confidently skip the RFI and go straight to RFP.

MSM, by the way, holds all of these certifications, so we’re intimately familiar with their rigorous requirements and can attest to their value. Finding out what those top two or three are for your industry is a good starting point in the hunt for a new partner.

Awards for design achievements or exceptional service, like the Diverse Supplier of the Year recognition received from our client this past year, are also quite telling of the type of partnership a company offers and what it values as an organization.

No matter what you’re looking for, a great cultural fit is at the core of a successful partnership. We hope these insights will prove valuable in your own search for the right partner.

For more information about the importance of business reputations in general, click here.


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