Friday, 4 September 2009
Meeting with a group of German IT companies in Potsdam in preparation for the marketing assistance programme to the UK, I was again struck by the diversity and ingenuity of their ideas. As part of the afternoon they were supposed to fill in company information forms, ostensibly to assist with our market researchers. Like forms everywhere, my fear was that they would inexplicably lack the company's vibrant USPs, so essential for our market researchers to understand if they were to successfully find interested UK contacts. Having been up since 4 in the morning that same day, the silence of studious form filling was also likely to be highly soporific!
So we tried something different! Pairing up, one of the pairs would describe their company, its goals and ambitions, which the other partner would then interpret and use to fill in the form. The roles were then reversed. At the end, each company gave a presentation. In fact, we've We even had one company brave enough to give the presentation of their partners in English to general applause!
The background hubub and engagement was stimulating, the presentations informative. The companies gained useful insights and practice in honing their pitch in a safe environment. Even better, there was also a bit of networking afterwards! An application for a XING group has been initiated.
My suggestion is therfore to use a future networking meeting to try this with a trusted partner.
1. Describe your company, ethos and offers briefly
2. then see what your partner understood and reflects back to you
3. Of course, you can return the favour!
The slideshow is of Potsdam and the museums in Berlin, two cities in constant change, which may also reflect the positive forward looking attitudes of the companies from this region.