Looking back at the 2019 Brand Partnership Forum
The partnership marketing community gathered in Nashville for the 9th Annual Brand Partnership Forum from October 16-19, 2019 and everyone was buzzing! From the opening night party on Wednesday until brunch on Saturday, the event was a tremendous success. Here’s a recap of the event!
New Faces… New Companies!
With 150 attendees from over 100 different companies, we were thrilled to introduce the new attendess to the Brand Partnership Forum. Some of these first-time companies included Carnival Cruise Line, Exxon-Mobil, Holland America Line, Lionsgate Entertainment, Hershey’s, Madison Square Garden Company, MGM Resorts International, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Planet Fitness, Regal Cinemas, Sam’s Club and Spotify. These companies joined alumni from entertainment companies and brands like Kellogg’s, DreamWorks, Sesame, Sony TV, Warner Bros. Pictures, Universal Pictures, Clear Channel, Henkel, Valpak, Universal Music Group, Just Born, PlayStation, Lego, Six Flags, and Discovery. Non-profits organizations were also well represented by companies like Special Olympics, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, St. Jude, Best Friends Animal Society, American Cancer Society, Humane Society of the US, Habitat for Humanity, YMCA, ASPCA and more. Additional companies are mentioned throughout this post!
The Forum’s Opening Night Party, sponsored by Disney Music Group, kicked off the event!
Analog at the Hutton Hotel was the perfect venue for the Forum’s Opening Night Party. Everyone in attendance said that the night felt like a college reunion. The evening was hosted by Disney Music Group and featured a live performance from their group, Temecula Road (https://www.instagram.com/temecularoad/)
Sessions on Thursday jumped right into partnership marketing trends, tactics and insights!
The purpose of the event is to share trends, insights and partnership marketing tactics from each of the presenting companies and industries. Attendees were treated to Industry Insights on Thursday from Kellogg’s, Blue Diamond, Planet Fitness and Burlington Stores.
While casual conversations introduce attendees to great partnership opportunities, our RoadShow Snapshots provided a deeper dive into key initiatives. These 5-minute “snapshots” were delivered by Big Machine Label Group, The Country Music Association, Disney Music Group, iHeart Radio, Kidz Bop and Universal Music Group. The highly-concentrated format allowed everyone to leave with a quick review and the appropriate contact at each music company.
One of our favorite traditions takes place as we close out the main sessions on Thursday. For years now, kids from the local Boys & Girls Clubs of America chapter greet attendees as they exit the ballroom with smiles, cheers, and cookies! What a perfect way to send off attendees as they prepare for the Thursday night activities.
Thanks to A+E, Thursday’s lunch was one for the “history” books
Whether you are a history buff or not, A+E’s lunch was fun… and educational too! The lunch celebrated History Channel’s 25th Anniversary and added some new attendees into the mix. Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman and General Grant treated our attendees with stories from the past.
Time to hit Broadway! A special night presented by Xbox and The L.A. Office
Our annual trip into the heart of Nashville is always a Forum highlight! Nashville Underground was the perfect venue to kick the night off. The reception was sponsored by Xbox in celebration of the new platform release, GEARS 5! The video floor showed attendees playing GEARS 5 while the bar poured spirits from Campari and wine from Fetzer Vineyards.
Nashville Underground’s rooftop was the spot for our dinner under the stars! The evening celebrated The L.A. Office’s 25th Anniversary and brought together three LA Office favorites… food, drinks and fun! Dinner was a BBQ buffet and it was perfectly punctuated with 1000 Stories wine. After dinner, something crazy happened for about an hour. If you were there… you know what I mean. If you weren’t, you will have to ask someone that was!
Friday: More Insights, Opportunities, Games and a visit from Peppa Pig
Allowing for a little time to sleep in, sessions kicked off at 9:30am with a session from Best Buy, who spoke about their turnaround story and partnership activities.
From there, we moved to a snapshot presentation from PlayMonster, followed by a quick game of “Relative Insanity” that invited a handful of attendees to choose captions for potential memes of pictures from previous events.
Design agency WC+A then presented their capabilities (ps. they did all the design work for the Forum), which lead right into Snapshots from our Corporate Members in the TV industry: A+E Networks, Crown Media, Disney Channel, DreamWorks Animation, eOne, NBC Universal, pocket.watch, Sesame Workshop, and Sony Pictures Television.
After a presentation of case studies from ZOe Productions, who is instrumental in putting on our events, we headed to lunch and then returned to our final sessions. Green Giant provided terrific information on B&G’s acquisition of the brand, its place in a larger portfolio, and their marketing and partnership priorities.
It was now time to have some more fun… picking winners for The BIG Ticket! Big thanks for our prizing partners: Fetzer Vineyards, Fandango, PlayMonster, Planet Fitness, Burlington Stores, and Xbox!
After prizing, we heard the backstory of the Grand ‘Ol Opry, which ended the sessions for the day.
Big Machine Label Group sponsored our Friday reception and provided a top-notch talent showcase
Big Machine Label Group led us into an artist session at Analog with musicians Payton Smith (https://www.instagram.com/thepaytonsmith) and Avenue Beat (https://www.instagram.com/avenuebeat/)! After a really special performance, everyone was able to mix and mingle with the team from Big Machine and their artists. The afternoon ended with everyone wanting more!!
Keep The Conversations Going on MarketingPartnerships.com!
The Forum brought together a community of marketing professionals with the goal of great conversation and creating relationships that will help in future partnership activities. All of the attendees gained access to the Forum Event Page on MarketingPartnerships.com where they can see and connect with everyone that attended the Forum. Over 200 partnerships have been born from relationships created at these events and many more were nurtured through the site. Check out the event page on MarketingPartnerships.com today!
What People are Saying About the Forum
“This is not only the best-produced conference I have ever attended, the removal of aggressive sales people creates an environment where real connections can happen.” – Joe Corn, Sam’s Club
“Continues to be a step above the rest in terms of industry conferences. Great exclusivity, amazing attendees, and life long relationships!” – Scott McAdams, PlayStation
“It’s an event that delivers on all of its promises, connections, insights, and new ideas are all to be found at the Forum.” – Lance Still, A+E Networks
“I walk away from every LAO event with new contacts, new ideas, and new insight on the industry.” – Jackie Collins, Disney Music Group
“Content is very diverse – which makes you think beyond your normal partners and see how you could do things differently!” – Deb Turoczy, Just Born Quality Confections
“A causal forum that truly invites you to network in a way that isn’t forced where you hear from a variety of industries and learn best practices that sparks future ideas.” – Dani Merkrebs, eOne
“Best partnership forum available. Not one wasted moment as you’re meeting decision makers representing dozens of brands who want to partner with you today.” – Neil Roberts, Tennis Channel
“This conference is an annual part of our partnership planning and strategy. It consistently delivers premium content, quality attendees, and impactful connections.” – Tony Barnett, Boys & Girls Clubs
“If your brand benefits from partnership marketing, you need to be here. (One of the few conferences where the speakers ARE the attendees. They don’t simply bounce after their presentations).” – Rebecca Frommer, ASPCA
“The most strategic forum to be if you want to cultivate long-lasting business relationships that will result in lucrative partnerships.” – Stefanie Luciano, Fathom Events
The Calm Before the Storm
Each year, the teams from The L.A. Office and ZOe Productions enjoy a night on the town before the Forum begins. This year’s Tuesday night kicked off at House of Cards Nashville before hitting a few bars on Broadway!
Special Thanks to our Forum Sponsors
Corporate Sponsors: Campari, Cost Plus, Kellogg’s, PlayMonster and Xbox
Non-Profit Partners: Boys and Girls Club of America, Special Olympics, and St. Jude Children’s Hospital
Gold Sponsor and Marketing Partner: WC+A
Special Activity Sponsors: A+E, Big Machine Label Group, and Disney Music Group
Supporting Sponsors: Allied Global Marketing, Brookfield, Fandango, Fetzer, Lime Media, Nextperience, Niagara, The Dot, The Marketing Store, TPN, ZakHill and ZOe Productions