Corporate Site Visits – How to do it right

I’m on my second Corporate Site Visit (CVS) in recent months. Corporate Site Visits (or from the companies viewpoint Customer Site Visits) are when a bunch of people from a customer’s shop come to visit the company usually to talk deeper technical talk than they can get from the sales reps.

These visits cost us something on the order $20K to 25K (for 7 people to miss 3 days of work, fly, hotel etc). Corporations: You need to work to make sure that our visit is worth $20K.

Things you should do:

(1) Visit us before the CVS and lay the groundwork for the visit. Get through all of the sales talk and explain your products.

(2) Listen to us and learn about our IT landscape and work with us to determine where your products might fit.

(3) Gather a list of questions that we have about your products and their fit PRIOR to the visit. Then line up speakers who can answer the questions

(4) Make sure that there is time in the agenda for more round-table discussions not just hours of PowerPoint poisoning.

(5) Find out when everyone is coming in, where they are staying, if they have special needs.

(6) Arrange to get the visitors from the Airport to the Hotel unless they specifically request that you don’t.

(7) Find out if the groups has technology requirements (wireless access, VPN access)

(8) Send out a detailed agenda for the visit a week in advance. The agenda should include – pick-up times at the hotel, meeting schedule, short bio of attendees, important phone numbers, meals and a who to contact line.

(9) If you are providing drinks and food during the meetings, provide a variety of fresh fruit and healthy snakes. Have bottled water in the room. Go the extra mile and have sliced lemons or limes.

(10) Have frequent bio breaks and a longer break in the afternoon where people can walk around, stretch their legs and process what they heard in the morning.

Also (11) When you need to have dinner arrangements for 14 people, don’t make them an hour before you plan on eating.

UPDATED March 2, 2006 –

(12) The host should email the Next Steps that were identified during the meeting with the name (and email) of the person who owns the task. This should happen within 24 – 48 hours of the meeting.

(13) Within a week, the host should send out slides and contact info of the presenters if it was agreed that the slides would be shared.

That’s M2CW.

1 thought on “Corporate Site Visits – How to do it right

  1. alanwolf

    I agree with 11 and it’s point about planning ahead, but I think it might be as valuable to break into smaller groups as a conscious plan. A host or two and a few of the visitors; it could be a BOF kind of group. It might be the introvert in me, but I get lost in large dinner groups, I want to hear everything, so I really hear nothing. After a long day in a large group, a smaller group is more relaxing, and productive getting to know a couple people well, and it is much easier to get reservations. Just a thought.

    Great blog, Jim.

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