Among the programs I developed and ran at Harvard Business Publishing is the Longitudes series created in collaboration with UPS. These events presented thought leadership on global trade and supply chain management to an audience of top UPS customers. We held these events in Chicago, Frankfurt, New York, Paris, Shanghai, and Toronto. I had the privilege to work with presenters such as the CEOs of Procter & Gamble, Williams Sonoma, Premier Farnell, and others as well as executives from Disney, IBM, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and a wide range of other companies. Academic leaders from around the world added their insights and I can’t forget Presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, F.W. DeKlerk, Vincente Fox, Mikhail Gorbachev, Vaclev Havel, and Lech Walesa.
UPS was a great client with which to work: their top management team was deeply invested in the program, they were truly engaged in the ideas and the concept that educating their customers would pay dividends (and at one point revealed that the Longitudes program had a 500% ROI), and were just all around nice people. The program won the Silver Anvil from the PR Society of America in 2006 and, subsequently, two other top industry awards: Gold award for Best Multi-Venue Event(B-to-B) as given by Event Marketer magazine’s EX Awards and the silver award for the Best Business to Business campaign as given by the Marketing Agencies Association Globe Awards.
I’ve attached the summary report from the last of the events: Longitudes ’08 held in Barcelona. If you’d like information on any of the others or about how to use thought leadership events to engage more deeply with a key constituency, please be in touch.