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Partnerships and why Purpose matters

Live Matters took place in Hong Kong on the 2nd March and set the tone for a busy upcoming month of events in the city – live experiences are officially back.

Well-timed ahead of International Women’s Day, Kathryn Rhodes – Regional Director – Asia, hosted an all-woman panel focused on partnerships and why purpose matters.  Expert panelists included Catherine Gibbs – Head of Sponsorship at AIA, Hanane Sabri- Head of Racing Marketing at Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), and Deborah Caldwell – APAC Head of Global Events at Bank of America.

The discussion touched on valuable insights regarding the power of the collective and the need to find partners with a shared vision.  Catherine Gibbs highlighted the great work being done by AIA and long-term partner, Tottenham Hotspur, as an example of authentic collaboration and shared value. Using the power of football, the partnership has seen successes across the region for over a decade on both a business and community level. And we are proud to have been supporting AIA over this time as their agency of record.

Turning to the topic of sustainability, panelists agreed this is now a non-negotiable for all businesses. But how do we play our part? “When it comes to events, we need to ask the right questions of our vendors” emphasized Caldwell from Bank of America. Whilst taking the sustainable option is not always the most cost-effective, Caldwell challenged businesses to consider how they can drive sustainable change within their budgets.

Sabri from HKJC further highlighted the importance of giving back and encouraged businesses to explore community partnerships on our doorstep. HKJC has long supported a number of local community organizations, and this commitment forms part of the DNA of their business. Sabri further shared that HKJC’s investment in the community is front-of-mind when looking for the right brand partner. The ability to make a social impact through partnership will be crucial in HKJC’s plans to evolve the future of racing in the Hong Kong, and to become a world-class destination for entertainment.

As a final question, Rhodes asked how we can ensure our partnerships are fail-safe.  Gibbs’ final takeaway for the day: “Ensure the shared vision and values are communicated up front. Long-term partnerships also require some agility to each other’s needs and conditions.  Allow yourselves the playground to innovate, create and evolve together.