We recently undertook a survey of over 100 company CEOs, MD’s, Directors of Marketing and other decision makers to questions the challenges businesses will face in the future when planning hospitality and events for guests and stakeholders.
“Over the next 3 years, in your opinion, what are going to be the main factors in the provision of events for your stakeholders? Suggested answers below, please tick all that apply or insert your own observations.”
Five options were offered; some of which are factors at present. These included with the results:
|Availability of new technology||7.14%|
|Using business/department approved suppliers||6.43%|
|More bids and tendering||42.86%|
|Client demands – expecting something different||28.50%|
|More fallout from the Bribery Act?||14.20%|
In our extensive experience, we are seeing and hearing more and more clients stating that the Bribery Act is something that can’t be ignored, and also managing client expectations. Even though the UK economy is “on the up”, there is still some prudence being exercised relative to marketing budget being spent on hospitality.
None of these options are affecting private clients who have a high net worth.
What did the results tell us?
Overwhelmingly, 42.8% of our respondents said that they expected more bids and tendering when organising and booking the corporate event or hospitality. What does this tell us? Increasingly, suppliers who are successful when bidding or sitting in an approved “pool” of suppliers will have Key Performances Indicators (KPIs) applied to their offerings, so Return on Investment can be attributed to every penny of marketing spend – including events, functions and the like.
Agencies offering corporate events need to be aware of this when pitching for new business and retaining current clients, if and when they change process. There will be more hoops to jump through and increased account management. Will this come at the expense of thinking creatively about the brief they’ve been/could be given? Time will tell.
The second most popular item to watch for is “client demands”. With more “specialists” offering events related services – there has been an 8% increase in the number of agencies opening – until clients are bound by approved suppliers and bids and tendering, they are going to fish in the pond of events agencies. This is good, yet also presents challenges.
What clients are looking for is creativity, and not a templated service that you’ve used on another client or proposal. Occasionally, you can get away with it, but one day you may get caught out. It’s the finer detail that clients and customers are looking for, with an emphasis on superb experiences which makes their budget go further. It is also relevant now to state that engaging with an agency – like Oliver Myles Events – with a demonstrable track record can bring rich benefits. Check the credentials of the agency you’re working with, whilst a “fresh” agency may be vibrant, but will they offer the universal experience to meet your objectives?
Agencies need to tread carefully around the Bribery Act reckon 14.2% of the respondents. This is clearly taken seriously, and some clients will take this into account to ensure the event or hospitality they are organising could be misunderstood.
With a drive for efficiency being sought by all businesses, these factors listed above are also being seen in all business functions such as finance, HR, marketing, logistics. Time will tell us if these indications will all come to fruition, however, with over 42% of respondents stating that more bids and tendering will be required, it’s something ought to get used to.