A major agency will employ around 25 experts, all of whom will have years of experience and destination knowledge. Agencies which have been in business for around 20 years will have developed a databank of thousands of different experiences. They will also commit time and money into research and development, ensuring that every client is provided with information on the latest trends and fresh ideas, venues and destinations. No innovation or pricing deal is missed.
2. Licensing and security
Professional agencies are set up for your security. In times of economic volatility, where airlines are at risk of going into administration, a licensed agency’s method of bonding mitigates your risk, and, as long as your programme is fully managed through that agency, your entire programme and monies paid are protected.
3. Overhead control, productivity, efficiency
By outsourcing, your overheads are minimised. Outsourcing to experts ensures maximum efficiency, allowing you to concentrate on engaging experts in your own line of trade, whether that’s finance, automotive, telecommunications or other. Managing your overhead will be crucial to survival in the next period – human resource, paper, telephone calls, electricity, desk space. Don’t get busy being busy. Get busy making money in what you do as a business.
4. Supplier relationships
Event management is not just about following a template from A – Z. It’s about maximising and drawing down on agency/supplier relationships which have been established over many years. A long-established relationship can be relied on: in an hour of need; to get that extra negotiation; that added value; that access to a venue which otherwise would be denied. Service Level Agreements which are already in place ensure that the code for quality, delivery and cost is already a tried and tested modus operandi. You will be assured of best product and best price.
When working with an agency there is clear accountability. This is their sole and primary focus on your behalf. You can demand and expect excellence and you can expect to pay the agreed price only on delivery of that excellence. It is common place for a Corporate’s in-house team to get pulled in different directions, resulting in the internal event getting less priority than it warrants. Outsourced to an agency, the event is always treated with the highest priority.
Event management is a legal minefield. Major agencies will have already negotiated and agreed terms with many key hotels, airlines and ground agents. Contracts will have already been through a rigorous legal process. The larger agencies will have experts dedicated to negotiating the best terms and ensuring no loop holes – from cancellation and attrition, to reselling, no-walk clauses, non-compete business and more besides. Contracting through an agency ensures you benefit from the skilled knowledge and expertise and ensures there will be no nasty surprises.
7. Team strength
Larger agencies have the flexibility to mould the size of their team to the nature of project and lead time. They will have expertise across all aspects – from delegate registration and air management to programme design and event delivery. Agencies work as teams, not in isolation. With increasing frequency, agencies are required to parachute in at the last minute to support a client in running their event as their allocated member of staff is sick, or has had to be pulled off in a different direction. Engagement of an agency from the outset ensures strength in team and return on your investment through excellent delivery.