We often get asked, ‘What makes you different to anyone else’? and our general response is always: ‘experience, attention to detail and ensuring we know exactly what you are looking for’.

There is of course a lot more to it than simply those few words, but the reality is, the more we know about the event, the more likely we are to be able to deliver the clients, (and their guests), truly memorable experiences.

It is a step-by-step process, the first step is for the key decision makers to all buy into the need to choose the right company.

Procurement departments generally start by looking at the price and regretfully there is generally a disconnect between the marketing and the procurement department. It is important that both parties clearly understand the goal, the objectives and the reasons why professionals must always be chosen over price.

The very best marketing managers, (and their board), understand what they are looking for. The procurement are generally not on-board the decision because they almost every time base their decisions on the only thing they have in front of them – the price.

Here are a few pointers that will help them in this regard:-

  • Collaborate, communicate and cooperate: Easier said than done, but essential if the team is to be all on board with hiring the right agency.
  • Hire Professionals: Many people think that event organization is a matter of making a few phones calls and booking suppliers. Event planning and organization/management is a complex set of carefully planned and highly experienced anticipations/decisions. Hire agencies based on experience, not on name. Never hire an International company on the name alone, without verifying their local experience.
  • Define your requirements: If you do not brief the company properly do not expect them to guess what you really want.
  • Do not expect agencies to fund your event: You will hear people asking agencies the financial strength of their company and the strength of team on the ground – all of this is irrelevant largely due to the fact that many agencies, if not all, have a great pool of freelance experts they know and trust. Never hire an agency that has a team of 200 people because you are likely to be charged for people you are not even using. Look for the mid-sized company that is lean and mean, (cost effective), not cheap – cheap is a dirty word used only by amateurs. Professionals cost money for a reason – they know what they are doing.
  • NEVER send an RFP to 10 companies and shortlist half a dozen of them: If you have done your research properly you will have 2-3 agencies to choose from and you will look at their track record, their experience and decide based on the ability of the best company to achieve your goals.
  • Look for creativity and the amount of effort they have put in to understanding your requirements: If you have prepared a great brief, sat with the companies and carefully explained what you want – then listen to the ideas they give you, the advice they offer and take advantage of the experience they have.
  • Qualify and quantify: Score them by all means, use software if you must, but the real reasons you work with someone are: you like them, you trust them, you believe in them, your sense their enthusiasm for your particular requirements, you are happy to work closely with them and share the experience, but most of all – trust them to do what they do because they know as well as you do, they are judged based on their ability to deliver exactly what you expected, (or in some cases – way beyond that!)

James Magee
Director at Global Event Management Group

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