Choosing the right event organiser
As companies and smaller businesses in South Africa increasingly appreciate the value of company events as an effective marketing exercise, the inevitable quest is for an events management firm that can deliver value. In a heavily overtraded industry, where does one begin?
Certainly the events management supplier should be recruited as rigorously as one would appoint a new member of staff, because essentially you are outsourcing company business that will reflect most strongly your brand and ethos.
The obvious starting point is to look at an events company's experience. It's the first determining factor when trying to sort the wheat from the chaff. How long have they been in the business? Can they show you their client list? Do they have a selection of recommendations or testimonials on hand? What sort of projects have they worked on?
The next consideration is their flair or creative skill. The events organisers you appoint will work with your brand and be required to plan functions that showcase your company and your products. Do they have the creative flair that is fundamental to events management? Do they have an eye for what works? Does their vision link with your company's brand? Do they show an insight into how an event can benefit your company? This kind of expertise can usually only be displayed during a tailored presentation to your company, although recommendations from other firms or a comprehensive portfolio may also be useful.
Then you need to bear in mind that the events team will be working closely with you over a concentrated period of time. Do they form a cohesive group that inspires confidence? The qualities of good team work are key indicators because planning an event is a hands-on exercise where every member of the team needs to be involved, cooperative, proactive, flexible and responsive. So look closely at the team that you select to supply you with an events management service. Positive qualities to look out for are:
Other considerations could include whether there is synergy between your company and the events team in their vision and style of working. Is their management style compatible with that of your company? This is especially important since you will be inviting this service provider to work closely with your marketing department. They should also display an empathy and interest in the vision of your company.
There needs to be evidence of best management practice in the events company, as this is a service provider who will be required to establish a working partnership with your company's best interests at heart. Their management style will impact on the quality of their service. It will also be much easier to establish a cooperative and supportive relationship between your staff and the events team, if there is a foundation of mutual respect.
Does the events company possess a measure of passion and integrity? Because this relationship will be more than just business – these professionals will be required to take your core marketing objectives and the essence of your brand and infuse these into public events that expose your company in the full glare of the spotlight. Can you trust them to serve your interests?
Events marketing strategy is the future of events planning, and forward thinking companies in South Africa are already selecting events partners with this in mind. So, finally, perhaps the most useful question to ask yourself is whether you would welcome their input in your company's longer-term marketing strategy? If their expertise inspires this level of confidence, you have found your events management partner!
About Janyce Currin
Janyce Currin is head of Currin’t Events (www.currintevents.co.za), a BEE events company primarily servicing the corporate market with a 10-year proven track record of well-managed events that meet clients’ objectives and specific needs. Contact Janyce on +27 (0)11 783 8869 for further details.