16 Feb 2021 by David

Why All Event Agencies Are Not Equal Anymore!

Peter Jackson gives his insight on what the future holds for the event buyer post Covid.

If you’re thinking about engaging with an event agency or issuing a brief, RFI or RFP, you need to read this before going any further.

The Pandemic has changed everything.

Over recent Covid-19-affected months the UK and Ireland agency and supplier landscape has changed significantly and navigating the new ‘normal’ can present a potential minefield for unwary brands, clients and event IP owners.

As an event industry professional, I ran my own highly successful agency, Clive, for over fifteen years. I now help clients avoid the potential minefield that event planning will be in the future.

Skills & Capabilities – Almost all agencies have endured tremendous challenges just to stay afloat throughout the various lockdowns and restrictions of the last 12-months.  Skillsets have been eroded, core capabilities undermined, brand values and culture have been put on the back burner.  Lastly financial probity of many agencies has been massively adversely affected.  Couple all this with the headlong race towards virtual connections in a new market where almost all agencies present some kind of digital offering or capability and inevitably some will clearly be more capable than others.

Brand Fit – Even if we weren’t enduring these current challenges as an industry, I would still be encouraging brands to engage wisely and cautiously with their supply chain. With Clive we had an agency with a personality, offering and unique set of capabilities that resonated with particular market sectors and industries.  Clearly, we were never going to be the right agency for everyone, nor did we want to be.  But the clients with whom we built that special connection and who understood our personality as a business, received in return a level of service, creativity, commitment and ultimately results that was second to none.

Pricing Structure – In my experience agencies adopt vastly different pricing structures when it comes to charging for their work.  Some charge a percentage mark up, some charge a flat fee, some charge for time, some charge a retainer and some try to do all four!  Knowing when you’re getting value for money from your agency and having a transparent relationship as far as budget is concerned is vitally important. Access to specialist insight, experience and knowledge of the tricks of the agency trade you will ensure you’re achieving maximum ROI from your partners.

So, with these three points in mind, now more than ever wise brand and event IP owners should be interrogating their supply chain intelligently and diligently in order to make sure that they engage with the agency or supplier that is right for them and will deliver effectively on their objectives.  Sounds easy doesn’t it?

But without a knowledgeable and experienced friend on your side, it’s easy to unwittingly step roundly in the proverbial s##t.


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