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Ashfield Meetings & Events investigates digital partnership

Company says it is "identifying" technology partner to strengthen digital offering

Pictured: Nicola Burns, Ashfield Meetings & Events global MD

Ashfield Meetings & Events has hinted it could soon partner with a digital company, to strengthen its technology offerings in line with client demand.

The pharma specialist agency's global MD Nicola Burns said the company wanted a "robust solution" to increased need for event technology, but says it is still in the discussion phase.

"We've spent a lot of time identifying partner organisations we can move forward with. We're not a technology house so we've spent quite a bit of time identifying key partners we can move with," she said.

"We're in discussions with them but it's not something we can talk further about."

Burns said more clients, namely those in the younger, millennial, generation were asking for digital, with event apps a favourite.

"We've seen a real shift in client expectations and I think it's a generational thing, as more young people move into client organisations. They don't want the traditional delegate packages and brochures, they're much more comfortable about things being done on apps, and also being done in environmentally friendly ways."

It comes after Ashfield Meetings & Events revealed its pre-tax earnings hit £4.9 million in 2015, compared to £3.58m in the previous 12 months; an increase of 31 per cent. It's full accounts are yet to be published.

Burns added that its office move and investment in staff had helped the positive results.

"We moved offices at the end of 2014 and the financial impact of that hit us in 2015," she explained.

"That's had a really positive effect on business; we're in our own space, designed to suit our needs. We've seen staff really excited by the change, it's breathed new life into the business.

"We've just moved our US office as well, into a newly refurbished space. It's not necessarily direct investment in business, but it's an investment in people. Having a nice environment and fun place to work in is as important as anywhere else."

Staff recruitments include a series of experiential designers, and the appointment of Le-Anne Penn to the business development team.

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