Pictured: representatives from across the events sector discussed the latest trends and challenges in a luncheon organised by events by tlc and GMC at Quaglino's on Tuesday
collaborations between destination management companies (DMCs) and agencies, as
well as simplifying requests for proposals (RFPs), have been flagged as two of
the biggest challenges for the events industry.
issues were aired in a luncheon and panel discussion at Quaglino's
restaurant, organised by events by tlc and its UK sales office GMC. It gathered
14 representatives from different industry sectors including agency, corporate
Assis, CEO of events by tlc Group, said the discussion was aimed to help the
industry develop better relationships and best practices. He said he would use
feedback to continue innovating his company's internal practices to better
the issue of security, Micebook founder Chetan Shah said planners and DMCs
operated well independently but could improve their collaborative work.
no communication between agencies and DMCs on joint security plans. Each has
their own plan. I think there's a lot more awareness but actually (putting in
place contingencies) is quite bad," he said.
also depends on the industry; in oil and gas and other sectors it's a norm and
the clients are asking for it. For others you'll ask 'what's your crisis
management plan' and they're going 'I don't know'."
said the industry was 'shockingly' undervalued, adding that agencies and
suppliers were being ever more squeezed on profit margins.
have all these external pressures and we're being asked to deliver the same
amount of quality for less. Margins used to be up to 20 per cent… now they're
so squeezed. But there's so much competition that agencies have no choice but
to deal with it."
said new destinations such as Porto in Portugal, Costa Brava in Spain or
Brazil, particularly following the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup, offered
new value for clients.
Scales, MD at GMC, added that clients were shopping around with more agencies
and putting out RFPs that didn't offer enough information.
Freer, sales and commercial director at Absolute Corporate Events, said the industry needed to re-address its
expectations across the supply chain.
think corporates expect too much of the agencies … and the agencies expect too
much of suppliers. It's our job to narrow (RFPs) down and feed the right
information," she said.
added that when it came to tightening margins, agencies were having to absorb
more costs to retain clients.
events from 2016, such as Brexit and the election of US president Donald Trump,
were also discussed.
Kenworthy, MD at TMB Events, said: "Brexit has been more of an effect for
us because of the pound depreciation against the Euro. We did an event in New
York which ended up costing 10 per cent more (than the original quote), which
is an issue.
other side is the geopolitical issue; people being nervous about going to
certain places. We used to use North Africa a bit, but now people don't want to
go to Marrakech."
added that there was more support for European destinations that had suffered
terror attacks then there was outside of the continent. "There's more
stoicism in Europe … there's safety elements in place and a feel that what
happened is remote."
Joslin, CEO and co-founder of InVoyage, said hotels, particularly those in
London, had stepped up security measures and were more aware of the possibility
of security breaches.
of the election of Trump, Christian Wilk, regional sales director with Hyatt,
said there had been no significant impact. He added: "Of course there has
been a cautiousness. I have a case where a client is holding space in Chicago
but also holding space in Singapore. So we haven't lost any business for
said non-Americans were more concerned about the election of Trump than
Americans were. "I was there on the day and people were saying simply
'he's our president'. Another thing is Trump is a business owner so from that
point of view that could play into our favour."