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Events industry should brace for 'shaky' period

Global uncertainties will play out in next 18 months warns Pure Events founder, who warns for agencies to be wary

Pictured: Charlotte Wilson, MD of Pure Events

An agency owner has warned that the events industry is in for a "shaky" 18 months on the back of a strong period of growth.

Pure Events founder Charlotte Wilson says agencies need to remain cautious despite a positive 2015, with factors like the US presidential elections and the UK's possible exit from the EU throwing doubts into the economy.

It comes as Pure Events forecasts gross profit of £820k for 2016, signalling a 35 per cent growth. That follows the agency's 40 per cent growth in 2015.

Yet Wilson said there was no room for complacency. She added: "I think the industry and the economy as a whole is in for a bit of a shaky period in the next 18 months. I'd say it's wise to be cautious.

"There are a lot of very uncertain factors in the air in terms of US presidential elections and Brexit. All of that means that people are beginning to slightly put the brakes on.

"Budgets are under complete scrutiny, and anyone who says they're not is lying. We haven't got clients cancelling but I've got financial service clients that have never, ever questioned budgets before but who are now saying 'we have to be prudent'.

"We've had a couple of clients saying they are considering taking these events in-house too."

Wilson said agencies needed to "keep a tight ship" and stick to budget, as well as safeguard their client base.

Despite the sober forecast, West London-based Pure Events has continued to expand and taken on a second unnamed consultant to assist its growth. That coincides with three new appointments in Sophie Sweetman, Genine Norman and Janine Hart, all in event manager roles.

Wilson added: "I'm very, very excited in terms of the way things are progressing in the next couple of years. It's no coincidence that growth has happened at the same time as these individuals coming on board and increasing the skill set we now have in the company.

"The most important thing to me is that we don't compromise in any way the value we're delivering at the events. As a result we continue to retain the clients we have."

Recent wins include clients in the retail and legal sectors, while the agency is finalising a contract with a new financial services client. Pure Events has also just finished a conference for a global media agency brand for 650 people, comprising of seven different agency conferences.

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