Event, production and communication company R&B Group said it is optimistic that the UK events industry will continue growing but that the North East has a way to go before fully shaking off general business woes.
The comment from the Newcastle-based agency came in light of its trading figures for the first six months of 2012, which showed a 25 per cent increase following three years of downward numbers.
R&B director Antony Crerar said: “With my positive spin hat on, I have seen increased confidence among our clients, although their events might not be as elaborate as they were. Companies have, I think, got to a stage where they feel they have to do something. Events might be a little fluffier than usual, such as those that mark anniversaries.”
This statement mirrors R&B itself, celebrating its 21st anniversary at the end of the year with a party – just not a full-blown extravaganza. One client Crerar said has shown more activity is mining and construction equipment manufacturer Komatsu’s UK headquarters, in Gateshead, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.
Crerar said that while R&B’s uptick in business mostly came from other UK regions, there has also been local activity. He explained: “We did good business in regard to the Queen’s jubilee. Sunderland went to town with an exhibition that Her Majesty walked through. There’s no scrimping with the Queen, of course, but it only went on for a few days, which was a shame.
“The final third of the year traditionally accounts for 60 per cent of business, so we are confidence of an overall 20 per cent increase in 2012 profits. To be honest, a more steady jump would have been preferable, perhaps 15 per cent, as this involves having to react less quickly to growth. That said, we’ll go where the business takes us.”
R&B Group has done that with a couple of new employees earlier this year. “We’re looking at two more now, as industry confidence means we have calendar orders, rather than last-minute bookings.”
Pictured: Antony Crerar