Judy Till of the RAM Organisation tells Sydney Paulden how they successfully market newcomersThe UK is a massive MICE market and therefore attractive to all suppliers in every country. However, it takes substantial investment for newcomers to set up in the UK, get themselves known and accepted and then to start getting the business that, retrospectively, will make it all worthwhile.
This is where the RAM organisation comes in. Set up 12 years ago and based in Godalming in Surrey, it exists to provide a full marketing service in the UK for MICE suppliers for a minimum of one year and, thereafter, any length of time they wish. It works on a retainer per client and the clients can take over responsibility for the UK market for themselves whenever they feel the time is ripe.
‘We have been working for AGL of Malta for 9 years and for Distant Frontiers of India for 4 years working’, says Judy Till. ‘When we have launched small hotel groups over here’, she goes on, ‘they obviously find it cost-effective to set up their own sales operation once we have created a flow of business for them. That’s no problem. That’s what we are here for’.
Judy gained her experience in selling to UK event organisers whilst working with a series of hotel groups, including Westin, Forte and Meridien. Now, as a team of three MICE marketing specialists, RAM can share its knowhow and its energy amongst multiple clients.
‘Our service goes right across the whole range of what is required for marketing’, she emphasises. ‘For example, we not only create mail pieces, but we are closely acquainted with the buyers on our database who will be receiving them. We know what the suppliers have to offer and what the recipients wish to buy. At least once a year, and often twice, each client comes over to the UK and we together do a series of sales calls around the UK. In this way, they get the feel of the market and they get to know their current and potential customers – and they are fully aware of what we are doing for them and what the reaction of the market is to their offer’.
The RAM Organisation acts on behalf of hotel groups, individual hotels, venues, DMCs and groups of DMCs. One of the most recent clients is the Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry, which is a grouping of Swiss and Italian suppliers in that beautiful lake area, formed to be a one-stop shop for event organisers. Other new clients are the Valencia Conference Centre in Spain, the Carton House Hotel in Ireland and Lux Resorts of Mauritius. The RAM Organisation sells to UK organisers of the whole gamut of events, from corporate hospitality, to meetings, conventions, team-building and incentives. She feels that incentives are coming back more strongly now, ‘as businesses are putting more emphasis on motivation and, of course, the need to keep their current staff. The recession has made sure that all the dead wood has well and truly gone.
‘UK organisers are looking for new destinations and venues around Europe’, she suggests, ‘but are not averse to special events further afield, such as in India and Mauritius’.