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What's next for the Events Agency?

Late Night London’s Meetings and Events Team analyse how agencies are currently being utilised in the industry with an in-house survey like no other

Late Night London Meetings and Events team have put aside some valuable time to investigate the state of the industry as they head into the festive season.  In a bid to better understand the developing needs of their clients and the state of the industry as a whole at the end of 2014. With a particular focus on the opinions of in-house event coordinators and executives and personal assistants they looked in-depth at what plays the most significant role in the event planning process, alongside what key values are influencing choices. 

The survey, which approached a targeted group of event bookers, demonstrably found that an established connection forged with an existing agency is a very influential factor, when it comes to all elements of the process. With 31% of respondents reporting a long standing relationship with a particular agency they would not look to change. Interestingly, 68% of those working with an agency would only look to change agency if and when required, with none changing agency for every event. This suggests that the quintessential relationship between agency and in-house event planners is still the single most defining factor.  Additionally, quality of service and product will ultimately determine choices.  

Reassuringly, for the industry as a whole, when questioned on the value demonstrated by using an agency, 45% of those working with agency stated that their extensive knowledge is of principal importance, followed by 31% believing planning and management abilities determined their use of agencies.  

When questioned on their corporate position regarding festive bookings 72% of those asked stated that Christmas party packages and themed parties still have value, an encouraging nod to any of those who may have felt that installations, packages and corporate theming were dying a death.   

Perhaps, unsurprisingly 45% of those who responded replied that price was the most important individual factor when booking a Christmas venue. Closely following price, location was listed as a primary consideration when planning a Christmas event with 31% of respondents placing it as theirs or their company’s highest priority when booking.  

Once again personal relationships, lasting bonds and a solid track record were noted as the most influential aspect of selecting suppliers with 42% of event planners, coordinators, PA’s and EA’s placing personal relationship as the single most important element when deciding. 21% however sited showcases as instrumental in selecting suppliers, interesting in light of recent rumblings within the industry around the value of different shows year on year.  

Overall the leaning was strongly towards the personal touch, something which Late Night London have seen become increasingly important since the recession.  Naturally the financial indicators were still apparent throughout but perhaps marginally less prominent than has been the case in previous years indicating that the spend-slump across the industry may be diminishing.

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