Some small-to medium-sized enterprises in the events industry regard accreditation as a form of unwarranted interference in their businesses, but PCMA- ICESAP president Nigel Gaunt says they should regard it “as their friend and not their foe”.
“When you consider that the majority of business event customers are multinational corporations with increasingly demanding procurement protocols, it is inevitable that SME agencies are at a significant competitive disadvantage [against] their larger competitors,” Gaunt says.
“In addition, there is already a trend towards disintermediation, where we see large customers hiring in-house planners who have the experience to make arrangements with end-suppliers directly, rendering the role of the agency obsolete.
“Clearly SMEs can use their status as accredited agencies to retain their customer base and diminish the risk of losing a customer who elects to leapfrog the agency role.”
Gaunt says the benefits of accreditation are worth the outlay.
“Considering the benefits an accredited agency can enjoy, such as increased asset value of the agency business and the ability to attract higher-calibre customers and staff, not to mention potential improved trading terms from suppliers, it is a small price to pay.”