Fresh challenges are being thrown to the business events industry daily, providing genuine opportunities for suppliers to demonstrate the true meaning of our added value. It is essential that we are able to articulate exactly what that is.
Over and above the fun, the gloss, the VIP treatment and the dollar value, the crucial added value that intermediaries and DMCs deliver is effective risk management. Our sales pitches would benefit from focusing on added value in the context of the “worst-case-scenario” environment, should the unexpected occur.
Of course, no one wants to talk about risk management until it happens. We tend to focus more on why a stunning beach resort, a cultural or CSR activity will be the ultimate draw for delegates. But presenting positive solutions that manage and reduce the risk of international events as part of the sales pitch – over and above simply presenting the “gloss”, will likely be what wins a supplier the business in the future.
Today’s practice of prioritising dollar value encourages corners to be cut as far as risk management is concerned. Contracting individual elements directly – a hotel, or a restaurant only – is effectively removing the safety net for the whole event. Yet, the group remains the client’s responsibility for the duration. DMCs and agencies prove their true value when things go wrong, delivering essential in-destination risk insurance and risk management solutions.
The recent volcanic ash problem was a good example. DMCs re-housed guests when hotels filled up, managed multiple relocations, and rescheduled homebound journeys. With direct contact with key suppliers in the destination to pull strings, we can ensure that VIP groups are the first to receive seat allocations and boarding passes home.
While procurement is currently the key industry driver, marketing and legal departments hold equal position in the future of the industry. Suppliers would do well to focus on pitching a winning combination of gloss, return on investment and genuine peace of mind – essential services that we must continue to provide.