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s an agency, we get the privilege
to work with a wide range of
clients across many different
event types. Over the years, I
have seen the relationship between agency
and client evolve and the changing nature in
the way we work together has changed the
way that event briefs should happen.
There are two main steps to developing a
relationship with an event agency:
1. Selecting the right agency
2. Briefing them on the job
I have specifically put these steps in that
order. My number one tip when selecting an
agency is: Choose your agency based on their
credentials and who you want to work with.
I have seen so many briefs go to agencies
that ask for creative ideas – often multiple
different creative suggestions – and they
want all options fully costed.
Creative ideas for events are an agency’s
intellectual property! Of course you want to
ensure that an agency has good ideas for
your event – especially if it is the first time
they are pitching to you – but my number
one suggestion is that if an agency presents
an idea to you, you absolutely click with the
people who present and you love their
experience and brand, but their creative idea
wasn’t quite right – don’t rule them out.
I have seen many clients choose an agency
who had the best creative idea even if they didn’t
feel 100 per cent confident in the team that
presented to them, only to be disappointed.
Creative ideas are something that you
build with your agency and we strongly
encourage our clients to be a part of our
Megan Peters gives an insider’s view on how to brief an event agency.
BRIEF AN EVENT AGENCY
brainstorming and creative process.
Pick the people you want to work with and then build the creative together.
To help you pick an agency to work with, here are my top five tips:
1. Be clear on what you want to manage and what you want your agency to manage
The days of you losing control of your event because you have engaged an event management
agency are long gone. We have many clients who we manage only a small portion of their event
for them – and it doesn’t matter to us whether we are managing a lot or a little – but what we do
ask is that the scope of our involvement is made very clear from the start so that we can
allocate the right resources to the task.
2. Let your agency be creative
Don’t expect fully costed creative ideas as part of your pitching process – but give your agency
free reign to suggest any ideas they may come up with. The first brief should be a collaborative
and engaged process where you consider all possible elements of your job. Very rarely do we
deliver an event that is exactly what we pitched – but we love coming up with the crazy ideas
first and seeing what sticks!
3. Communicate a budget expectation
Pretty much everything with events is scalable. Giving an agency a budget to work with means
that they are suggesting ideas to you that are feasible and that you can achieve for your event.
All agencies price their service differently, and often it can be hard to compare apples to apples
when shopping around for an agency. By giving everyone a budget to work within, it makes it
easier for you to compare the bang for your buck on the ideas that come back to you.
4. Focus on the outcome
Don’t focus on what the event looks like and what your guests will be eating. Focus on the
objective and outcome you want your event to achieve. If you can communicate this to your
agency as part of the briefing process, they will have your business outcomes top of mind with
every decision and recommendation they make for your event. Achieving your outcomes should
be their number one objective.
5. Demographic is more than age and gender
Give your agency a good understanding of who your event attendees are – what makes them
tick; how do they spend their weekends; what sports do they enjoy watching and playing; what
do they eat and drink; if they were a car what would they be? Coming up with fun and unique
ways of describing your audience will give your agency a good understanding of what elements
will make your event a success.
I hope this helps when you are next engaging an agency to work on your event. And
remember, your agency should be working to make you look like a Rockstar! m
Megan Peters is the event director at International Productions and has been recognised as MEA National
Event Manager of the Year. She can be contacted via email@example.com.
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MEA UPDATE | ROBYN JOHNSON
they reflect the nature of the event
industry in Australia; representing
what is important to individuals and businesses
that make up this dynamic industry.
In keeping with showcasing what is new,
MEA is not afraid to take a risk, as MEA
believes that as the industry’s premier event,
Off the success of the MEA Conference this year and taking
sage advice from industry experts, Meetings & Events Australia
has reviewed the annual event and have turned away from the
traditional format and introduced a track focus program.
new things should be tried and tested, [and] it is up to our delegates to decide if they work and
whether they would incorporate them in their own events in some form or another.
As an association MEA does not have the budget for large scale productions, however I
challenge anyone to attend this conference and not walk away with a new thought; a new idea
provoked by a presentation or conversation; have met someone who has inspired them
personally or, even better, someone who can add value to their business.
First was the change in name. Evolve represents how we all need to evolve to keep up with
the changing trends. Disruption in our lives and work have compelled us to think differently and
look at how we can evolve our businesses and personal attitudes.
Evolve 2019 has increased the number of sessions by 65 per cent on the previous year
providing delegates with enormous choice for them to develop a personal program that suits
their individual learning needs. The eight tracks, delivered over one or two days of the
conference, include: Event Management; Event Business; Sales and Marketing, Future Leaders,
Wellness and Personal Development, Tech Talks, Best Practise and Event Panorama.
The plenary speakers will cover topics such as leadership that is essential in growing our
industry and event businesses. We are fortunate to have Sonia McDonald who is recognised
worldwide for leadership development. The program will also feature Mark Bouris who has an
extensive background in developing businesses having grown up in a small business
environment and who has established a successful career in building disruptive businesses that
challenge the market to provide smarter solutions for consumers.
The Evolve program has mixed up emerging views with traditional and more experienced
thinking. Delegates will have the opportunity to see and try new technology and learn practical
presentations on how some of the leading event companies are delivering events.
The host city, Brisbane, is also evolving and
delegates will be invited to experience some of its
latest event venues as well as offering tours to see
what this evolving city has to offer event
Register for Evolve 2019 at www.evolve2019.com.au.
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