This article is written for Senior Event Managers and Event Managers to explore how changing to one service provider can be more effective in reaching long-term business goals. However, the market is saturated with event production companies and taking a big shift towards committing to one for an extended period poses a lot of uncertainties. We would like to assist you in clearing things up through assessing differences between the current event production companies and traditional event consultants. All we need from you is to read on as we explore the Events-as-a-Service model in more depth.
Event Consulting is the New Frontier
We are a positive bunch, therefore we don’t like dwelling on the negatives – instead, we focus on good outcomes. While the hand we’ve been dealt by the pandemic is far from ideal, it has also taught us some valuable lessons. Such as that the true strength of the Event Industry is in the relationships we build.
Adapting to Virtual and Hybrid Events has paved a path towards what the event industry will look like post-covid. While this entails including newly discovered practices into future Live Event planning, it has also highlighted something about us as an industry. When working together, we are unstoppable.
One-time Offer vs Long Strategy
As a company, we always focus on building long-term relationships as opposed to offering one off solutions.Thinking back on our past collaborations, we came to a conclusion that the most efficient and budget friendly way of delivering top notch events is ditching the model of working with multiple suppliers and instead allowing a sole provider to handle all the aspects.
Some of our long-term relationships are with McCarthy Stone (7 years), Verint (5 years), Ocean Media Group (5 years). Throughout the years we grew to understand their brands, clients and requirements along with quality levels. These valuable insights would be out of our reach had we not established a firm, trust-driven relationship with them. In turn, these insights allowed us to assist them in reaching their goals, provide guidance and deliver high quality events.
While sticking to one vendor may sound crazy, there is a list of advantages. First of all, this takes away the time spent distributing the budget across different suppliers. Secondly, having one company working across a cycle of events delivers consistency. It also enables tailoring a collaborative strategy aimed at achieving big goals whilst covering short-term targets.
However, we understand the danger that comes with handing over the entire production service to one provider. To protect yourself, devise a well thought out SLA before signing up for a long-term service contract. All parties should have a clear understanding of their expectations and deliverables. Additionally, it should include a clause on performance-related break, allowing you to disengage the provider if they’re not following their SLA.
It is difficult to walk away from a good deal, especially when working within tight event budgets. In these instances remember that what might be perfect for achieving objectives of a specific event does not always contribute towards your long-term goals.
Another caveat is that what you want is not always what you need. It’s easy to lose sight of goals when pressured to hit targets. The reality is, very often the sole purpose of those targets is to keep the stakeholders happy.Teaming up with an experienced event consulting company means that on top of technical production you will also receive guidance. It will help you direct your focus towards areas that ultimately contribute towards your long-term business and financial goals.
It doesn’t mean your events will have no targets or benchmarks. Instead, it will allow you to focus on targets that tie into a sequence which takes you closer to achieving the ultimate goal.
It is easier to align all your events in a goal-driven sequence when you work with a single event producer. It saves you from having to go over your branding, mission statement and messaging every time, ensuring everyone’s on the same page. Also, different suppliers may take their own spin on things and the end result will have a different feel to it.
Additionally, an agreed, periodically paid price with clearly defined deliverables will take a lot of budget hassle away. A fixed fee approach based on a creative scope is perfect if you are planning across a year upfront. Ultimately, sticking to one provider long-term will naturally build a tight relationship and mutual understanding. This approach has a name – Events-as-a-Service.
What Does it Actually Entail?
‘I still don’t get it. What services does EaaS cover?’
Glad you asked. The simple answer is – all of them. Similarly to how you choose software based on its functions that the business needs, you will be choosing an event consultancy that offers services your event needs. There is no one-for-all solution.
To give you an example, at Showcase we provide the following services:
- Virtual event platform and analytics;
- Speaker management;
- Designing attendee experience;
- Logistics and on-site management;
- Content/design visualisation;
- Liaising with venues;
- Knowledge and experience based assistance across different areas of events.
- Live, virtual, hybrid event support
- Production services from AV to manufacturing
Choosing the Right Partners
The event industry is small and tightly networked, so you can easily learn whether a supplier is capable of delivering without even talking to them directly. However, with the concept so new it’s difficult to measure the performance of it as you may not be aware of what areas you should focus on.
Don’t worry, we are here to help you. First of all and most importantly, the right partner will be striving not to just do their job but to actually make it matter. They will be as passionate about reaching your goals as you are, and having a good, trust-based relationship means they won’t always be delivering what you ask but rather challenging what you need.
As their effort is driven by a genuine desire for you to succeed, the supplier is unlikely to settle for less because it’s easier. They won’t take shortcuts and, in fact, will go an extra mile – advising along the way and offering expertise for the sake of your success.
Consistently Improving Results
Working together long-term grants you visibility of each other’s aims, goals, preferences and quirks. This makes communication easier as you have a more personalised approach to one another. Although this is a B2B relationship, it is still based and built around people.
As you spend more time collaborating, you will feel more comfortable brainstorming or adding new ideas. Seamless communication and transparency makes it easier to go over challenges in a calm, strategic manner which reduces friction.
Growing and Scaling Together
At this point you might be questioning WHY would the supplier prioritise your success. To put it shortly – they will only be successful if you are. As much as you strive to achieve your goals, their aim is to retain you as a client. If you’re not getting the value from the supplier, you won’t work with them.
This also means you will be growing and scaling together. Having cohesive goals, will ensure speedier, more sustainable growth than either of you could achieve individually. In other words, your success is your supplier’s success.
Cooperation and strong bonds is what has gotten the event industry through trying times. United in our effort to grow and develop against the odds we have learned that best results are achieved when we genuinely care for one another.
It would be a waste to abandon that mindset. Take into account what we have said in this article – by not having a strong relationship with one provider you subject yourself to missing out on big goals by pursuing short-term individual event objectives.
Finding a partner that is fully committed and aligned with you will accelerate the growth of you both more than what could be achieved individually. We’ve been given a valuable lesson – don’t let it go to waste.
Looking for that special companion? Look no further, we are here.