‘Event marketing is becoming more complex because data, social media and technology are changing how events are utilised in the marketing mix. This means that event agencies need more and more specialised know-how to create ROI with their events.’
Leading up to our Event Planners Talk and Future in 15 event at Allianz Park (pictured) on 21 February regarding ‘pitching for success: pitfall and opportunities’, I interview industry leaders about their experiences and best practices. After a chat with Kevin Jackson about how to approach the pitching process (which is all about relationships!) and an interview with Sabrina Meyers regarding how to obtain more business as a small agency (Social media!), I interviewed (on Instagram Live) Thomas Vig, Client Director at the Agenda Group, an agency based in Copenhagen, about the creative process and the changing landscape for agencies. Thomas has more than ten years’ experience working in the events industry across different roles. For the last eight years, he has worked on the agency side and over the last 3.5 years at the Agenda Group as Client Director. The well-established and reputable Agenda Group has extensive know-how and expertise and it was very interesting to hear from Thomas and learn about his strategic approach.
The first business event of 2019! Finally, ‘back to business’ after the long Christmas and New Year’s break. From 16–17 January, I attended Best of Events (BOE) in Dortmund with fiylo. This was my second year at BOE, and the second time I have worked with fiylo as part of the Live Blogger team. Having attended the event for the second year in a row now makes it a good opportunity to compare my experience from both years and share my observations.
The good news is that my experience this year was better! This improvement may be because it was my second time there and I knew more people and the venue; I may therefore have felt more at ease navigating through the event. But it might also be because the organisers, Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH, worked very hard on improving the concept and creating a major Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). An additional reason is attributed to fiylo, who introduced a new concept this year to their stand and tripled the number of their stand partners; the buzz generated at their stand was fantastic.
Monaco is a prime destination for automotive events and this past October it was chosen to host a conference for a reputable German car brand. The German-based agency ‘nice:-)’ – from Essen – was responsible for organising this event A – Z, and together with the support of the Monaco Convention Bureau and local partners, delivered a successful annual event for the international brand. Organising this annual automotive event for the fourth year now (which takes place at different destinations each year), the standards and expectations were high. Monaco was selected based on key requirements: a maximum three hours flight time from Germany and with an international airport no further than 30 minutes away from the hotel and event venue. Additionally, the client was looking for hotel capacity that could accommodate all delegates together in one hotel. In addition to ticking all these boxes for basic requirements, Monaco was able to bring added value to create a desire to host an event in the Principality. Its international and prestigious appeal, competitive prices off season, the context of the F1 Grand Prix being held in Monaco and the variety of incentive activities in the region for a spouse and partner programme that took place alongside the conference, convinced the automotive client to choose Monaco.
Large and small agencies approach the pitching process differently. While the large, well-established agencies can employ vast resources when it comes to labour and capital, smaller agencies have limited resources with which to pitch, therefore constantly thinking outside the box to be creative on a small budget.
Our next event, ‘Pitching for success: pitfall and opportunities’ takes place on 21 February at Allianz Park in London in collaboration with the Future in 15 Show. In the lead-up, we are gathering feedback from event planners across the industry that will inform suitable discussion and appropriate questions about the challenges faced by event managers around the world when it comes to pitching.
After an insightful interview with Kevin Jackson, the founder of The Experience is the Marketing, I wanted to explore the approach to pitching by very small agencies, that is, usually an agency where the owner is the main employee and the ‘face’ of the business. For this topic, I interviewed Sabrina Meyers, the founder of Orchid Lily Events. Based in Cologne, Germany, she is most probably known for her YouTube channel and social media presence as Hot Hospitality Exchange. It is no surprise that we also met via Twitter less than a year ago.
Sabrina and I both have small businesses, so we hosted an Instagram Live chat, sharing our experience and discussing what pitching means for business such as ours.
From 28–30 November 2018, I was in Monaco to attend Day One, a new annual event that had its debut at the Grimaldi Forum. This was my last business trip of the year, and one that I was highly looking forward, having worked with the Monaco Convention Bureau this year and attending several of their events in Germany, including joining them at IMEX Frankfurt, and a networking event in Cologne. It has been a very insightful experience to learn about their latest campaigns, venue openings, renovations and future plans.
One piece of news which particularly stood out for me was the new focus on digital transformation. At the press conference at IMEX Frankfurt, Sandrine Camia, Director of the Monaco Convention Bureau, informed the international press about the opening of a new incubator and accelerator for start-ups, the Monacotech. With the current strength of Monaco with respect to health, finance and sustainable development, this incubator will also help to breach out to other sectors, while at the same time supporting existent sectors and broadening economic diversity.
Another important example of how Monaco fosters innovation and gains a competitive edge in technology and digital transformation is by attracting events such as Day One. This event brought together decision-makers to create a vision and action plan for the new economy. The most talented, ambitious and disruptive businesses came to Monaco for two days and made things happen.
The idea to create and bring the Day One event to Monaco came less than two years ago from the French tech pioneer and entrepreneur Denis Jacquet. After I interviewed Denis and learnt about the story behind his vision for Day One, it was fascinating and a big honour to be there in person.