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Stop spending, start investing!

By on February 28, 2013


In times of austerity, many companies limit their spending, starting with the funds earmarked for events, as they are often seen as “futile”. This is a mistake because a well organized event can bring a much needed value to a business, especially in tough times!
You’ve probably heard the following comment somewhere: “Instead of spending on this event, they could use this budget to save the jobs of my two colleagues!”

Even if we see continued improvements in our event organizing industry, I note that the decision too many customers make (in this case, the management team that has the responsibility to allocate resources to ensure the growth and sustainability of the company) perceive events as a commodity.
However, commodity is the worst type of positioning for our industry, as commodity is mostly associated with ‘no added value’ and it is therefore an EXPENSE; an expense that must be reduced and even eliminated when companies implement austerity measures.
Nonetheless, a company will INVEST only when it can perceive and measure every dollar that allows them to create wealth. The more it invests the more wealth it creates.
As event planners, it is our duty to change the perception of our clients. To begin with, it is better not to discuss details of an event at the very beginning, but instead start by discussing its objective by aligning it with the corporate strategy. In other words, let’s first talk of “why” before addressing the “how”!
To bring added value to a company, it is necessary to understand its various issues, objectives, culture, brand, priorities, and what difference will that event bring in this context. Nothing new!
If everyone involved adopts this approach, travel and corporate events will be seen as strategic investments that are vital to achieve their goals!
Here are some suggestions on how to become an investment for your customers:
1- Be curious and strategic, go beyond first level objectives (mobilization, recognition, and synergy to bring the brand to life …) while integrating them! Ask members of the management team what their challenges, desires and visions are, and in a perfect world, what would be different. You will be surprised with their answers!
2- Always be aligned with a pre-defined strategy: be aware and avoid deviations from the common objectives related to various changes that occur during planning! Make sure to constantly check that your choices are geared towards achieving the previously identified needs.
3- Eliminate any element that does not bring the desired added-value!
4- Creativity must serve the objective and not the contrary.
5- An informed person is much more relevant. Explain the purpose of the event to your colleagues, suppliers, partners; they will be better equipped to advise you and can also bring and / or add value.
To dig deeper into this matter, future issues of The Planner will present you with a series of articles illustrating, in different contexts, to show how you can bring added value through travel and corporate events!



Nicolas Richard – President of Othentika, event organizer and corporate travel. An ‘experience creator’, Othentika is an event agency in Montreal that provides travel planning and organization and turnkey corporate events.


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