What corporate planners should expect from their venue finding agency
Emma Little, Founder and CEO of ExecSpace; one of the UK’s leading venue finding agencies, shares her insight into what corporate event planners should expect from their venue finding agency.
“Venue finding is a competitive industry, there are lots of players in the space so it’s really important to have a clear idea of what you should expect from your agency. Agencies will always have specific ways of working but a good agency should consider what can be done to shape their service and proposition around you, the customer. It’s important that the agency understands every single customer is unique and it should never be a one service fits all approach,” says Emma Little.
“Relationships count for everything and you should be looking for an agency that is well respected and well liked amongst the venue community as I think that will say a lot about the integrity and professionalism of them as a business. If you’ve got an agency that can work hand in hand with a venue, both of whom really value your business, there’s always going to be a better outcome for you, the customer.
“Finding an agency that is pro-active and really takes the lead on your relationship is essential. To get the go ahead from procurement is one thing but it’s also important that the agency takes the time to get the booker buy-in, by delivering a great standard of service.
“There are a few key indicators to look out for to ensure you are receiving unrivalled service. You should look for an agency that gives you a dedicated account management team and single point of contact because there’s nothing worse for a booker than having to repeat their requirements during every single conversation. It’s also a good idea to look at management – I would always favour an agency that is owner managed, as the passion is in the business from the top down every single day and the desire to deliver for the customer is inherent throughout the organisation.”
Emma concludes: “We overcomplicate business but it’s all about people and relationships and key to that is consistency and value for money. Whilst most agencies, including ExecSpace, are now using technology to send out the enquiries it’s important to remember why we are lucky enough to be doing business with the corporates in the first place – because companies expect better rates and higher savings by going through an agency versus booking direct. Whilst there’s the technology in place, I’d be looking for an agency that takes the time to train their staff on the art of negotiation so that these follow up negotiations can take place over the phone and in person.”
“And lastly, in a business that’s incredibly simple, it’s absolutely key that you look for an agency that just simply delivers everything that they promise.”