Experts remain divided on whether small event agencies are better off teaming up with larger companies, but agree that it’s critical to move forward to stay in the game.
Following an in-depth discussion as to whether smaller event agencies should “get big or get out” at the recent Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) conference in Sydney, The Nibbler this week re-visited the topic to set the record straight.
In an exclusive interview, MCI Australia managing director Ray Shaw highlighted the benefits of partnering with big players, such as financial security and access to greater capital.
Larger companies also have a greater capacity to deal with insurance, solvency and fidelity issues, he said, adding that legal red tape had forced smaller traders to close up in the past.
Shaw stopped short of admitting that bigger business was better, but said the stronger foundations of larger companies allowed them to take risks which smaller business could often not afford.
“Larger companies have the foundations in place which are vital to survive in this industry,” he said. “It’s important for smaller companies to think big, because if you are standing still you are going backwards and you will eventually fall by the wayside.”
Meanwhile, WALDRONSMITH Management managing director Kate Smith conceded that size wasn’t the key to success. Instead, she said finding a niche market was the best way forward.
“Big doesn’t necessarily mean better. It all comes down to recognizing your strengths and setting yourself apart,” she said.
Confident that smaller businesses would continue to have a place in the MICE market, Smith said there was enough room for big and small event companies to sit “comfortably” in the mix.
However, businesses which fail to deliver creative business and react to market conditions would open themselves to failure, she added.
It’s all about the value you bring to your clients regardless of the size of your organization, but forward thinking is vital if you want to survive,” she said.