Event companies and Professional Conference Organisers (PCOs) are under increasing pressure from corporate clients, who are now outsourcing several tenders for one piece of business to meet budget constraints, it has been revealed.
In a wide reaching interview with The Nibbler last week, Destination Marketing Services managing director Leila Fiedler highlighted the changing habits of corporate clients as one of the greatest challenges currently facing the events industry.
While corporate clients would traditionally work with a handful of event companies on a loyalty basis, Fiedler said it was now common for them to put out five to six tenders with the intention of finding the cheapest and most unique itinerary.
They are also demanding more detail in each proposal, including more destinations and itemised costs on trivial items such as bottled water to determine which itinerary is more cost effective.
“Corporate clients have become very demanding since the economic downturn and now have no loyalty to event companies that have worked with them for years,” Fiedler said. “This trend is keeping many PCOs busy with a multitude of proposals which are focused only on the dollar – not the value – of the itinerary. And they often produce no business in the end.”
Fiedler said the trend was unlikely to subside in the near future because event companies simply cannot afford to turn down potential business. But she conceded it would decline if event companies and suppliers worked closer together to meet their clients objectives.
“If PCOs and suppliers can work together to provide the best service for the agreed price, then there will be more loyalty to event companies that provide unmatched services. Then, hopefully, their clients will either not go out to tender or narrow down the number of event companies they send their tender documents to,” she concluded.
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