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How to – Brief an Event Agency

As an agency, we get the privilege to work with a wide range of clients across many different event types.

Over the years, I have seen the relationship between agency and client evolve and the changing nature in the way we work together has changed the way that event briefs should happen.

There are two main steps to developing a relationship with an event agency:

  • Selecting the right agency
  • Brief them on the job

I have specifically put these steps in that order. My number one tip when selecting an agency is:

Choose your agency based on their credentials and who you want to work with.

I have seen so many briefs go to agencies that ask for creative ideas – often multiple different creative suggestions……and they want all options fully costed.

Creative ideas for events are an agencies intellectual property! Of course you want to ensure that an agency has good ideas for your event – especially if it is the first time they are pitching to you – but my number one suggestion is that if an agency presents an idea to you, you absolutely click with the people who present and you love their experience and brand, but their creative idea wasn’t quite right – don’t rule them out.

I have seen many clients choose an agency who had the best creative idea; even if they didn’t feel 100% confident in the team that presented to them; only to be disappointed.

Creative ideas are something that you build with your agency and we strongly encourage our clients to be a part of our brainstorming and creative process.

Pick the people you want to work with and then build the creative together.

 

To help you pick an agency to work with, here are my top 5 tips:

1/ Be clear on what you want to manage and what you want your agency to manage

The days of you losing control of your event because you have engaged an Event Management Agency are long gone. We have many clients who we manage only a small portion of their event for them – and it doesn’t matter to us whether we are managing a lot or a little – but what we do ask is that the scope of our involvement is made very clear from the start so that we can allocate the right resources to the task.

2/ Let your agency be creative

Don’t expect fully costed creative ideas as part of your pitching process – but give your agency free reign to suggest any ideas they may come up with. The first brief should be a collaborative and engaged process where you consider all possible elements of your job. Very rarely do we deliver an event that is exactly what we pitched – but we love coming up with the crazy ideas first and seeing what sticks!

3/ Communicate a budget expectation

Pretty much everything with events is scalable. Giving an agency a budget to work with means that they are suggesting ideas to you that are feasible and that you can achieve for your event. All agencies price their service differently, and often it can be hard to compare apples to apples when shopping around for an agency. By giving everyone a budget to work within; it makes it easier for you to compare the bang for your buck on the ideas that come back to you.

4/ Focus on the outcome

Don’t focus on what the event looks like and what your guests will be eating. Focus on the objective and outcome you want your event to achieve. If you can communicate this to your agency as part of the briefing process; they will have your business outcomes top of mind with every decision and recommendation they make for your event. Achieving your outcomes should be their number one objective.

5/ Demographic is more than age and gender

Give your agency a good understanding of who your event attendees are – what makes them tick; how do they spend their weekends; what sports do they enjoy watching and playing; what do they eat and drink; if they were a car what would they be? Coming up with fun and unique ways of describing your audience will give your agency a good understanding of what elements will make your event a success.

I hope this helps when you are next engaging an agency to work on your event – and remember – your agency should be working to make you look like a Rockstar!

Megan Peters

Megan Peters

Event Director at International Productions and has been recognised as MEA National Event Manager of the Year.

megan.peters@internationalproductions.com

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