Inflation busting event planning
20 June 2022
By Andrew Orr
Public confidence in the events sector feels back to pre-pandemic levels, and there was no better example of the joy in bringing people together through a shared experience, than the recent nationwide jubilee celebrations. But whilst the pomp and circumstance and endless street parties were enjoyed by many, behind the scenes the event industry is facing new challenges that need to be navigated.
Much has been said about both Brexit and the pandemic, but the industry is still reeling from the after effects, primarily driven from the loss of talented personnel and the instability of many suppliers – crippled by pricing, material and labour shortages. Add the awful scenes in Ukraine, and these are unprecedented challenges.
But whilst the pomp and circumstance and endless street parties were enjoyed by many, behind the scenes the event industry is facing new challenges that need to be navigated.
Rising prices are causing significant stress both at home and in business, with material, labour, energy and fuel costs rising literally weekly, with some estimates ranging from 30% on certain items since January. So, in real terms, this year’s budget isn’t going to get you what it did last year.
But if the jubilee celebrations validated anything, it is the power of in person events. So rather than let global macro pressures limit their use, we should lean into their significant benefits, whilst reviewing the approach to their planning and delivery – all with the aim of giving potential clients confidence that a quality execution can be delivered within the agreed budget and on time.
Therefore, prospective users of event marketing should look at their use through both the short and long term.
In the short term, for quicker turnarounds, clients should do their due diligence on any prospective suppliers’ ability to deliver. How reliant are they on a supplier network to deliver against the brief? Be it design, production, logistics or staffing. The more in-house services an event marketing agency has, the more control it will have in positively effecting the output, both in terms of a successful delivery and cost control. TRO is proud of our in-house, full event marketing services, which have had a significantly positive impact on our team’s ability to give the confidence to clients that we can deliver with very short lead times.
Equally, there is the longer term to consider too. There is no doubt that shorter lead times are an ever present post pandemic behaviour, which as just outlined, needs to be navigated carefully to ensure the best output. However, with Covid hopefully an increasingly distant memory, this is also the time for agencies to propose longer term planning solutions to clients that will allow decisions to be made as early as possible.
The more in-house services an event marketing agency has, the more control it will have in positively effecting the output, both in terms of a successful delivery and cost control.
Could 2023 budget be allocated this calendar year to secure 2022 prices ahead of further predicted rises, allowing early negotiation and agreement of costs with suppliers? TRO’s own full-service infrastructure and retained local supplier network, allows us to build early and store event assets for later use, or even better, re-use.
And the re-use of any events assets should also be a motivation with rising prices. Re-use benefits the environment and supports the ongoing sustainability agenda within the industry, whilst having the additional benefit of controlling costs and avoiding some of the challenges faced with supply shortages.
These are the most of unique of times, but with robust planning processes implemented, we can continue with the regained confidence in the events sector and enjoy the immeasurable benefits of bringing people together.