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How To Hold The Best Events

How To Hold The Best Events

It starts with choosing the right partner, says Adrian Bell, executive director of Action Impact, a Dubai-based brand experience agency.


If there’s any kind of divide between clients and agencies, it can probably be traced back to the era of Mad Men. That’s when the nascent agency industry built a fearsome reputation for innovation, creativity and idiosyncrasy – and client teams were sidelined as bean counters and joy killers.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Nonetheless, the better we understand each other’s worlds, the better the work will be. From my perspective, here are six ways to charm your event agency and get the most out of your partnership.


When you are looking to contract a new service partner or agency, remember that even the best agencies’ pitches don’t show their full capabilities. Try not to evaluate prospective partners solely on the work presented – you should buy the team, rather than the ideas. Choose the team that you’re going to enjoy working with.

Delivering successful events is a high- pressure environment and can involve some pretty long lead-times. So you need to make sure that the partners you select are the ones you’re happy to spend the next few months with!


Try to be practical when scoping out your brief – work with your agency to understand what’s achievable within the timeframe. Sometimes last- minute demands and opportunities will come out of nowhere and need an instant solution.

Your agency will do whatever they can to absorb the pressures you are under – they will work round the clock behind the scenes to meet your deadline. But don’t assume that because they’re not panicking, they have extra bandwidth to handle additional requests. By the time your agency is forced to say “no”, they’re probably already struggling to deliver.


The greater the number of stakeholders involved in a project, the greater the possibility of conflicting agendas. And a conflicted agenda easily leads to a confused experience for your audience. The sooner you get everyone together in one place, the sooner you can start building consensus. Every project is likely to evolve en route to delivery – but if you involve your stakeholders at the beginning of the process, then it’s easier to get everyone aligned.


The larger your project, the greater the team of specialists involved – sometimes many more than you can imagine. Make an effort to understand who’s doing what and the specifics of each role – not just skill sets and deliverables, but also key responsibilities and task ownership. This will help you build a very useful mental picture of the resources and expertise assigned to your
project – and allows you to identify what you can do to optimise it’s delivery.


Not every organisation embodies a culture of openness, but when it comes to working with your agency you have full control over how open you want the relationship to be. It’s all about giving people the freedom to speak up and knowing that others are willing to listen. It’s about always being available and accessible – to consider different ideas and approaches. And it’s about creating an environment where we can challenge conventional wisdom – safe in the knowledge that everyone on the team wants what’s best for your project.


Look at your agency as a partner – not as a service provider. Place a premium on collaboration, mutual respect and trust. This isn’t about blindly accepting everything your agency tells you – they like having their assumptions challenged – but understanding that they have your project’s best interests at heart.

Your agency offers you years of experience working with other projects and other clients. You instantly benefit from all that knowledge and wisdom – without going through any of the pain and trouble involved in acquiring it.


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