New Year, Right Fit…

As 2017 starts with its usual bang and a clatter, the UK events sector continues to flourish with increased demands from clients and a healthy supply of vacancies coming in. But it’s not as ‘happy-go-lucky’ as it seems.

C&IT’s State of the Industry Report 2016 discovers that actually it’s getting harder and harder for Agencies to employ the right people to fit the bill, with Brexit playing a minor part in the difficulty to fill the ever increasing number of vacancies. At royall we are passionate about ‘The Human Fit’, delving deep into the candidates past experiences, jobs and qualifications and matching their unique skills-set to a role that suits their individuality. We aim to turn ancient, tired recruitment methods into something new, organic and truly unique to royall.

With finding new talent at the top of the list, see below the other Top 5 Agency Challenges of 2016.

Top Banana managing director Nick Terry agrees: “I can get lots of people to interview as good event organisers. What I struggle with is getting people with the right horsepower, intellect and experience to have a conversation at board level and get the strategy to bring it alive.” This is what we call ‘The Human Fit’ at royall.

Talent & Recruitment – There is difficulty in filling an influx of senior roles requiring prior events industry experience and a person to fit the agency’s culture and ethos. According to Tina Morris, Managing Director of Adding Value, she says “There is a big gap in the bank of resources available for agencies, and the fact that senior staff are often happy in their roles and want to stay put”. Because of different influences and experiences, senior staff’s style may not be the correct fit for all workplaces, as they are less adaptable. In contrast, the findings that “junior staff are easier to train and mould for the business”, however they often have “unrealistic salary expectations” adding another bump in the road. Another is that those not familiar with the events’ industry, are under the (false) illusion that their working day is 9-5… How wrong they are!

Global, Political and Economic Instability – Varying external factors related to economic and global instability are causing concern for over 17% of agencies and their clients.

Managing Growth – Most agencies predicted an increase in turnover for 2016 and profit last year, inevitably meaning increasing headcount, which connects with the issue of talent and recruiting the right people for the job.

Lead Times – Although lead times were shorter than ever last year, there were signs that clients were booking further ahead and that lead times are actually increasing for some larger annual events. Nick Terry, Managing Director & Co Founding Father of Top Banana, says “Short lead times are frustrating and challenging. People are really making the calls at the last minute. We had a call two days ago and we’re doing the event today”Will this trend continue in 2017?

Winning New Business & Clients – This was an issue for 11% of agencies surveyed, with some feeling that there seems to be a decrease in loyalty among clients. BI Worldwide’s Head of Events -Shaun Casey says that for them the real challenge is finding more senior members of staff that fit their business, which can prove to be difficult.

In the Events world, the clock never stops.

To tackle this issue, Morris says that they are implementing a training system to train internal staff, rather than searching for new recruits. Employing more ‘all-round’ staff ensures that there is more coverage across the board, especially focusing on production & logistics teams. In addition during 2016 a number of management training degrees and apprenticeships arose, another way of retaining employees.

So the real question for 2017 is “How do we communicate how great this industry is to young people?”


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