The secret to success – it’s in long-term relationships!
Anita Lowe, CEO of global sourcing, event and production agency, veSpace, explains how she achieved over 35 years of success in the events industry.
People always remember how you make them feel. How many times do you read this phrase? You read it because it’s true, but I sometimes worry it gets lost in today’s event industry.
It’s well-accepted that event management agencies should create and deliver events that make delegates feel however the client wants them to.
But what about the client? In the current climate, agencies need to be nurturing the people they work with too – we shouldn’t lose focus of a client’s motivations and goals.
For context, our sweet spot at veSpace is elevating ‘relational’ value above transactional in our client relationships. And it’s this approach, I feel, that explains why we achieve such long-lasting client relationships – it’s why I’ve been in business for so long… MAN Truck & Bus UK has been with us since I first formed an agency 35 years ago.
And there are so many more examples like this. A lot of our new business wins are from existing clients who have moved jobs and taken us with them as their preferred global sourcing and event provider. Octavius Infrastructure, a leading infrastructure transport solutions provider, is another example of how a long-standing client relationship has secured veSpace a new business contract. Graham Thorley, Head of Marketing & Communications at Octavius previously worked for a construction business that we work with and has since engaged us to help deliver their meetings and events in his new role.
So what do I mean by ‘relational’ value over transactional?
It comes down to things like always offering help before you’re asked – and that applies to everyone, regardless of the value of their business.
It’s checking in regularly, while still building your credibility through service excellence (never overlook this!).
It’s cultivating networks and solving clients’ policy non-compliance issues – using your relationships to unlock booking leakage if the client doesn’t want a policy mandate.
It’s building mutual success that means when senior stakeholders move on, they take us with them.
It’s educating rather than selling – empowering clients in their work/career challenges to build the credibility I mentioned above.
It’s asking for feedback, and finding ways to get it even from people reluctant to give constructive feedback. It does happen – some people find this really difficult. But when you build their trust in you through relationships, you can help them to see how constructive feedback is a win-win.
I feel passionately about all this. And I feel passionate about our professional team, repeatedly chosen by clients for delivering brilliant events while helping attain their individual goals – a focus that builds long-standing relationships.
Relational value – it’s my secret to success!