A Jack of All Trades, Master of Successful Events

Here’s the key to successful event management…. I used to work for W&O, which recently shocked the Events industry with its closure. I remember the excitement witnessing Lynton Cooper and Eclipse merge and working for a new ‘start up’ was thrilling but clearly challenging the status quo. We had a great team with an entrepreneurial fuel that reached out to many industries.

As with many agencies, the trap of the pharmaceutical client beckoned. I decided to explore other opportunities when there was a drive to move more towards the pharmaceutical sector, even though we had an impressive list of pharmaceutical names in our portfolio already.

My time at W&O sparked the initial thought of setting up Clearwater Events. I believed (and still do) that putting all or most of your eggs in one basket can be a risky business.

Most event agencies have seen pharmaceutical events as the key to successful event management. And rightly so, as they generate a lot of events! This is perhaps why agencies are often seen pushing and promising, in a hope to win a spot on the winning list.

Clearwater Events is now officially three years old, and it has been three years since C&IT Magazine asked me what my target industries would be. I found it such a strange question to ask. Why would we want to limit our target reach? I didn’t have any one particular industry in mind, and as a new agency we did not want to pigeon hole ourselves into any one industry. Indeed, we were happy to work with any type of client (and we still are), on the proviso that we can do their event justice.

Through my experience of managing a start-up agency, I have learnt that it is very similar to playing a game of roulette. A successful bet on one industry type (one number on the wheel) can provide a significant R.O.I and financial benefit (successful event).

There are various types of industries you could bet on: odd, even, black or red on the wheel, which gives greater opportunity to win. Or, you can bet far and wide like Clearwater Events, placing chips on many different opportunities, clients and industry sectors. Although the returns are smaller, they are more likely to provide a return, reduce risk and give a successful event.

There is a saying, “A Jack of All Trades, Master of None”. I think there should be a new saying, “A Jack of All Trades, Master of Many”. I believe this is a key requirement to a successful events company, especially a start-up. Working with different clients from different industries allows us to increase knowledge and experience, offering lots of eggs in many baskets.

I’m not saying that the failure of an agency is because of the specialisms or industries they deliver events for. But, despite reports that event spend is on the up, there is still very little room for contentment and we need to hedge our bets far and wide for any success.

And if you’re wondering whether we do pharmaceutical events, yes we do and we deliver them exceedingly well. But, it’s not the only industry we operate in; indeed we operate in a number of diverse industries. Because this is how it should be, A Jack of All Trades, Master of Many…