Suppliers Are King – C&IT Blog March 2014

Suppliers Are King
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Suppliers Are King

I feel that I have neglected my blog as late, my days seem to go by in a flash and my ever growing to do list has now employed its own to do list manager. This year is flying by and after weeks of rain, rain and more rain, finally spring is in the air and along with it, a sense of excitement.

We are pretty chuffed that our blog, the ‘Diary of a Start Up’ has been shortlisted in the National Blog Awards, aptly described as the Oscars of the Blogging World. The awards take place on the 25 April at the Grange St Paul’s, and I am busily scanning the 2014 Oscar outfits to see what ideas I can steal in an attempt to look oscarish!

We are also chuffed to have been given a speaking spot at Imex in Frankfurt. I will be presenting a Camp Fire presentation on Tuesday 20 May at 1530 (shameless plug) titled ’’The Power of Collaboration Wins Business’’.

The Power of Collaboration is the ‘Holy Grail’ in winning new business for a start up like Clearwater Events.  Working together with suppliers to create a 360 event solution is a powerful way to win over a clients confidence. We are all effectively chasing the same clients and aiming for the same outcome, so working together allows a more streamline client experience with a joined up solution that works. I know I have said it before, but I shall say it again……

Recently, we have been working with a hotel supplier in an attempt to win a large residential event for a major international corporation. As a UK Destination Management Company, Clearwater Events were tasked with selling in the overall destination and experience, the social activities and transportation options. Combined with hotel, our knowledge created a 360 approach and one stop shop event solution for the client. It’s a formula that works and as a DMC, it offers suppliers such as hotels and venues with an added sales resource to offer.

Although I would never divulge my client list to a competitor, it does amaze me that quite often as an industry, we ring fence our companies with an iron curtain, unprepared to collaborate with our suppliers to win the business. Suppliers in my world are king and as such, are welcome through my picket fence at any time.

When I am asked to define a DMC or event management agency, I explain our role as brokers who source suppliers and combine our knowledge and experience with the suppliers we broker. Without collaborative relationships with the suppliers we broker, I am unsure how we could as a start up agency grow or move forward?

I do shudder when I think back of my days in an events office. Suppliers quite often getting quite a raw deal on the end of a telephone or via email due to something of nothing, invariably caused by a lack of communication between the event manager and the supplier. In these days of ever decreasing event budgets but, increased expectation (and possibly unrealistic expectations of budget in some cases), it’s so important that we treat our suppliers as king.

If we are honest, no matter our branding, our sales strategy or market presence, we are all suppliers and we are all in it together trying to help new and existing clients deliver brilliant live events. So maybe 2014 is the year to start thinking about the true power of collaboration and what it really means.