Startup and Emerging Company Events: Why Hiring an Agency is a Win-Win

Many high-growth startups and emerging companies are watching their cash burn rates on a weekly basis. Constrained by limited resources in terms of both staffing and working capital, they are particularly aware of the need to make high ROI investments. Hiring a third party, whether it be an outside consultant or advisor, contractor or an agency, is an important decision and clearly needs rational justification when every dollar spent needs to count toward your quarterly and annual KPIs.

So why should a startup or emerging company consider bringing on a professional events agency if they need to launch their fundraising roadshow, showcase a product launch or plan their next all-hands meeting, VIP investor meeting and/or user conference? Can’t they just design, plan and host these corporate events on their own? Why hire a third-party?

The answer is clear and drives to the heart of a common myth circulating within many company teams “Isn’t it going to be less expensive if we just use our admin team to run the show?”.

Sometimes yes, of course.  But typically, it is not. Here’s why…

Setting a Realistic Events Budget

Many company teams put together their “best guess” about event budgets based on incomplete and sometimes outdated beliefs about what it costs to host a corporate event. Not necessarily having the experience with venue and hotel fees, the cost of A/V and lighting enhancements, how menus dramatically impact catering charges and other nuances impacting the total cost of an event, they tend to underestimate the true cost of delivering the event.

An experienced event agency can completely eliminate this guesswork and immediately describe for you exactly what your target budget can deliver for your team. Not only can they do this for one event’s budget, they can then assess your comprehensive events forecast for the fiscal year so that you know you can stay within your allocated resources. If constraints then change (fewer or more), you can create upside and downside plans to adjust your events roadmap over the course of the year.

Better Negotiating Leverage

A second benefit to outsourcing corporate events planning to a professional is the ability to leverage the strong networks these agencies have with hotels, venues, audio visual, caterers, beverage caterers, rental furniture providers, tenting, transportation, and photographers. An agency negotiator has leverage with all of these suppliers, leverage you, as a “one-off” event organizer simply may not have. Their longstanding relationships with these partners allows them to extract maximum value on your behalf, not only in keeping costs down but also ensuring that if anything goes awry in execution mode, there will be an immediate solution and excellent client service to fix it.

The Real “Cool Factor”

Event planning agencies also need to be “in the know” when it comes to finding new ways to keep their clients happy. They need to know all the new event venues, especially the non-traditional ones, but they need to creatively see the potential to transform a space which has never hosted an event into a spectacular event space.

They need to know all the technology solutions (apps and platforms) that make team communication faster across the company team and their own. They need to know the latest design trends that can turn an event into a hip-happening “go to” party your attendees will rave about. They understand the true “cool factor” in event production and how to integrate this into your company’s event, whatever your budget.

Soup-to-Nuts: Event Concepting Through Post-Mortem

When a professional performs a job, this is their passion, their mission, their reputation and career. They take it very seriously. Professional event planners are no different. An experienced agency runs events day in and day out. They do nothing else. So… they are way up the learning curve. They have seen it, done that.

If you have ever worked with a seasoned partner like this, you will instantly recognize their work, especially in terms of their obsessiveness about the details of your event. From initial concept and theme through design, planning, logistical coordination, “day of” execution and post-mortem, they are impeccably organized and relentless communicators. Nothing should be left out, glossed over or a surprise. While you might say that every client should expect this level of professionalism from an outside agency, we know that this is one of the ways we are truly distinguished from other agencies in the eyes of our clients. They tell us that our ability to manage it all, soup to nuts, all the minutiae yet stay within their budgets, timeframes and event requirements is what they are most impressed with from our team at Anna Marie Events.