Working with an event agency can offer numerous advantages, making the process of planning and executing events more effective, but like any business collaboration, there are potential drawbacks to think about.
Here’s what you need to consider if you’re wondering whether you should hire an event management agency to handle your next event.
Pros of Working with an Event Management Agency
Expertise and Experience
The greatest benefit of working with an event management agency lies in the wealth of expertise and experience they bring to the table.
- Experience: The best event agencies have decades of combined experience in strategic meeting and events management, project management, hotel management, and experiential marketing. Their job is to make sure events run smoothly while also coming in on time and within budget.
- Strategy: Ideally, event managers are strategic thinkers who can help you look at your entire annual event strategy and identify areas to improve (including where to leverage events to support business initiatives). They also understand the nitty-gritty of logistics and can help you deliver a memorable event.
- Client Success: They are driven by a commitment to client success. They leverage their expertise and resources to ensure every event they plan contributes to the achievement of your goals and objectives.
The best event management agencies aim not only to execute events but also to help clients feel empowered and successful in their endeavors.
Time and Resource Efficiency
Outsourcing your event planning to a professional agency can boost efficiency and save valuable time within your organization.
By entrusting an event agency with all the planning and coordination responsibilities, you can free up your time to concentrate on other important aspects of your business.
This can be especially handy for smaller or more agile businesses that might lack the resources to dedicate to event planning. Your HR manager shouldn't be stuck organizing the annual kickoff meeting, and your marketing team should be more focused on generating revenue.
However, hiring an agency isn’t just for smaller or more agile businesses; many large businesses find working with an agency to be more advantageous due to the flexibility they offer. Especially when you don’t have the resources to hire someone internally, or the workload is higher in some parts of the year than others, it often makes more sense to pass the ball to an agency than to hire.
With a dedicated team of experts managing the event logistics, your internal employees can remain focused on their essential tasks.
Access to a Network of Vendors
In events, who you work with can greatly affect your events’ success, and picking the right vendors to run your A/V, catering, venue, and more is vital. Unfortunately, Google and review sites won’t always guide you in the right direction.
Your event management agency will provide greater access to a well-established network of vendors with real experience working with the vendors.
Through years of experience, they have cultivated relationships with a number of event personnel to build the ideal team to handle your event.
Plus, event agencies handle all the sourcing and coordination of these vendors, meaning you can focus on the bigger picture of your event.
An event management agency is ideally also a strategic partner that can help you understand the market from a wider lens. Having multiple clients, event managers always have their finger on the pulse, staying in the loop about the latest trends and the best approaches to events.
They can consistently elevate your events, offering a broader perspective compared to an internal person with a more limited viewpoint.
Cons of Working with an Event Management Agency
Loss of Control/ Limited Control
You may feel that you have limited control over the direct planning and execution of the event. The event management agency, while skilled in execution, may not fully understand your business’s specific vision or subtle preferences.
This potential lack of control can leave you with less influence over on-the-fly adjustments or last-minute decisions during the event.
Striking the right balance between trusting the agency’s expertise and preserving a desired level of client involvement ensures the event aligns with your expectations and goals.
Making sure you're on the same page with your event management agency regarding costs is crucial. Open and honest budget discussions ensure that the financial aspects of the event align with your constraints and overall expectations.
Navigating the ideal cost approach for your company can also be a bit tricky. Choosing the right pricing model depends on the kind of event you're planning to throw – there's usually a sweet spot in terms of cost structure that works best for your needs.
Keep in mind that working with an event management agency is like working with any other agency: there are necessary fees that the agency must charge based on the scope of work, and this will affect your overall event budget.
To learn more about the five main types of agency fee structures, each with its advantages and disadvantages, check out our Comparing Event Management Agency Fee Structures blog.
Less Understanding of Your Business
A disadvantage of working with an event management agency is the potential for them to have a limited understanding of your specific business nuances.
Internal team members usually have a more comprehensive understanding of your business compared to an external agency (including the nuances that come with working with individuals on your team). You’ll likely have challenges with an agency truly “getting” your attendees and business in a way that an internal employee might.
It's good to consider the advantages and disadvantages of hiring an event management agency in light of your specific event needs and preferences. Ultimately, we recommend you make an informed decision on whether partnering with an event agency aligns best with you and your company's objectives.
If you are still on the fence about whether to work with an agency for your next event, try defining the vision for your event and attempt to align it with the in-house expertise available. If your company seems short on time or resources or is getting caught up in the details of budgets or planning, contact us to discuss your strategies.