The importance of transparency as an events agency
We've all been through it. You're discussing the costings of a company's product or service, and they seem to be pulling additional costs and extras out of nowhere. Estate agents and admin fees, ticket companies and booking fees - everybody is out to make a profit, it's just how business works. However, when it comes to your event agency, transparency is always best.
In the past, event organisers have been known to lack clarity when it comes to service costings, with many charging separate management and commission fees, rather than being upfront about what the total fee includes.
However, the event industry appears to be following the wide-scale changes that other industries such as advertising are taking towards creating more transparent cultures.
Surely anyone would much rather know where their money was going? We certainly would. Being transparent may be challenging, but as an events agency, we find it is a beneficial attribute for a number of reasons.
For starters, developing a longstanding and trustworthy relationship with a client can only be achieved through openness and honesty. As in any relationship, whether personal or professional, if it is built on dishonesty and ambiguity, it has a higher chance of failure. We know that the more transparent we are with clients, the more transparent they are with us. This means that anything preventing a client from staying loyal to our agency will probably be mentioned to us so that it can be resolved, before the client looks elsewhere.
Regardless of client feedback, being totally transparent is an indicator of confidence. No company is perfect, and there will always be ways in which we can improve the way our agency works. It's also a well-known industry fact that agencies earn commission from their suppliers e.g. hotels, venues, and restaurants.
'Yes, we do claim commission.' Because we do a great job...
...and in all honesty, every agency does. The only difference is who is transparent about it, and who tries to hide it.
From a logistical standpoint, being completely clear and candid about costings throughout the entire event planning process is the smartest way to work. It's hard for us to estimate fees from the moment a client approaches us, so keeping them up to date as costs potentially fluctuate (through further requests, extra work, price increases etc.) ensures that they don't face any unexpected costs.
Of course, transparency is important when considering the work we do for clients, but it also plays a large role in the development of our workforce. Honesty, transparency, openness - these are all character-building traits that, when integrated as both personal and company values, become noticeable amongst colleagues as well as clients.
Overall, the benefits of transparency certainly outweigh the disadvantages, and generally, has contributed to us developing great company values and long-lasting client relationships.