You launched 2B UK just over six months ago with your AlliedPRA colleague, Jeremy Brown, after the closure of the destination management company's European operations. How is business going so far?
Since we set out our budgets in March, we’ve increased our turnover forecast by 200%, so we’re really pleased about that. We’re running events for more than 15 clients this year. Around 50-60% of those were contacts we had through AlliedPRA, but the rest are completely new to us. We’ve had some really significant business wins this year. We retain a good relationship with AlliedPRA. We’re a completely separate company but we are considered a partner if they’re running an event in the UK.
What have been the main challenges of launching your own DMC?
One of the biggest challenges, possibly for any start-up, is resource, training and recruitment. You’re trying to do everything yourself and I really feel like there’s a skills shortage in this market. Finding people who really understand how a DMC works and have a good base of knowledge of London is very difficult. We need people to be knowledgeable about the UK, as well as having event management skills. London is an ever-changing city and we need to keep on top of it.
What does the future hold for you?
We’ve had a phenomenal first year. Now we just have to work on our brand awareness. We’ve not had chance to get our website up and we need to increase out sales-and-marketing push quite heavily. We’re always looking to push creativity into our product. London is London so people always want to do the traditional stuff, but they also want an edge. For example, we had one group over who were estate agencies and wanted to learn about the UK housing market. The group were also into fitness so we ran a cycle tour around a series of London properties. We aim to take people to the kind of bars and restaurants they’ve never been and could never really find, while keeping everything relevant to the client’s needs. London is an amazing city – it can be tailored and unlocked for any market.
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