Earlier this month, the industry association said that following meetings and discussions with BT about it using The Waterford House Partnership to organise an event, an agency set up by former chairman of the now defunct THA Group and not on its official supplier roster, the telecoms giant had listened and reverted to its normal roster process.
But Adding Value’s chief executive Randle Stonier has questioned the importance of Eventia's role. Commenting on citmagazine.com, he said: "A lot of column inches have been written about the whole sorry THA affair and its aftermath. I don't perceive that Eventia have influenced BT in any way. At the end of the day BT was as much a victim as numerous suppliers.
"To my knowledge there are currently about 20 different event suppliers on BT's roster providing a disparate array of event services from production through to event management. BT regularly reviews its rosters looking at creativity, service and value for money.
He continued: "As a result of Eventia's self important announcement, in one day to my knowledge 20+ prospective event vendors contacted BT demanding to be invited to tender for a specific project, a tender process that was already well advanced, agencies having already pitched. Did their aggressive approaches endear themselves? Probably not."
Line Up’s managing Duncan Beale, however, applauded Eventia. "It’s the first time I recall seeing any organisation stand up to a client and actually question what’s the point of having a roster and making agencies jump through hoops to get onto it, and then not sticking to it," he said.
"The fact that Eventia has brought this into the public domain is a good thing. Usually organisations such as Eventia are introspective, but I felt on this occasion they actually served the needs of their members well."
Eventia chief executive Izania Downie added: "I’ve had countless emails from agencies saying thank you, that’s exactly the sort of work Eventia should be doing. That’s the benefit of having a voice for the industry. One agency couldn’t actually have that influence as BT wouldn’t have met with them, but they listened to us and were very positive about wanting to work with the industry and the doors of communication are now open."
Do you think Eventia influenced BT? Have your say here