Touch Associates completes merger and plans debut US office

Touch Associates has merged with Octopus Communications and is set to open its first office in the US in April.

Touch Associates launched in January 2012 and is now set to open a debut US office
Touch Associates launched in January 2012 and is now set to open a debut US office

Merger

Touch Associates - which officially launched in January 2012 – has brought Octopus Communications director Paul Smith onto its board.

The Surrey-based agency was set up by events industry mavens Nick Bender, Patrick Collins, Mike Ford and Colette Murphy last year in a bid to create a collaborative enterprise with a consultative approach.

Now Smith has joined the board, he will focus on developing bespoke solutions for his own portfolio of clients. Octopus has worked with corporates including AOL, BSkyB and Deutsche Bank in the past.

"We are thrilled about Paul joining with Touch - he adds some extra sparkle to the Touch story," said Collins, who was formerly chairman of Universal Procon.

Collins added that 2013 was "above target to be even better than 2012", with the agency "moving towards a healthy profit, a stronger balance sheet and no borrowings".

US office

Meanwhile, the agency is also planning its first overseas office, based in the US.

Touch USA will open in New Jersey in April 2013, overseen by former Universal Procon colleagues Ford and Murphy, who both have extensive experience of US start-ups. 

"We will be servicing existing clients and building on long-standing relationships to provide high touch, high quality service," said Ford.

The agency – which has a strong focus on the pharmaceutical and financial sectors – has added eight new clients, added Bender, who was previously global head of events at Grass Roots before leaving in July 2011.

"What an exciting year; we have grown the business by adding eight new clients and increasing our team to 14 people, as well as continually investing in our future growth," he added.

New recruits

Among new recruits are former Grass Roots Eventcom operations manager and Sportsmark account manager Karen Brock, who has joined Touch as project lead, and Grass Roots operations manager Maria Raimondi, who has joined as event manager.

Also joining the team are Caroline Wakley, from Parexel MMS Europe, and Jo Murray.

"Our philosophy is ‘If you believe in it, make it happen’, so we sacrificed some profitability to fund growth in targeted sectors, which involved recruiting several great people who bring significant experience to add to our operational infrastructure," added Murphy.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
'Four-poster bed, copper bath and gorgeous furnishings': a night at Down Hall Hotel

'Four-poster bed, copper bath and gorgeous furnishings': a night at Down Hall Hotel

C&IT's associate editor reviews a country house hotel dating back to 1322 with Italianate architecture and luxury interiors.

The charity ball with a projection-mapped 'Wheel of Fortune'

The charity ball with a projection-mapped 'Wheel of Fortune'

Country estate Alrewas Hayes hosted the 25th anniversary of the Hope and Homes for Children fundraiser.

2020's most popular incentive destinations

2020's most popular incentive destinations

In our State of the Industry: Incentives report, we look at the top countries and cities over the past year.

Cancellations and deferrals: How global agencies are reacting to coronavirus

Cancellations and deferrals: How global agencies are reacting to coronavirus

As IBTM APAC gets postponed, agencies tell C&IT what they are doing to meet the challenges posed by the outbreak.

IBTM APAC 2020 postponed over coronavirus

IBTM APAC 2020 postponed over coronavirus

Organisers have postponed the inaugural IBTM Asia Pacific due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

How are incentive budgets changing in 2020?

How are incentive budgets changing in 2020?

Budgets increases come despite fears over economic uncertainty, according to the State of the Industry 2020: Incentives report.

MGM Resorts takes action over massive data hack

MGM Resorts takes action over massive data hack

More than 10.6million guests have had their data leaked after the cyber attack, according to reports.

APAC planners still 'use manual processes' for most of their tasks

APAC planners still 'use manual processes' for most of their tasks

Australian and New Zealander event planners need a more technology-driven approach, according to new research by Cvent.

DICE launched to improve diversity at conferences and events

DICE launched to improve diversity at conferences and events

New charter aims to eliminate 'manels' and offers guidelines for making events more diverse, on and off stage.

Are experiential food and drink incentives on the rise?

Are experiential food and drink incentives on the rise?

Planners reveal what food and drink experiences clients are increasingly requesting, in the C&IT State of the Industry: Incentives report.

LATEST JOBS