Agency Forum: BAE Systems' Rachel Hobson gives eight top tips for agencies

Offering insight at Agency Forum 2015, Rachel Hobson, head of events for BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, reveals her top tips for agencies.

Rachel Hobson, BAE Systems
Rachel Hobson, BAE Systems

1. Be resourceful

"When problems arise I don’t want an agency to panic, I want solutions," she explained. "I don’t want to understand what they have to do to resolve it. I want their face to say ‘yes, not a problem’. Leave it with us and I’ll come back to you with some solutions."

2. Learn to understand body language

When it comes to pitching, the approach is crucial for Hobson. "You need to read between the lines. I’m quite an open person. I give away enough for people to understand – I do that on purpose so that I do give people a chance." She added that body language can always tell you whether something is working in a meeting.

3. Seek out opportunities

Whilst Hobson admits she doesn’t like the hard-sell approach, she encourages agencies to be proactive. "Sometimes I get frustrated when agencies don’t seek out opportunities. That comes with the relationship and constant communication."

4. Listen and understand

"I recently had to stop working with a supplier because they couldn’t understand what I wanted. It's crucial for agencies." She added that agencies need to find a balance between ‘selling’ and working closely with corporate clients to discover what they want and need.

5. Build trust

For Hobson, trust is crucial to relationship success. "Everything is based around the relationship. I couldn’t work without a good relationship." She added that trust is built over time, with agencies making a concerted effort to develop relationships and understand the corporate company's needs.

6. Put processes in place when changing staff

When a corporate company has a relationship with one agent at a firm, it can make things difficult when they leave the company. "I will typically work with one person, who I’ve built trust with and I’m invested with – someone who understands what I want quickly and easily," explained Hobson. "I’ve had to leave a supplier before, because processes weren’t put in place to sustain the agency relationship."

7. Offer ‘pay by project’ services

"I like to pay on a project basis, and say ‘this is the project, this is the scope,’" explained Hobson. She added that a little flexibility goes a long away and that making small changes without a hefty additional charge is all ‘part of the relationship’.  

8. Follow through

"Internally I can’t turn around and say ‘Oh, my supplier has let me down’," explained Hobson. "We’re all under a lot of pressure and I need an agency to deliver, whatever the circumstances." She added that confidence was crucial, and that one person should be able to orchestrate their group.

More:

Agency Forum: Seven top tips for dealing with procurement

Agency Forum: Size doesn't matter, says corporate events head

Agency Forum: Think 'big in the boring' says London 2012 brand director

• For more breaking news, as well as in-depth features and case studies, sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
Global travel trends revealed in Amex 2020 hotel predictions

Global travel trends revealed in Amex 2020 hotel predictions

Prices in 150 key cities facing travel buyers when budgeting for MICE programs, according to Amex GBT.

Royalton Grenada Resort to open March 2020

Royalton Grenada Resort to open March 2020

New resort and spa will be the largest on the Caribbean island of Grenada with 269 suites.

Northern Irish treasures: The best hotels, venues and activities

Northern Irish treasures: The best hotels, venues and activities

From bustling Belfast to the rugged shores of Ballintoy, Northern Ireland is full of iconic delights.

How mental health first aiders can spot workplace exhaustion

How mental health first aiders can spot workplace exhaustion

Awareness of the early signs of burnout can prevent problems further down the line, says Stress Matters' Laura Capell Abra.

Why China has become one of ICCA's top 10 destinations for meetings

Why China has become one of ICCA's top 10 destinations for meetings

Ahead of IBTM China, ICCA's Noor Ahmad Hamid says that the Chinese MICE industry is booming.

8 of the best hotels in Malaysia

8 of the best hotels in Malaysia

A selection of hotels in coastal Penang, the capital Kuala Lumpur and tropical Borneo.

Campfire conferences should replace hotels, buffets and PowerPoint

Campfire conferences should replace hotels, buffets and PowerPoint

Scrap the traditional conference and get delegates out in the wild for a memorable experience, says Top Banana's Emma Collins.

Case study: Mercedes-Benz at Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum 2019

Case study: Mercedes-Benz at Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum 2019

China's best and brightest entrepreneurs got an in-depth look at the Mercedes-Benz S-Class at the annual conference.

In pictures: The Biltmore, Mayfair to open in September

In pictures: The Biltmore, Mayfair to open in September

Following a multi-million-pound redevelopment, The Biltmore is set to become London's latest luxury hotel.

Activities and hotels in stylish Scandinavia

Activities and hotels in stylish Scandinavia

A look at what the capital cities of Sweden, Faroe Islands and Denmark have to offer.

LATEST JOBS