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
How to recruit new 'wildcard' speakers

How to recruit new 'wildcard' speakers

Education, training and speaker coaches are key to unearthing new talent, according to an expert panel at the C&IT Corporate Forum.

La Torre Golf & Spa Resort opens in Murcia

La Torre Golf & Spa Resort opens in Murcia

New 133-room DoubleTree hotel features lake-front views, a ballroom for 700 delegates and four restaurants.

Read the full State of the Industry: Corporate Report

Read the full State of the Industry: Corporate Report

C&IT subscribers can read our report for corporate event planners, including stats, trends and industry insights.

Agency boss reveals blueprint for rapid business growth

Agency boss reveals blueprint for rapid business growth

MD of WONDER London explains how his company has quickly grown from two to 40 people in six years, working with clients like Google.

In pictures: Performing Artistes' New Year Speaker Drinks

In pictures: Performing Artistes' New Year Speaker Drinks

The annual event with drinks and entertainment was held at the Institute of Directors and hosted by comedian Andy Parsons.

6 new international congress centres

6 new international congress centres

As demand for large-scale international events continues to grow, we take a look at conference venues opening from 2019.

In pictures: Corporate Forum 2019

In pictures: Corporate Forum 2019

This year's forum featured inspirational talks, panel discussions and a gala dinner in the ballroom at The Langham hotel.

How to increase delegate engagement

How to increase delegate engagement

A panel of experts at the C&IT Corporate Forum discussed how to attract delegates and keep them happy.

'Riskiest' places to travel revealed by medical insurer

'Riskiest' places to travel revealed by medical insurer

From typhoid and malaria to 'Delhi Belly', new research reveals where travellers could catch the most threatening travel bugs.

Live Union hires senior account manager

Live Union hires senior account manager

Leonor Nem├ęsio Nobre joins from Kia Motors, where she worked on a range of corporate events.

LATEST JOBS