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
The most exclusive meeting locations with MICE by Palladium

Whether business travel or incentive trips, travelling is a unique experience. Palladium Hotel Group offers the best locations and service to join business and pleasure.

Case study: Balfour Beatty supplier conference

Case study: Balfour Beatty supplier conference

Venues and Events International oversaw the project management and onsite event management for the company's 2018 conference.

Venues in Birmingham, Warwick and Nottingham

Venues in Birmingham, Warwick and Nottingham

A roundup of the top venues, hotels and activities in the central region of England including large-scale conference centres.

Case study: The Wearable Technology Show 2019

Case study: The Wearable Technology Show 2019

This year's show was hosted over two days and featured keynotes from the BBC and Facebook.

World's most expensive cities for business trips

World's most expensive cities for business trips

New data from global mobility specialist ECA International reveals the 10 most expensive cities for business travel.

Lack of diversity is a 'competitive disadvantage'

Lack of diversity is a 'competitive disadvantage'

Diverse events are more interesting, more engaging and lead to better connections, says Hannah Redfern from Leaders in Sport.

How events can save the world

Crisis planning, sustainability, wellbeing and inclusion can cause difficulties for event organisers. So is it possible to host a truly ethical event?

Wellbeing makes 'good business sense'

Wellbeing makes 'good business sense'

Annie Metcalfe from Clear Partners says planners must adapt to the changing demands of incentive travel programmes.

Amex GBT appoints new general manager for meetings and events

Amex GBT appoints new general manager for meetings and events

Gerardo Tejado has held a number of commercial and client management roles at American Express GBT over the past 17 years.

Incentives are coming: 7 Game of Thrones-inspired destinations

Incentives are coming: 7 Game of Thrones-inspired destinations

From Croatia to Northern Ireland, the fictional land of Westeros has filming locations around the world ideal for meetings and events.

LATEST JOBS