C&IT Agency Forum: Four top tips for creating a winning pitch

Event planners from Roche, ITV, Barclays and L'Oreal shared their top tips for creating a winning pitch during a panel session at C&IT's Agency Forum.

1) Challenging the brief

While understanding and adhering to the objectives is essential, Ashleigh Jackman, vice president of relationships and events at Barclays Corporate and International, said it was important to surprise the client with a ‘little something extra’. "We need agencies who get into the grit of the objectives, we want someone to cover all the bases we want to see covered. But the best pitches are the ones where people challenge the objectives a little bit as well, and offer new suggestions to add even more value."

2) Meeting people you work with day to day

For Sally Holt, senior project manager at ITV Events, meeting the whole events team, rather than the senior managers and decision makers, is key. "We want to meet with the people we will actually be working with on a day to day basis, those who’ll be setting up the event," she explained. "We want to make sure that those people can take creative risks and demonstrate the awareness we’re looking for."

3) Help to visualise the event

According to Alison Williams, head of events at L’Oreal, visualisation is a hugely important part of pitches. "I always take pitches on to senior management, who may not have the same depth of knowledge about events that the specialist team does. If they can’t see what an event will look like, they won’t invest in it." She added that by 'bringing the event to life', agencies stood a better chance of engaging with the client. 

4) Become part of the team

While pitches are sometimes viewed as a sales exercise, Emma Chandisingh, head of events and engagement at Roche, said that to succeed, agencies really need to demonstrate that they can be part of the team. "I see an agency as an extension of my team, which is made up of eight people. We can do some things but we can’t do everything. I don’t want just the people who are selling to me, but the people I am going to be working with and building relationships with. She added that the dynamic has to be right for a pitch to work. 

More:

C&IT's Agency Forum kicks off at The O2 and ExCeL London

C&IT Agency Forum: ITV's Sally Holt on pitching 

C&IT Agency Forum: Stick to budget in pitches says brand panel 

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