Five agencies to watch in 2017: FIRST

C&IT is revealing its five agencies to watch in 2017 this week. Next up is the people champion, FIRST.

FIRST's Mark Riches
FIRST's Mark Riches

Why?

It’s been a busy year for the newly rebranded FIRST (formerly First Protocol). In the space of a year the company has witnessed a 69% rise in profit, appointed Barry Richards from Grass Roots Meetings & Events to its US team, acquired New York agency BKA, and successfully completed its brand refresh.

What do they say?

Managing director Mark Riches describes 2016 as a ‘brilliant year’ after the successful rebrand and celebration of its 20th anniversary. "We’ve invested a huge amount in production capabilities this year, as well as into our people," he explains. "We now have over 60 team members in London and 200 globally. We’ve recently completed the ‘Great Place to Work’ survey, recognising the importance of our people and where to invest in them. I think it’s very important to never take them for granted, and to continue to invest in their retention through greattraining programmes and benefits." In addition the company has expanded its managed events services division to include venue sourcing and tech/data services.

What will 2017 bring?

According to Riches, the market has been tough and competitive for the past two years. "I don’t see any change in that, however, we do expect FIRST to grow in 2017, despite the political and economic challenges." He added that the agency would continue to invest in its services and its people. "I want to continue working with the best talent in our industry."

More:

FIRST expands team following client win

C&IT TV: First Protocol announces rebrand

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