IBR reports shift in purchasing trends

Budget considerations and a growing reliance on online technology have been identified by IBR managing director Chris Madge as two major trends currently developing within the UK event management industry. His comments come as the company announces a number of key personnel changes designed to aid further expansion over the next two years. It is recruiting for six new positions within its operations team, and has also made several promotions. These include the appointment of Josephine Yaxley to the new post of director of sales. “We’ve noticed a real change in the way that corporate clients are now making their purchasing decisions,” said Madge. “Whereas previously it would have been a company’s training department that liaised with the agency, now it is more likely to be the purchasing department that takes control of travel budgets and manages them more strategically. This, of course, leads to a greater emphasis on cost-effectiveness when it comes to negotiating with their suppliers for events.” Furthermore, Madge claimed corporates are now seeking a one-stop-shop solution, using a bill-back facility where the agency deals with all suppliers and the client is invoiced from just one source. “We expect the value of bookings handled this way to treble between June and December this year,” he said. Madge also highlighted the fact that clients are increasingly looking to outsource their IT delivery in event provision, asking agencies to set up online registration systems where corporate organisers can check on delegates’ progress.

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