Zibrant sets sights on venue finders

Zibrant is targeting venue-finding agencies as it goes back on the acquisition trail in 2007. The move is part of a three-year plan to “generate significant growth in every area of the business – events, venue finding and performance improvement”, events and communications director Chris Parnham told C&IT. While Parnham said Zibrant – which in recent years acquired the likes of Rand, McGarvey Russell, IBR and Illico – would not rule out further event agency acquisitions in 2007, the emphasis would be venue-finders. “We want to be able to offer our clients the best deal and the broadest offer possible and the best way to grow in venue finding is through acquisition rather than organic growth.” Parnham currently has a shortlist of six agencies of varying sizes he’s looking to narrow down early in 2007, although no exact schedule has been set down. “It’s not a closed list and what happens when will depend on who we acquire. Some we could get within one month and some might take a year.” Zibrant has not ruled out buying several small venue finders but the preference is for one large agency. On the events side, Parnham told C&IT that 2007 would see a focus on further integrating Rand and McGarvey Russell into the Zibrant fold, with an emphasis on cross-selling the two to clients. In 2008, Illico and McGarvey Russell will combine to become Zibrant Events while IBR becomes Zibrant Venues. A client marketing drive is also being lined up, centring on a series of workshops. Subjects include ROI, creativity and CSR with the first session in spring. Parnham concluded that CSR will be a key focus for Zibrant in the next twelve months and will see it offer a carbon-neutral events service. “The majority of our clients want to produce carbon neutral and this will show that it doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive. Events can go carbon-neutral for as little as £1 per delegate.”

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