Agents must be activists, speaker says

Agencies need to see themselves as green ‘activists’ when negotiating with venues if they are to drive the environmental events forward, according to BBL Events training and development director Kate Cripps. Speaking at one of this morning’s National Venue Show seminars – running this week at Birmingham NEC – Cripps said: “Venues need to be pressured to change and we need to be activists to bring that about. This should not be taking you or them any more time and money than you would normally spend [on enquiries]. We need to be asking the questions to guarantee clients’ get the venues they require.” Cripps went on to describe a recent enquiry she made for her client The Carbon Trust, wherein she selected a hotel because it had won a green tourism award. “I telephoned to ask them why they had won it and no one knew. Later they faxed me a list of the points they had satisfied to win the awards. That they didn’t automatically know and that they faxed rather emailed the response really didn’t impress me.” Cripps also went on to encourage other agencies to be brave in addressing clients’ last-minute requests demanding environmentally friendly events: “If environmental concerns are key to the event, then we have to say “no” if we’re asked to turn it round in a few weeks. You cannot do events such as this properly at short notice.”

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