Suppliers need to be ‘smarter’ to win work

Agencies and suppliers will have to work "smarter" to win corporate business as the UK enters into a recession. That's the message from Maritz sales strategy director Graham Burt, who was part of a panel of speakers at the Summer Eventia conference yesterday (Monday 7 July). "There's plenty of business out there – you just have to be smarter to get it," he said. Corporate budgets in the automotive sector were tight but events were still seen as an essential tool to educate dealers and win customers. "A lot of new models are coming out over the next few years, and manufacturers realise they must make a big bang with launches," said Burt. "They must engage their dealer networks so they can confidently sell the products." Retail was one of the first sectors to be hit by the credit crunch but it was still spending money on events. "Margins are being squeezed so they are spending less on international events but are redirecting that money into staff training," he said. Yellow Communications head of client relations Jeremy Petty, who was also a panelist, said corporate budgets were decreasing even before the credit crunch hit. As the UK moved into a recession, it would become increasingly important for events to "have a business case" and to be interactive and of tangible value. "The importance of these factors has massively intensified over the past six months and it will be further exacerbated with the impact of the credit crunch," said Petty.

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