Guardian Professional events head outlines plan

The Guardian Professional events team is taking action to retain delegates

Guardian Professional head of events Charlotte Gooch
Guardian Professional head of events Charlotte Gooch

Guardian Professional head of events Charlotte Gooch outlined the actions her team is taking to counter falling delegates numbers as the credit crunch begins to bite.

Speaking at the C&IT Agency Forum this morning, Gooch told delegates that providing high-quality content was key to retaining delegates in unfavourable economic conditions.

"The next 12-14 months are going to be incredibly hard," she said. "We are already feeling effects of the credit crunch - delegate numbers are down, they are faced with more restrictions and even justifying time out of the office to attend an event is difficult. To ensure we retain delegates, we are focusing on keeping event content compelling."

Gooch added that keeping abreast on events run by competitors was also important: "We are trying to stay ahead of the competition by securing better speakers and higher level sponsors."

Her team also allowed delegates flexibility in registering for events, offering tiered rates based on the market sectors in which they worked.

Guardian Professional is also increasingly turning to less conventional venues, which allowed for creativity and cost savings.

"We are moving away from hotels because they don't always serve our needs or reflect the content," said Gooch. "We are increasingly using galleries and cinemas, such as Rich Mix in Bethnal Green, London, as they make things fresher and are relatively cheap."

Guardian Professional is the business-to-business division of Guardian News and Media.

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