Q3/Q4 performance: The agency has performed better than expected. "Earlier this year, we were cautious about the impact of the economy," says World Events managing director Martin Parry. "A lot always happens in the last quarter. We will be close to last year's pre-tax profit of £1.3m."
Staffing: Parry says the agency's working model has the flexibility to move staff between account teams and offices to accommodate changes in the volume of client work. World Events' staff of 120 is projected to grow by 10% next year. It will recruit primarily for its European and US offices but also in the UK. The salary freeze will be reviewed in coming months.
Recent wins and highlights: Winning Agency of the Year at the Eventia International Awards and the Imex award for commitment to the community are highlights. Parry declined to name any new clients but said one was a pharmaceutical company that awarded it a five-year contract.
Business plans for 2010: World Events plans to open two or three additional offices in Europe and possibly further afield. Its delegate management and communications system will be upgraded and developed. It will retain its focus on the pharma sector and may target financial services, IT and telecoms clients.
Industry outlook: There are signs of recovery from the recession. "In the past few weeks, there's been activity in new business opportunities," says Parry. "But 2010 is still going to be tough." World Events forecasts static business levels in 2010 but improvement in 2011 and 2012. "The industry should remember we are about adding value, and we should promote this to clients, not panic and give price away. We are not a commodity."
Read P&MM's views on 2010 and beyond here
Read TRO's views on 2010 and beyond here