Three Changes Your Event Services Agency Needs To Make in 2023
Few other industries have suffered as much as the event services business over the last few years. Luckily, the green shoots that appeared in 2022 thanks to the return of in-person events look set fair for growth in 2023.
But set against an uncertain economic outlook, how can a modern agency take advantage of the opportunity while balancing the risk?
1. Focus intensely on Quoted vs. Actual Time
The modern event services agency relies on a complex web of suppliers and partners. At Scoro, where many of our customers are event agencies, one of the most frequent headaches we are asked to help solve is that they have little real-time insight into spending, costs, and control of budgets. Sending purchase orders (POs) from a spreadsheet or accounting tool and manually consolidating and tracking this information is a time-suck of notable proportions.
Having no clear insight into how your project is progressing against how it was planned means your service delivery could end up being more Fyre Festival than fire.
How to make the change: By ensuring that your business runs from one integrated platform like Scoro, you can gain the necessary insights that will help you nurture and maintain relationships with clients, partners, and service providers. You’ll catch potential cost overruns and late deliveries or payments on the fly before they become a disaster. For example, Scoro’s Quoted vs. Actual Dashboard lets you easily track supplier bills versus original quotes to catch discrepancies as they arise.
“We are now able to track real-time budget costs vs actual costs, including full labor breakdowns.” Kirsty Todd, Consolidated
2. Understand Project-Level Profitability
Due to rising inflation, high demand, and increased event costs, organizations will have to allocate more budget towards their events, or they will drive agencies to deliver more for less. A study by CWT found that the cost per attendee in 2022 was 25% higher than pre-pandemic, and they predict an additional 7% increase in 2023.
The danger for event service agencies is that these higher costs eat into their profit margins. In addition, the possibility of an even more severe economic downturn on the horizon means that event organizers will be under more pressure to show the return on investment for events and prove their value.
The key here is to maximize efficiency, and the old way of working from spreadsheets and hoping for the best is simply not going to cut it. A significant hurdle event service agencies face in their attempt to scale is a reliance on outdated manual processes that take time and human resources to maintain.
How to make the change: Keep track of every step of your organizational process in one place to find areas for improvement and cost reduction. To do this, you need to implement standardized processes and use technology to streamline manual tasks and lower event costs. There is nothing more crushingly disappointing than reflecting on an event after the fact, only to find that you have let costs run away from you and stand to make far less of a profit than expected. Luckily you can control budgets in real-time and ensure that costs don’t exceed profits with Scoro’s Work-In-Progress Report.
“Scoro has given us real-time financial analysis and allowed us to get rid of the dreaded excel spreadsheet.” Adrian Strittmatter, CEO, SAENTYS
3. Manage Agency Growth with Better Technology
One of the most frequent issues events agencies run into as they scale is that of legacy tools and their limitations. Using siloed sales, accounting, quoting, and work management tools as a small organization, while certainly not ideal, is just about manageable. But to take advantage of the industry boom and grow successfully, something more is needed. To achieve greater efficiencies, reduce costs and increase visibility, companies need to switch to one integrated software, as this allows you to house your event data in a single source of truth. It also facilitates the flow of data between internal systems, such as Marketing/CRM, HR, finance systems, and more.
Not only does this provide a holistic view of your entire meetings and events program, but it also allows you to standardize and enforce global policies across your organization and improves reporting. Of course, this can be challenging, as some departments in your business can be very attached to existing systems.
How to make the change: Ensure that your event data isn’t siloed from other internal systems. Use a robust software platform that can integrate with (or replace) your core systems to create a single source of truth and improve measurement. Scoro offers a complete, end-to-end solution that will easily meet the needs of any event services company. But we also live in the real world, so if there’s a tool you already use for a part of your process that you simply can’t live without, it’s highly likely that we have an integration that means you can still slot this into the bigger picture.
“Scoro is highly powerful and has a lot of functions without being overly complex to use. The platform is simple to use and regularly adds new capabilities; it works with software that you know works and is always being improved.” Mindy Brenneman, SLCC
With Scoro’s integrated platform, event services businesses can manage their sales, projects, purchase orders, and financials from the same place. Scoro’s analytics, dashboard, and reporting functionality equips event services leaders with the tools and data they need to understand:
- Quoted vs Actual to easily track supplier bills vs. original quotes to catch discrepancies and manage budgets efficiently.
- Project-level profitability to avoid runaway projects that end up costing their business more than they bring in.
- Work-In-Progress to gain insight into the entire financial health of all their projects so they know exactly what needs to be improved and how.
We’ve helped more than 20,000 users in over 60 countries around the world scale their workflows and boost profitability with one easy-to-use platform. Register for a free trial today and see how we can help you.