The relationship between a client and their event marketing agency has a lot to do with the level of results obtained as well as the ease, effectiveness and cost of obtaining them. Thus, evaluating agency relationships is common practice in the advertising and PR worlds. Applying a similar methodology to event marketing agencies provides a good basis for evaluation of the working relationship.
There are two types of variables that serve as agency evaluation metrics:
1. Performance Variables
These variables include such considerations as overall effectiveness, production, financial management, creative, etc. The client is asked to evaluate their agency on those aspects of support using a suggested rating scale. The client is also asked to provide an explanation of each variable as the basis for discussion and improvement.
2. Values Variables
Common values are essential to a good relationship. Value variables include elements such as the agency’s discipline (how strong are they in meeting deadlines, being present at meetings, etc.) and their resourcefulness (do they think strategically for example?). Another example might be shared responsibility. The client is also asked to rate the value variables on a similar scale and provide an explanation of each variable as the basis for discussion and improvement.
Once the variables have been established, it is essential to implement the agency evaluation as part of the overall event marketing measurement program. Relationship measurement should be supplemental to measurement of accomplishments and results. If results are less than satisfactory, the immediate focus should be on identifying and correcting factors that will produce better results from the next event. Sometimes immediate performance issues degrade into ad-hoc evaluation of the relationship, neither solving the immediate problem nor objectively diagnosing the relationship issues. If relationship measurement is structured and scheduled as a regular activity, for example quarterly, this tendency is reduced.
On a more advanced level, evaluations are completed by the agency as well, providing analysis of both sides of the relationship. Relationship variables with the largest rating gaps reveal the likely causes behind problems or friction among the team members. Changes are made that alleviate problems and progress is tracked by reporting improvement from period to period.
Although agency evaluation may be new to our world, it should be given strong consideration as an aid to increased customer satisfaction, lower turnover and greater job satisfaction for everyone. We are working on bringing this capability to the events industry. Please comment and let us know your thoughts or suggest elements of performance and values that apply to event marketing agency relationships.
For more information or to discuss this concept as a means to improve your Event Marketing program, please contact us at +1 (770) 391-0015 or firstname.lastname@example.org.