The highs and lows of setting up your own events agency

08 January 2015

#UKBA15 shortlisted

#UKBA15 shortlisted

We asked Rachel Dugmore, a past Event Manager with Merlin Events, how herself and business partner Colette went about setting up their dynamic Event Management agency Eventspiration.

“Colette and I are Directors of Eventspiration, an Events Management agency based in London and we specialise in organising corporate events.

We met each other seven years ago and have been managing Eventspiration successfully for three and a half years. I would say that working together was both the key motivator and success factor in setting up our business. Having support kept us focused and committed in the early days when it was all very daunting.”

When is the right time?

“I would highlight here that it is important to set up an events agency at the right time for you personally. For example it has to be the right time in your life where you can support yourself financially through a potential period of low income. You also need to focus on your business 100% of the time, seven days a week, so it’s good to not have any other major commitments or distractions for the first twelve months.”

What are you going to call your business?

“Determining our company name was the first hurdle we faced. We would spend hours coming up with the most fantastic, creative and unique name, just to find out that it wasn’t so unique at all and in fact was already a registered domain (and had been for years!)  This happened at least 100 times!”

What is your brand identity?

“The next challenge we faced was identifying our brand and identity. Who were we? Who did we want to be? What were our values? Upon deciding this we then had to portray this message effectively through our website, logo and marketing material.  We had at least thirty different logo versions and the website took a good six months to develop before we were happy with it – my advice is to have a very understanding web designer!”

What is your unique offering?

“We then had to decide what our business offering would be – you can’t be a master of all trades. We decided which events we enjoyed the most, what services we wanted to provide and the type of clients we wanted to work with and focused on marketing ourselves appropriately.”

How do you stand out from the crowd?

“The next challenge – how do you make yourself stand out against the competition with no reputation and no capital funding? This was a big hurdle for us, however setting up in a recession proved advantageous. There was a lot of movement in the industry, new event buyers were being introduced which meant there were gaps in the market to introduce ourselves without breaking down existing relationships. Looking at your industry, what your competitors are doing and what your customers want is crucial. Identify opportunities in the market and stay one step ahead!”

 And lastly …

“Our final piece of advice is continuous hard work and tenacity. Setting up a company is no easy task but the rewards are there to be reaped in the long run and it is one of the most enjoyable and satisfying things we have both done. If you need more inspiration we would love to hear from you!”