Our MD, Nick Scott, recently did an interview with Lime Venue Portfolio about navigating the bounce back of events and how we are getting ready for the big return of our industry.
“We recently wrote in a blog that ‘the night is always darkest before the dawn’ and that the dawn is most certainly coming. But it has to be said, at times the ‘night’ that we, in the world of meetings and events, have been in has been both long and hard, and we’re thankful for those that have shone a proverbial torch for us, or lit it with moments of positivity and even fun.
One such business is arrangeMY; long term specialist business travel, accommodation and meetings and events agency, and friends to all of us at Lime Venue Portfolio. It’s no secret that agencies have taken their fair share of a battering over the last 12 months and the team at arrangeMY are no different. That’s why it’s even more remarkable that, when we sat down to speak to their Managing Director, Nick Scott, the mood was of optimism, humanity, humour (albeit often gallows), but also an unconditional focus on the future.
arrangeMY are in some respects fortunate. They are a well-run business with a strong management team, and because of that they have remained stable and positive over the last 12 months. We’re sure it’s not been easy; a staff of 80 people pre pandemic, often mixing between furlough, office based, and home based means a mixture of motivational and mental health challenges that the business has navigated expertly.
However, when we spoke to Nick, it was all about the future for arrangeMY, how are they setting themselves up for what is to come and what are the challenges that will be associated with it.
“First and foremost, it’s about ensuring the wellbeing of our staff. Furlough is tough, but also being denied doing what you love and having your purpose taken away also takes its toll. People often complain about work, but we lose something when its forcibly taken from us. We’re keen to get everyone in our team in the right mindset for a big return for our industry,” commented Nick.
These are important sentiments and some we could do well to replicate across the industry. The reality is that the meetings and events industry is returning and those that service it need to be in the right frame of mind following such a long period away. Why? As Nick underlines, a lot has changed while many have been away.
“Essentially we need to de-risk the events industry. We’re living in an age – post-pandemic – where things have changed and there are heightened perceptions of risk for delegates, organisers and staff in venues and agencies,” continues Nick. “The priorities for our staff have changed and we need to have the right skills and mindset to meet them.”
These priorities are important part of delivering responsible events as we move out of lock down and into more surer footing as we put this pandemic behind us. But the challenge for many within the industry is one of timing. With lead times ranging from six months to just a matter of days, there is a real chicken and egg about when to bring teams back together to prepare, and then to service clients demands. How is Nick and arrangeMY addressing this balance?
“We’re trying to predict the future here, but we can find solace in understanding the nature of the industry,” explains Nick. “We talked about getting staff in the right frame of mind for a return to work, but we also need to look at up-skilling and re-skilling, be it for safety, the massive increase in hybrid technology and much more. This takes time and commitment.
“We hope by then that we’ll be fielding enquiries for longer lead events at the end of the year but also being able to react nimbly to those urgent requirements for events,” continues Nick. “There will be a ‘race for space’, and we’ll need to have all hands-on deck to provide quality and informed consultancy to our customers.”
The balance is a tough one, but the approach by arrangeMY to use the space to invest in staff is commendable. So, how can venues and the supply chain support Nick and his team? “Brands, and I have to include Lime Venue Portfolio here, have been really supportive in giving us the information we need to make informed decisions on venues,” comments Nick.
“It’s also good to see that this advice is not self-serving but firmly rooted in what is best for the customer and the delegate,” continues Nick. “Venues have also been really good in working with agencies like ours on simple things like payment, contract and deposit flexibility which is important in getting our industry back on its feet. If we can continue through 2021 with this level of responsibility, we’ll be building a really strong industry for the future.”
At Lime Venue Portfolio we’re continuing our fight for a better industry by cheerleading those businesses and organisers who work to create better events. We enjoy working with arrangeMY and wish them the very best as they return to pre-pandemic growth. It’s an exciting time for them, and with strong leaders like Nick, we think there is more to come from this special company.”