Posts Tagged: Diary of A Start-Up

The Good Old Days of Travel

As a growing Event Management and Venue Finding Agency, we are finding ourselves more often than not at Birmingham Airport as we depart to operate and manage our events. Occasionally we may be lucky enough to venture down the M40 to London Heathrow if we are going somewhere a little more exotic than Glasgow. I have always loved travelling, but as I travel more in this new world of airline cost cuts, I shudder at the mere thought of boarding a short haul flight and treat long haul with a sense of trepidation (if turning right at the door, which is always the case).

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Walking the Tight Rope

It is great to be sitting back at my desk after a very busy 8 weeks helping the team deliver some incredible event management solutions across the UK and Ireland. From managing roadshows in muddy fields to delivering a prestigious gala dinner for 370 guests, our team has combined muddy wellies, hospitality desks and dinner jackets with both style and ease.

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High Street vs Megastores

As I sit here, with it positively freezing outside, I am listening to my favorite morning radio chat show as I work through my to do list. Half listening, they have been chatting about how many large retail chains have closed down in the last six weeks. It’s kinda scary. At the same time, there is a huge uproar as horsemeat has been found in certain mega food store burgers.

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To Exhibit, or Not to Exhibit

Well we have survived another EIBTM in Barcelona and the trip concludes a busy year of attending exhibitions, trade shows and fam trips with the objective of increasing our event management and venue-finding knowledge. And boy, what a year it has been! We have worked out we have seen over 300 hotels, venues DMC and support services at these events, which made us question the actual return on investment achieved. Read more on To Exhibit, or Not to Exhibit…

Carrot Danglers

Earning your stripes and becoming a credible event management agency is a little like the chicken and the egg story. You need clients to showcase your event management skills, yet to showcase your event management skills you need clients. And, when you think you have cracked this conundrum, you have to ask, where do I actually get my clients from?

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The Cost of Industry Knowledge

Like many of my industry colleagues, I understand that venue and destination knowledge is a key foundation to our company and keeping up to date with the new ‘must see’ places is vital in ensuring we remain current with our proposals and event offering.

I have always said that until you have experienced something, it can be hard to passionately sell it and as such, I have made it my business to promote fam trips and hosted buyer experiences wherever possible within the team this year. I am always very gracious and thankful that these brilliant opportunities exist and we look forward to them greatly. My mum never quite understands why members of our team are often away and no matter how much I explain, she always sees them as a free holiday somewhere glam. But holidays they are not! In fact, they can be really hard work, but their benefit is incredible.

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The Sales Train

I was sitting with my team this past week reviewing possible sales leads and the realistic possibility of these leads using Clearwater Events. Since opening the doors of Clearwater Towers, we have employed a variety of sales tools in an attempt to kick start the sales train, from using traditional telesales techniques to harnessing the potential power of social media. So what sales train is the best train to hop on board?

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The Social Media Question

So, it’s time to celebrate a little. Clearwater has just won an award for our C&IT Blog! The Blog Shop Best Blog Awards, awarded us second place in the Best Blog Content Category! As you can imagine, we are rather chuffed to have won this award so a little yippee is in order and of course a big thank you to C&IT.

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The Five Month Itch

So, the sales itch has started. We are five months in and since we launched in September, time seems to have passed us with lightening speed and experiences with incredible highs and quite disheartening lows along the way. Our strategic marketing is strong, our brand powerful and now it’s time to focus on increase our sales.

I was lucky enough to have attended Conventa in Slovenia last month, which proved to be incredibly enlightening. The show was excellent and informative, but what enlightened me was the positive feedback and industry opinion on our brand and ideology! Our brand is generating good feedback so, how can we best harness this to generate more sales?

With this in mind, our focus is on bringing our brand, knowledge and product to market in a low cost yet effective way. For us we need a strong anti itch cream that will not only sooth the symptoms but, also get rid of the irritation once and for all.

It’s, time for a bit of sweat equity. Sweat equals effort and this costs nothing if you have the right energy and determination. I always say that a stick has more muscles than me, but until I go to the gym and pump the iron, I shall remain a stick man forever – so not point complaining. It’s the same with sales. Until we literally spend every waking hour in direct marketing campaigns, we simply wont grow fast enough!

So here lies my next question…. What is effective direct marketing? I wish there was a rulebook for this! Sure, there are books and courses one could go on, but do they offer unique, creative solutions? Are email campaigns the way forward? Is telephone researching an effective tool? Is ‘dreaded’ networking groups an ideal starting point? How much will all this cost? It seems like an investment gamble and I have never been good at the Las Vegas card games (UNO is about the only card game I can master).

In the spirit of our Clearwater Thinking, it seems to me that it’s a combination of all of these and more. The next big challenge for us is unquestionably sales and getting more confirmed events on the books. So, here starts the next challenge in the Clearwater story! With brand in tow, lets get sweating!

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