Adam Roberts, Marketing & Business Development Manager at AGM Event and Travel Solutions, AIEA Members, shares his take on how it feels to change from the supplier side to the agency side of our industry.
As a recent newcomer to the agency side of the hospitality world and having previously spent 18 years in hotels and venues, I have been asked the question a few times now; ‘how are you finding it on the other side?’ The question has made me think in depth about the differences and what exactly are the pro’s and con’s.
The biggest and most obvious difference is I’m now selling a ‘service’ rather than a ‘venue’. I’m offering to venue find, save time and money. Before, I had a tangible product I could welcome customers to, food they could taste, a meeting room they would sit in, AV they would utilise. In many ways, this is an easier sell. A client is looking for a venue, I had a venue. I’d show them round and they would decide if they like it. Much like buying a TV. You visit a store, see a TV you like, touch it, check the quality, understand the functions and then buy it.
Now though, I am selling a service that isn’t really tangible until the client actually agrees to let me do the work for them. It’s very much like selling them an ‘idea’ first and getting them to believe you will help them. To use the TV analogy, it’s like telling them I have a great TV that would be perfect for them but they have to agree to give me the cash first before seeing it. As you can probably imagine (and have experienced yourselves), this can sometimes be a bit more tricky…
As a marketing & Business Development Manager, it’s very much my job to make that part of the conversation with a new client as easy as possible. I think this part of the job of an agent is the biggest difference however, just like on the venue side, once you have a client’s belief and trust, it’s exactly the same. Both come down to customer service.
I genuinely think that other than the above, the two sides of hospitality (venues & agents) are exactly the same. It’s all about people and service no matter how you look at it. As the old saying goes, ‘people buy people’ is as true today as it’s ever been.
Here at AGM Event & Travel Solutions, customer service is something we really pride ourselves on. We believe that as long as customer service is on point, you can pretty much deal with all eventualities.
As we enter into our 5th year of business, our core values are driving the business and we look forward to being part of the AIEA for many years to come. Our staff are bright & bubbly individuals that have a wealth of experience combined with a happy & positive demeanour!
If you would like to learn more about us an agency, about our idyllic offices in the Cotswolds or our 4 awesome office dogs, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org