Agency Eye: TRO: more than just a theme

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Martin Fullard chats to TRO client services director Amelia Shepherd about what drives the agency and embracing change

There’s no denying that TRO is one of the largest event agencies operating in the UK. Regular award-winners, they’ve been working harder than ever doing what they do best. So much so, in fact, that they say 2018 is to be a year of change and that they will be more visible than ever.

I headed over to their London office in Isleworth – one of several around the world – to chat to the enthusiastic Amelia Shepherd, client services director.

I want to find out what TRO brings to experiential events that stands them apart?
Shepherd cheerfully explains: “We are passionate about delivering experiences that create real commercial value for our clients. All of our experiences are deep rooted in strategy – with our creative being born from consumer insights – in order to make it truly resonate. We focus on how we want the consumer to feel, think and act as a result of an experience, and to link back to our client’s brand objectives.”

Shepherd explains at length that TRO sees 2018 as a year of change, and not just based around a single theme. She says: “Having purpose is one of our main motivators moving forward. We have an inherent desire to ‘do better, be better’ as a business.
We’re encouraging our entire workforce to ‘be brave’. We want each and every member of staff to have the courage to take more risks, flexing their initiative and creative muscles.”

So with this in mind, does the culture of TRO draw certain types of client? “We are lucky to work with leading global brands,” says Shepherd. “We’ve historically been known as experts within the automotive sector and have a strong presence at events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed. However, we also have a strong client base in FMCG and consumer-tech, among other industries, and have seen an increasing amount of our experiential activity take place within the retail space.”

The automotive sector is famously fierce when it comes maintaining brand image, what drew these manufacturers to the agency? Shepherd says: “Our very first client, Volvo, is still a major client for us 35 years on. We have worked with BMW for over 20 years and Lucozade for over 15.

“Our clients trust us and for many we are an extension of their team. Our clients tell us we are a very safe pair of hands, they know we’ll deliver, consistently.”

As our feature on page 27 suggests, we are in an era of change. I’m curious as to TRO’s take on the state of the industry at the moment. Shepherd says: “It’s been widely recognised that experiential marketing has come of age. Other disciplines (i.e. advertising, PR, media) are realising the effective outcomes that experiences offer for clients – from loyalty to brand perception.

“In 2018, we can only predict that brands will increasingly recognise the value in live engagement, and choose to increase spend on experiential. It’s an exciting time, and we are very much embracing it.

Martin Fullard

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Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

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