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Liz Taylor

The ‘B-word’: worth every penny

Liz Taylor, MD at the Taylor Lynn Corporation, says brands should remember: you get what you pay for

The ‘B-words’ are everywhere: Brexit; Boris… They are dominating everything we do, which means there is no better time than to focus on the most important ‘B’ of all: brand. After 30 years of events management I am still working on new ways to bring brands to the dance floor. And it all begins with one simple quality: listening.

Listening to the client is the foundation to success. Representing their brand with an event is not about sticking up logos, projecting gobos onto a white wall, or a free-standing sign in a hotel foyer. For me, representing their brand is feeling it, breathing it, and digging deep, and often being challenged by unavailable CEOs who themselves underestimate the investigation involved to make their brand shine.  

In crafting a conference, product launch or incentive event, it is vital to embrace and embody the brand values. If the pieces fit and the chemistry works with a client, then every concept can be tailor-made to suit the client’s specific requirements and budget. The pitch documents we develop whet the appetite and provides us with the foundations upon which to grow ideas. This can take days, weeks, or months, but it is our investment in ensuring that the event is bespoke, and that it delivers maximum results. Every event is designed to specifically communicate a brand message. Bringing its values, journey and goals to life with a unique experience for guests.

So, to be asked to glibly produce an event tender document or an RFP in a short time frame, with a generic brief as a guideline, drives me nuts. It is impossible to be accurate or to innovative. It’s a tick box exercise that assumes all services are of equal quality. They are not; it is chalk and cheese to compare event tenders. One interpretation can offer the charisma of a wet fish but at the lowest price. The other could be at a higher price tag but with a memorable occasion to motivate and reward. Price alone should not be the judge of success. 

They also ignore the creative elements and the skill of the planner to deliver. Fly-by-night agencies can offer the lowest costs and talk a fair game. The reality is they often fail. A seasoned planner may cost more but will deliver time after time. There is a cost to professionalism and peace of mind that a template doesn’t cover.

So how can you fit all that onto an Excel spreadsheet and two attached JPEG photos? You can’t; it is impossible, so don’t try.