If you do eventually decide to engage the services of an events agency, it is probably best to do so through a 'pitch'. These are the rules.
A pitch is a tendering process between different agencies, in which they must provide you with a clear specification and an estimate based on your detailed briefing. This briefing must contain as a minimum clear information about the objective, target group and provisional budget for the event, as well as details of your selection criteria. Normally, the strongest value-for-money concept will be awarded the contract. When you decide to organise a pitch, there are a number of guidelines you should follow:
- Never allow more than three events agencies to take part. This is sufficient to make a relevant choice and avoids unnecessary costs, both for you and for the participating agencies. Always let an agency know how many of its competitors have also been invited to take part in the pitch, so that they can decide for themselves whether or not the risk is worthwhile: taking part in a pitch means a considerable investment of time and resources for the agency concerned. The drawing up of a detailed event proposal can take two to three full days and in extreme cases the costs involved may even reach 10,000 dollar. This is a lot of money to spend if you don’t think that you have much chance of winning the final contract.
- Make clear arrangements about possible financial compensation that you are prepared to pay for the time and effort involved in making a pitch. This is by no means an 'obligation', but it shows that the project initiator is serious, if he is prepared to pay the out-ofpocket expenses incurred by the participating agencies.
- Unless other prior arrangements have been made or financial compensation has been agreed, there is a gentleman's agreement that the intellectual rights relating to the creative concepts put forward in the proposals of the unsuccessful events agencies remain at all times the property of those agencies. It not done to reject an agency, but then run off with its ideas.
- Inform all the participating agencies with a minimum of delay as soon as you have reached your decision and the result of the pitch is known.