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Organising an event in itself

IF the thought of Christmas makes you feel a bit weak at the knees, spare a thought for those poor souls slaving away behind the scenes in the events management industry.

There’s not a day that passes in December that isn’t crammed with the obligatory Christmas party or end-of-year drinks.

For many businesses the events calendar means far more than a few glasses of champagne at Christmas.

Events can provide valuable cross-promotional opportunities and brand alliances when developed as part of a strategic marketing strategy.

Jacqui Jordan heads up an event management business called Jacqui Jordan Events.

The business has taken a long time to find its feet in Perth, a very different market to Sydney and Melbourne, where the events marketing industry is now very well established.

“About five years ago Sydney evolved into a very serious events city because a lot of head offices are in Sydney (and) the marketing focus is a little more prolific,” Ms Jordan said. “It has dominoed (sic) into the smaller cities like Perth.”

Despite the immaturity of the Perth market, a number of businesses are using events both as vital networking tools and opportunities to leverage a brand.

Major events such as Smales Jewellers WA Fashion Week and the BankWest Sandalford Symphony are examples of clever events marketing.

And it’s far more than just naming rights, as the events also provide business opportunities for sponsors.

But it’s a high-risk strategy and the nature of events demands a flawless execution.

“The traditional style of marketing worldwide is shifting towards relationship style marketing and consequently towards events or corporate entertaining,” Ms Jordan said.

“From a business perspective, people are recognising that looking after clients gives them a far greater strength in marketing sometimes.

“For many companies advertising is not appropriate, although retail business will always rely on that form of marketing.

“It’s not saying that we’re all frills and fluff, it’s a little more thoughtful than that.

“It has become a lot more sophisticated. The days of just booking a ballroom are over.”

Only very few companies in Perth specialise in events, although a number of public relations firms offer events services.

Atticus Director Paul Plowman said events were a very specialised area with a small number of people who did it very well.

“It’s a market that’s certainly been growing but it requires a very specialised knowledge,” he said.

“It’s one way of defining yourself.

“Where the difficulty lies is what you try to leverage out of an event.

“There are some very good examples … and you see this with Wesfarmers aligning itself with major arts events … and they can leverage that.”

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