Conference News article…
Liz Taylor, MD at Taylor Lynn Corporation, looks back at how the industry has changed over the last 25 years.
The only real certainty in business is uncertainty. I am a glass half full person and for me, uncertainty is opportunity. Despite the challenges, the event sector, and agencies within it, have evolved into exceptional companies within a multi-billion-pound global industry. I admit to a slightly nostalgic moment here. My company celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and over that time, the rollercoaster of change has transformed my business world.
A chance meeting at Manchester’s Midland Hotel, brazen ambition and a creative spirit led to me setting up my first event business. When I began my journey, my company was fairly exclusive in the North of England, with most fledgling event companies based in London. This had its pros and cons.
Convincing a company to recognise what I could bring to their business was a big challenge: I was not just a party planner. I realised that the key to securing business was becoming a preferred supplier at every venue possible, so I networked until my feet hurt. During that time, I surrounded myself with loyal suppliers, delivering a first-class service and unique product. I decided from the start never to compromise my product by being cheap, to dig in my heels yet remain fair and honourable.
While agency numbers have exploded across the country, from large-scale convention producers to SMEs, what has been consistent is the need for flexibility. An agency model needs to reflect the demands of the market and have enough scope to develop quickly.
During the bank crisis of the 90s, the market changed almost overnight. We shifted much of our work into the private sector where budgets were still strong. We had to develop our corporate offering into creating innovative, smaller, and more cost-effective solutions. Sticking with our clients though until the market, and budgets rose once again. Agencies that wouldn’t evolve, were too slow to change, or couldn’t tap into other markets are no longer with us.