High expectations – Low budgets


(meanwhile at Hungarian outdoor event market)
by Tibor Takács ColorCrew

Bring new ideas and tools into the CEE outdoor event market – it is not an easy mission to complete. Even if it is clearly expected from the vendors/suppliers/organizers to represent the latest ‘trendy’ tools customized to the certain outdoor events to maximize the visitors’ experience but „please do not exceed last year’s budget as it is difficult to get it authorized…”. SAY WHAT?

No, I am not talking about the eternal battle between the supply and demand spiced up with inflation and increase of addition costs. I am talking about the low level of risk taking of the companies when it comes to the narrow segment of their marketing budget: events.

Most of them share the opinion to keep this cost minimal as the direct ROI of using the mentioned ‘high-class’ event tools are not as high as in case of a sales promotion, for instance. There is a general misunderstanding among these companies who mostly agree with the statement: “Only those corporates can afford these tools that supply luxury category products of services.” What happened to world of events ever since 2008?

Before 2008, the game was different. The companies did not consider their outdoor event presence as ‘must be done’ but as it was ‘can be done’. The difference? The level of risk taking and the flexibility of their budgets. In a world where companies intend to take risks, creativity flies and new ideas are born in every second. The suppliers/agencies/vendors have no fear of ‘exceeding the budget’. Just imagine that you tell Picasso: “Create something unforgettable but keep it under 50 USD!”

But this phenomenon cannot be isolated from the level of service expected, meaning the demand for high-skilled site crew/hands and foremen. When considering quality of HR, it is challenging to set up a normal standard as companies (based on their comments) know only two examples: 1, their expectations were not fulfilled but at least it was cheap; 2, their expectations were fulfilled but it exceeded the budget therefore next year they will choose someone else (because they are cheaper).

It is logical that this routine influences the market of service providers in a bad way. Small organizations choose the strategy of ‘staying alive’ and freeze their prices for years. Bigger organizations choose the strategy of ‘stop dreaming’ and stop to represent new tools and ideas as NOBODY WILL BUY THEM.

The moral of the story? The development of CEE event market is slow but at least it is happening. Let us hope that more and more organizations will realize: representing themselves at an event is not a must. It is a CAN….