The events management world is a fast-paced and competitive place. What’s cool today gets thrown out with the leftover hors d’oeuvres tomorrow. Which means event management agencies have to keep up not only with the latest trends and technology but also with influencers and who’s who in the party-planning world.
On top of all this, they also have to deal with tight budgets, demanding clients, impossible deadlines, and of course sorting out promotional giveaways. It’s not a job for the faint of heart, that’s for sure! So that’s why we want to celebrate the companies that really excel at it.
Best Event Planning Agencies in the UK
Taking into account information like their turnover, latest events and client list, every year the Conference & Incentive Travel magazine publishes a list of the top 50 UK event agencies. The following agencies are at the top of their game:
#15 Fresh Group
Fresh is a full-service events agency that creates and delivers inspirational communications messages to help brands achieve their goals. They’ve worked with clients ranging from Mothercare to Santander bank and Radisson hotels. The event they put together for the annual DFS Company Conference in 2014 was on the shortlist for C&I’s International Conference or Congress of the Year.
Fresh’s blog and Twitter are generally the best places to find out the latest news going on at the agency.
Vista bills itself as a creative communications agency that works not only on event management and venue finding but also on other aspects of communication like brand strategy and internal communications. They emphasise responsible business approaches and seeing the big picture.
Vista has worked with brands such as Harrods, ASDA, Lloyds Banking Group and BMW. They offer both a blog and social media channels to connect with them online.
#13 Touch Associates
With a focus on finding creative solutions to clients’ problems, Touch Associates promises to work on every aspect of their events, from strategic planning to finding venues and creating immersive experiences. Mercedes-Benz, Spar, The Ritz-Carlton and Canon have all chosen to work with Touch.
One of their most outstanding events was the 40th-anniversary dinner for Landmark Wholesale, which was held for 800 people and included a military marching band, an ABBA parody act and a choir. The event also raised £120,000 for charity.
Follow the latest news about Touch on their website’s news section.
#12 GrassRoots Meetings & Events
GrassRoots has offices in ten different countries across the world and offer their services to increase customer engagement, provide promotions and incentives, and plan meetings and events.
Since opening in 1980, GrassRoots has frequently been listed as one of the best places to work and has been recognised for the quality of its events. They have worked with clients such as Ford, Microsoft, Heineken, and Vodafone.
Check their Twitter account for everything from event planning tips to inside looks at what goes in at their workplace.
Rapiergroup is a full-service agency that does events and exhibitions, such as conferences and trade shows. Though their headquarters are in the UK, they work with clients from all over the globe. Some of their high profile accounts include Renault, Nestlé and Skoda.
The agency promises to bring creative thinking and innovation to all their types of events. In addition to being one of the agencies with the best reputations in the U.K., they are also one of the largest.
Chilisauce is a bit different from many of the other agencies on this list because aside from corporate event they also focus on stag/hen nights and adventure weekends. Thanks to their professionalism and varied selection of decidedly non-traditional activities, such as stuntman training and crime scene investigation simulations, Chilisauce has earned its spot on the list.
Their clients’ list includes Coca-Cola, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte & Touch, and Price Waterhouse Coopers, among others. If you want to stay updated with the agency’s latest tips and events, you can always follow their official Twitter account.
“Bright ideas and brilliant execution,” is what TBA promises. Founded in 1983, it is one of the oldest agencies on this list. In over 30 years of experience, they have worked with some of the most respectable brands like eBay, the FA, Samsung and Adidas. Among their most recent projects are the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the ASOS Summer Party and the Ralph Lauren launch at Wimbledon.
To get the latest news on the happenings at TBA, you may consult their official blog, where the company announces new hires, discuss events they have organised and offered insight into event planning and marketing trends.
Zibrant’s clients come from all sorts of different industries, like automotive, banking and finance, energy, gas and oil, and healthcare and legal. No matter the sector, though, this agency promises to find just the right place for any occasion — whether that’s a meeting room or a spot for a corporate sales conference.
The agency also has a section of their website dedicated to the charity projects they support, like the British Heart Foundation.
#7 WRG Creative Communication
WRG organises memorable events in various sectors including healthcare, technology, finance, energy, engineering, fashion, luxury goods, retail and the outdoors. Their clients include Wella, Clarks, Adidas and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
For the latter, they organised a concert under the stars for the city’s residents. With the aim”orchestrating joy,” the agency organised a presentation with a fireworks spectacle as the finale — by the looks of things, they certainly did orchestrate joy!
Renowned in the event planning world for their exhibitions, meetings and corporate occasions, Ashfield puts forth a professional image and promises effective management. They organise experiences all over the world from their bases in the UK, US and Europe.
Some of their international projects include a staff incentive trip to Singapore and an annual educational meeting in Copenhagen. Not only does the agency excel in variety, but it also looks after attendees in more ways than one; for instance, in one of their latest occasions, they provided childcare facilities for parents attending the conference.
If you want to find out more about Ashfield, check out their blog where they share their latest news, case studies and tips.
#5 George P Johnson
With a focus on “experiential marketing” and 29 offices worldwide, George P Johnson works on giving their clients something different. Instead of a boring old conference, they go the extra mile to make their events informative and entertaining at the same time.
This agency specialises in sports marketing, though they do all sorts of occasions. One of their recent ones was an event for Honda that had a huge fan experience zone, with 3D car racing games, POV experiences (you could “fly” in a HondaJet, for instance) and contests. The key here, like any other experience marketing, is to get the followers interact with the brand in an active way.
If you want to find out more, see all the latest news on their social feed.
#4 Capita Travel and Events
Capita combines business travel arranging with event management. They go above and beyond other companies by organising travel to and from the venues. They also have a mobile app version of a personal travel assistant. Clients they have worked with include the NHS, the National Grid, the police and BP. Events range from conferences, family fun days, and meetings to incentive trips for employees.
They’re on Twitter during business hours from Monday to Friday with a lot of handy tips about travel for professionals. You can also get more information about all things business travel on their online magazine, Destination Online.
#3 CWT Meetings and Events
CWT will find the perfect venue for their clients’ meetings and events. They plan 35,000 events every year that range from product launches to road shows, and deal with the strategic management of the event so their clients don’t have to worry about it. By promising a mix of “left brain” stuff like cost control, along with “right brain” things including creativity, they offer great balance.
Follow along with their latest updates, including photos from events they’ve hosted and job opportunities, on their Twitter. They also have an online magazine that’s a great read for anybody interested in the event planning industry.
#2 Banks Sadler
This agency plans over 16,000 meetings and 500 events globally every year – which makes us tired just thinking about it! They’re at the top of the pack when it comes to venue selection and negotiation, which in regular terms translates to getting the best prices on venues for their clients. They make sure to look after them, with services like an in-house IT team who will provide specialist communication platforms to enhance the event experience.
Their recent events include a carnival-themed celebration for a global beauty brand that was held in a gorgeous museum in Paris, including decor, games and more, as well as a training event for a new car brand that they brought virtual and augmented reality into.
Check out the latest news about the agency on Twitter.
#1 Jack Morton Worldwide
Jack Morton landed the honour of being named the #1 U.K. agency in 2016! They call themselves the global brand experience agency and they have organised ceremonies to celebrate the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup and the Commonwealth Games – so we’re talking pretty big stuff here. They’ve also worked with companies like Marriott International, HSBC, Kimberly-Clark and IBM to build their brand through live communication.
One of the most spectacular events they worked on was the 2004 Summer Olympics, which were held in Athens, Greece. Jack Morton produced both the opening and the closing ceremonies. This was actually the first time a non-local producer was chosen to produce the Olympics ceremonies — ever!
You can follow their current CEO, Josh McCall, on Twitter, where he often congratulates his team on their latest awards and achievements.
Bonus: these two agencies may have fallen out of the top 15 this year, but they’re still among the best event planning agencies in the U.K.
A global agency that organises meetings, events, and conferences all over the world, BCD focus on their strength as a leading event planning company that has the power to negotiate the best prices for venues, catering, florists, and all other event services. They will organise events from beginning to end while liaising with the client and fulfilling their event planning needs. They provide on-site staff during events to ensure there are no hitches.
TRO specialises in live events including conferences, staff training and exhibitions. Some events have been the British Airways “Explore and Discover” Open Day, the Shell V-Power Nitro+ Launch, Meetic Meet-ups, the Volvo at Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Lucozade Energy Snowbombing Road Trip, the TCS Summits in Cannes and Barcelona, and the BMW PGA Championship.
Each of these event planning companies have both the experienced staff and the inside knowledge to make their events come to life. If you want to check out the rest of the list, visit the Conference & Incentive Travel magazine website.
Are there any agencies that you think should be added to this list? Then please, let us know in the comments below or you can also reach us via any of our social media outlets. For more awesome content keep reading the Printsome Blog!
*You may find the entire list here: Conference and Incentive Travel survey of the top 50 agencies of 2016.
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