Event Management Company vs Events Agency – Is There a Difference?


Event Africa Contributor 25/04/2019 Industry News
events management agency africa

“There are important differences between an event management company and an events agency,”

says Robert Walker, Director of Jukwaa, the Events Agency, based in Centurion, Gauteng.

Knowing what they are could turn an unremarkable function into a runaway success.

What is the main difference?

An event management company is often perceived to only supervise an event that has already been planned and set up. So, clients may expect to do the bulk of the work leading up to it with little or no assistance.

An events agency, on the other hand, takes full responsibility for developing a uniquely branded experience and executing it professionally from the moment it is conceived all the way through to a post-mortem review of how well it accomplished the client’s objective.

“Taking over the entire lifecycle of the project is the very definition of what an agent does,”

says Walker.

“They act on their time-strapped client’s behalf to deliver a holistic solution, not a generic replica of something they already did last year.”

Objectives are key

Every successful event should be built around the singular objective an organisation hopes to achieve, usually in the form of actions they want their attendees to take. But they all too often underestimate the positive effect an events agency can have on that outcome.

“Being involved with many audiences over an extended period forces an agency to develop a sixth sense about what works and what doesn’t,”

claims Walker.

“This means we not only avoid cliches that are sure to flop; we can also deliver the biggest bang for our client’s buck by exceeding attendee expectations in a cost-effective way.”

Designing for maximum experience

Whether a conference, product launch or incentive getaway, each event must create an experience that satisfies its underlying objective. Many organisations miss a rare opportunity to give full expression to their corporate vision and brand identity by failing to leverage their agency’s creative expertise.

“The worst thing an organisation can do is expect massive returns from an event quickly cobbled together from past fragments that seemed to work,”

warns Walker.

“It’s a time-tested formula for attendee boredom and indifference towards the brand.”

Single point of contact

A core strength of events agencies is their network of prequalified vendors mixed with their ability to recognise from experience suppliers who can be trusted to deliver high quality at a reasonable price. This means they can provide a one-stop shop solution requiring minimal effort from their clients.

Insourced corporate organisers don’t have this trait because event development is an infrequent part of their duties. Yet, planning an event without a trusted supplier network can add undue delays to the process.

Using an events agency

If an organisation just wants a venue, a meal and a microphone, almost anyone with good organisational skills can make it happen. However, if they demand a unique experience that promises to achieve their strategic objective, they should be talking to their events agency.

“Managing the event is only the tip of the iceberg,”

says Walker.

“The real payoff of engaging an agency is removing the guesswork and legwork for everything below the surface.”