If you genuinely love your clients, you have to be willing to let them go. Change can be a positive thing. Shifting to another agency can be good, and if it turns out that the previous agency performed better, you can always go back. Since starting Orion, we can count on one hand, the number of event clients who decided to move on to work with another agency.
That is a rarity for us. However, when it does happen, we want to make sure we've left our client in a better place than we met them in terms of their business and operations.
Stay Independent as an Event
Naturally, when you start working with an agency, you become less independent as an event organizer. You start a business relationship based on trust, and usually, things go well. However, there is a chance you want to shift to another agency or re-run the marketing internally for any number of legitimate reasons.
We've seen too many occasions when an event did not think about their setup from the start. Now that they have decided to move on to another method of working, they no longer have access to their website, valuable data, and content assets. I don't understand why agencies follow these methods because it hurts the brand in the long term, however it is prevalent in today's marketing world.
Nevertheless, events should take a proactive role in protecting their future business & assets. If you set things up the right way, there is always a gateway, and it keeps the relationship honest and trustworthy.
Don’t Hold Your Client’s Website or Data Hostage
A year ago an event organizer reached out to us with an emergency situation. Ready to promote their new event they reached out to their previous agency.
Although they had already decided to move on to another agency, they wanted the website and domain ownership transferred over.
An agency can make two decisions at this time. Admit defeat, let go of the client and look inwards to see what went wrong with intentions of improving. The second decision they can make is to let the client go and also retain ownership of the website and domains. The agency decided to take this path leaving the client in a very awkward and difficult situation.
At Orion, we buy domains and create websites for our clients as well. We also create social media accounts for them and set up tools. The moment they ask us to hand it over we do it, no questions asked.
Agencies should look at themselves and figure out why the client is moving to a different agency. Holding the website hostage shows immaturity and also means you will not be in business for very long.
What can events do to prevent this situation? Always sign a contract where both sides agree on the ownership of tools, accounts, websites, and assets. Additionally, sign an NDA which covers data protection and asset protection. This keeps the relationship honest and open for improvement.
As an event organizer, the moment you can't make independent decisions anymore, you set yourself up for disaster.
A more proactive approach? Make sure you buy and setup all accounts yourself. There are certain accounts, once created, you can not change the ownership. Take a day to prepare everything and share access with your agency instead. We have manuals and guidelines for all of this in an easy to understand, step by step guide. Even your grandmother can do it.
Data is everything for your event. Losing event data will set you back in time and it will cost you many more dollars to reach those same audiences again. Events should make sure they have ownership over all their data and ESPs. This also helps when you migrate to other tools or shift agencies.
Ownership is key!
Do Things Right the First Time
We were lucky that we saw the effects of ownership at an early stage of our agency. The event we mentioned above in our case study, made us realize that we would never want that to happen to our clients.
It's important to do things right from the start. Helping your clients set up their accounts is a service every agency should provide. Every healthy relationship is based on trust, equal rights and not on fear of losing.
We have manuals ready for everyone who needs it. Just drop us a line and we will get you going, no questions asked.