Regarding “Can’t pay won’t pay”

Further to your “secret supplier” and their observances regarding agencies seeking payment for meetings.

This has long been a debating point not only in the MICE industry, but in marketing ‘at large’. Many years ago I worked for a full-service agency that had a database marketing client with a query about the PR side of the business running a PR campaign for them. The database marketing director, really only familiar with his own area of the business, insisted I draft a full campaign, including press releases, press contacts and a “how to guide”. I did suggest that this was tantamount to writing a PR manual for them. But he was having none of it, and turned the entire kit and caboodle over to them. A few days after our presentation (to which we had driven 180 miles!), the client said “thank you, but no”.

Within two months, press releases suspiciously similar to the ones I had drafted began appearing in a list of media outlets equally suspiciously similar to the list I had provided them!

On a similar vein, but in a different “industry”, I have seen a legal practice invoice for three unconnected telephone calls of 16 seconds each at £125 an hour!

So perhaps if the legal industry can charge for trying to make just a phone call – what is in effect a regular administrative activity – surely there is perhaps the valid argument for levying perhaps even a refundable charge where a MICE agency puts in time presenting a detailed, creative proposal for an event to their prospective client.

Ed Moss
Maykit Events

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