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Crescendo sets top quarter target as new MD aims for growth

Crescendo is aiming to be in the top quarter of event agencies next year as the company heads for a year of growth.

The Hampshire-based agency is looking to build on its best ever year under new MD Julia Phillips. With a client list that includes Farrow & Ball, White Stuff and Burger King, Crescendo also encompasses Fruitful, a dedicated team events business that Phillips founded before joining forces with Crescendo four years ago.

She told M&IT: “Our financial target for next year is to turnover just short of £2 million. For net profit our aim is to be in the top quartile of event business in terms of our gross profit percentage.

“This year we exceeded our target. The investment next year is going to be quite significant. But we don’t want to run before we can walk. We want to make sure our current clients still get the care and attention they have come to expect.”

Crescendo took on two new members of staff this year, taking it to seven, and Phillips said the plan was to recruit three more next year to grow to 10.

She said: “We’ve had a phenomenal year, which is great – but there’s a lot of investment to be done next year. We can go from feast to famine in this industry, we need to take stock.

“We’re recruiting an event manager to the Fruitful side early next year, that part of the business has been growing slowly and steadily. We’re excited about the next steps.

“We’re also delighted to have signed our biggest ever contract, it’s going to be an amazing time. Turning from a one man band into a fully-fledged agency – historically this is where a lot of agencies struggle. We’re really keen to explore different ways of approaching it. I’m looking at examples from across industries of how people have done it rather than looking to replicate something. The plan is ever evolving.”

She added that Crescendo has just embarked on a programme with Point3 Wellbeing.

“I’ve been really passionate about this,” she said. “Event management is one of the most stressful jobs in the world. Our burnout rate in this industry is getting too high. Too many people have given their all and have nothing left. It’s too much in danger of being considered to be a fad. This is something that really needs to stick.”