With thousands of events cancelled worldwide, ongoing disruption to
business travel and uncertainty as to when physical meetings can safely
resume on a global level, Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the
Just as events bring people together, there is a growing sense of how
power of community among industry stakeholders — with agencies
collaborating and co-creating on projects for example — could help
sustain and boost the sector.
At Jack Morton, expertise and resources across all departments have
been pooled together. The agency, part of IPG, has also worked with
sister agencies across the network on multiple projects.
“We’re bringing our skills in experiential and hybrid experiences to
clients during this challenging time,” says Natalie Ackerman, EVP of
Greater China at Jack Morton Worldwide. “We’re constantly sharing best
practice and pulling in expertise from our global network to help
Others are seeing a growing trend where traditional competitive barriers
being lowered for mutual benefit, particularly when it comes to working
out how to safely and effectively reopen countries for events.
George P. Johnson’s Singapore team has worked closely with the
Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and
Suppliers (SACEOS), along with other competitors, to work out how and
when to reopen Singapore for events.
“Likewise in Australia, GPJ along with other industry agencies and
stakeholders has held meetings with the Prime Minister and other
government leaders to collaborate and ideate solutions for the industry
during and post-pandemic,” says Ben Taylor, chief executive officer,
APAC at GPJ.
With virtual events taking the lead — for the present time, at least — Taylor has also noticed a shift in the ‘event ecosystem’.
“We’re working much more closely with other agencies that the client
employs directly, whereas previously we have each maintained our own
swimming lanes/channels,” he says. “Events in many cases have been
better integrated into marketing campaigns, driving the need for
collaboration across digital, advertising, PR and social agencies.”
Debbie Evans, managing director, Asia Pacific at Freeman believes there will be a marked increase in agency partnerships.
“For event organisers, the cost of organising a show and its
long-term sustainability/viability have always been a significant
barrier to entry,” she says. “Companies have become more open to
co-locating their events in order to bring greater value to the target
audiences and differentiate from competitors with quality content and
Ultimately, she adds, leveraging one another’s specialist skills and
expertise helps to create a better outcome for clients as well.