The Barbican’s Business Events team has seen agency bookings over the last year increase to 33%, continuing a trend of significant sales growth. While just 1% of bookings were made through agencies in 2015; three years later they provide a third of business sales at the venue. Overall growth in the last year saw Barbican Business Events exceed sales targets by 4%.
“We have seen a real benefit from the commitment we have given to our agency relationships, as it drives new business into the venue,” comments Jackie Boughton, head of business events at the Barbican. “Agencies are a mainstay of the meetings and events industry, they deliver significant events and have helped us go from strength to strength, while allowing us to continually develop our product. Being a world-class arts and events venue means our success gets reinvested, not just in our events offering but across the whole of the centre, including our international arts and learning programme.”
The Barbican’s success in the agency market is partially attributable to their close partnership with the HBAA, whose influence Jackie and the team recognise: “We see true value in the HBAA’s support of both their agency and supplier members. Ultimately they bring us together and help to build relationships. It is a highly respected organisation with an influential, engaged membership providing frequent opportunities for all.”
Juliet Price, consultant executive director for the HBAA comments: “The Barbican’s Business Events team truly recognises the value of the agency sector which delivers around 60% of business placed across the UK market, and their team works hard to develop and nurture key relationships. This is a great example of a leading venue which has identified the importance of this vital sales channel and promotes the best practice that our members support. Agencies are the lifeblood of the meetings and events industry and the HBAA is proud to represent them as a whole.”