HOST CITY: What prompted De Boer to commission the study of event professionals’ views about the state of the events industry?
John Cochrane: We have to listen to our peers and potential customers to really understand what we have to do keep ahead of the game. This independent study provided objective views for us to consider with open minds. De Boer listens to the market, which is essential for us to make progress.
HOST CITY: 2015 saw the number of events increase. What do you think drove this growth and can we expect this positive trend to continue?
John Cochrane: The UK has been in a fairly positive mood for the past few years, given a real springboard by the London Olympic Games in 2012, and so there is great faith and trust in our Event Industry to make these events as positive as possible.
In short, if someone is prepared to fund an event in the UK, the chances are it will not be a waste of money and effort. Provided we keep delivering good service and the political climate stays calm, there is no reason to believe this pattern of growth will stop.
HOST CITY: The event professionals surveyed said third party suppliers – especially temporary structure specialists – were central to making 2015 a successful year. How has De Boer in particular contributed to this positive trend?
John Cochrane: De Boer has a terrific range of innovative and structurally impressive temporary buildings. We are fortunate to be involved with some of the most high profile projects in the world and so a there is an extended audience who can see what we do.
Event professionals speak to each other and they really know what is going on in the business and who to go to for quality and service.
HOST CITY: Good breadth of experience topped the list of qualities valued in suppliers. How important is a diverse portfolio to De Boer’s success?
John Cochrane: It is very important to De Boer to have a flexible approach to business. Our experience has been growing for over 92 years, from private parties for 50 guests to 85,000 sqm of temporary cover at The Farnborough International Air Show, and everything in between.
Diverse events exist and have to be serviced with a diverse portfolio of materials and experience. At De Boer we can do that really well.
HOST CITY: The survey highlighted recruitment as an area of concern for 2016. How challenging is it for the events industry to hire and retain high calibre employees?
John Cochrane: I don’t know how difficult it is for the events industry in general because each company has a different set of values to maintain.
At De Boer we always look for integrity, enthusiasm and a good attitude. People like this do exist and we are pleased to be able to attract their attention with our reputation and existing long serving workforce as happy examples of what could be in store if they ‘join up’.
HOST CITY: How can temporary structure specialists work with developments in technology and social media to boost the events sector?
John Cochrane: Every industry specialist has to keep in step with technology and social media. At De Boer we make the most of our international colleague’s experience to understand that what can work for us in Barcelona for example, could work equally well for us in Birmingham or Berlin.
This very tangible link with our European and international business units means that we are more aware of any technological developments that could and do help to boost business.