A Global Reach with a Boutique Touch

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-By George Khera

Cievents raised its sail 25 years ago and has been relentlessly evolving ever since. Initially providing professional conference and incentive travel services for the corporate sector, the company later diversified with the addition of creative design studios, event production capabilities and a loyalty program design and implementation division. Having made its mark in Australia, the company then expanded into New Zealand, Hong Kong and the UK. Today cievents is recognised as a “true end-to-end service provider and business engagement specialist,” assisting clients in all industry sectors with everything from meetings, conferences and special events to incentive travel, production, creative design, and loyalty solutions.

General Manager, Natalie Simmons explains that cievents is a team of specialists that customise business engagement solutions. The company now houses 120 employees dedicated to every aspect of domestic and international event planning, from travel and accommodation logistics, site selection, budgeting, staging and theming; to registration, food and beverage, multimedia design, and strategic content development; through to evaluation, reconciliation, and reporting. It is this unique end to end service offering that truly sets cievents apart from its competition. Ms Simmons says the company aims to be a seamless extension of its clients’ businesses.

The company’s approach of handling so many elements of its work in-house ensures clients are consistently provided with a dedicated and highly skilled team. Clients know that working with cievents gives them the financial security and enhanced purchasing power of a strong, global organisation, combined with the personal attention of a boutique firm.

The company invests in its team members, building a solid internal skill base rather than relying on freelancers or joint ventures. “We invest in our people,” says Ms Simmons, “as we believe they are one of our greatest strengths.” This investment includes an induction programme offered to new staff; frequent opportunities for diverse on-the-job training; and exciting opportunities for international career growth and travel. Ms Simmons is proud that her company offers “significant career progression,” and that, with a relatively flat structure, “people are empowered within the business… they are encouraged to be entrepreneurial and to foster a culture of passion and creativity.”

“Everyone strives to deliver the best service solutions that we can for our customer base,” and this has meant pushing the boundaries and testing new waters in the industry. The company is dynamic, resourceful, and adaptable; clients may pick and choose select services or they may engage cievents to provide a complete end to end bespoke solution. This flexibility of service has enabled cievents to create and manage client experiences ranging from ten to 5000 people on an intimate or global scale.

Naturally, delivering this level of highly customised service means that cievents must stay on top of developments in the industry. Ms Simmons identifies technology as one key area that is constantly evolving. To this end, cievents attempts to modernise and where appropriate adopt leading-edge technology to meet its clients individual business needs. This might include webcasting, advanced stage technology, multiple live feeds, or the creation of interactive digital content.

Customers may manage some elements of their event themselves, seeking cievents’ expertise only for particular aspects. Cievents doesn’t shy away from this type of partnership arrangement; as Ms Simmons explains, “this is another reason why we keep our offerings diverse and skills well-rounded – we are then able to meet whatever needs our client may have, no matter how specific.”

Cievents always aims to exceed customer expectations and produce a measurable ROI. Aside from the obvious, at cievents ROI also means that any business engagement must be “relevant, original and impactful.” Whether working with a new or a repeat customer, the firm resists stamping out identical events, instead producing a unique solution every time.

Given the recent global economic conditions and the fact that events may be viewed as discretionary spend, delivering measurable outcomes is more important than ever. Ms Simmons emphasises the need for creating memorable experiences while working within the client’s budget. Accordingly, cievents has built a business model which focuses on transparency and accountability.

This model also extends to the company’s relationships with its suppliers. Just as cievents aims to exceed customer expectations at every turn, so it demands the same high level of quality from its vendors. “A lot of our vendors have been with us for a very long time, and just as we’re transparent with our customers, we’re transparent with our suppliers,” says Ms Simmons. “Ours is a partnership aimed at achieving the highest level of satisfaction for the end customer.”

Cievents’ focus on trust and transparency is just one of the principles it adheres to. “To ensure a consistently high level of service across all our offerings in both our national and international offices we have established a series of policies, procedures and guidelines – The Ci Way.” The Ci Way takes all aspects of our work into account – sales, account management, finance, marketing, operations, design, implementation, follow-through – and gives clients the assurance that they will be treated with the highest level of professionalism across the board.

In the coming months, cievents plans to open an additional office in South Australia. The company is also continuing to grow globally, with an expansion of its UK operation and a new overseas location slated to open in the new year. Some new services are also being rolled out, adding even more offerings to cievents’ expansive and flexible portfolio. Ms Simmons concludes by saying, “cievents aims to create truly exceptional experiences for every client.” The company’s high level of repeat business, its continued growth, and the glowing feedback it receives from its customers speak to its success at doing just that.

Making Sense of Management

Management is the art, or science, of getting things done through people. Sounds fairly straightforward – except for the fact that people are not robots waiting to do our bidding. People have their own minds, motivations, and goals. So how do managers keep operations – and the people behind them – running as planned?

December 19, 2018, 9:21 AM AEDT