Corporate Events reaches 25-year milestone, as Managing Director reflects and looks to the future

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2021 marks a milestone for award winning agency Corporate Events, as they celebrate 25 years of delivering face-to-face, virtual and hybrid events for clients, globally.

Formed in 1996 by Managing Director, Andy Ashley, the business, based in Swindon, Wiltshire, has evolved into a leading provider of event production with a strong focus on audience engagement and immersive experiences.

Reflecting on the last 25 years, Managing Director, Andy Ashley, said “We are delighted to have reached such an important milestone in our journey. Over the past 25 years we have continued to adapt to the changes in event technology, from the old ‘over-head projectors’ (OHP’s), 35mm slides and the early projectors, to the LED walls and digital technology of today and the more recent surge in virtual and hybrid events, as well as the engagement tools that go hand in hand with those.

Looking back across the past 25 years I am most proud of our team and the culture we have created together. We are an amazing bunch of honest, hard-working, fun, creative people – ‘going that extra mile’ for our clients is embedded within in our DNA and core values and I’m so proud to be a small part of this amazing force we call ‘CE’.      

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The events industry is largely driven by confidence and our industry has definitely experienced highs and lows. I remember the weeks and monthly following 9/11 when business literally stopped in its tracks, similarly in the financial crisis of 2008/2009 and of course, most recently during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, which has continued to impact the event industry since March 2020, Corporate Events launched their Virtual Event Studios which provide a range of fully customisable studios complete with technical production, project managers and production teams alongside the in-house design team.

Andy Ashley commented, “Our business is based upon building trusted relationships with our clients and in turn this requires a huge amount of dedication. Expanding our in-house facilities drives value for those clients through providing flexible and engaging alternatives to face-to-face events until they can return, at which point we’ll be able to provide a fully blended service.

I’m a great believer that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ and when you need to adapt to survive, it’s amazing what you can achieve. The most challenging time however has to be the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and sadly that’s not been without its losses. That said, I am immensely proud of the way our team has adapted to this crisis, becoming experts in virtual events almost overnight – it’s amazing to see.”

In September 2020, Corporate Events announced the expansion of its Virtual Event Studios and the launch of a variety of in-house Covid-secure spaces, as well as adding to their virtual event platform portfolio, due to the development of existing clients and to meet demand.

Sharing his predictions for the reminder of 2021, Andy Ashley added, “Opportunity is my key prediction. The world will move on from COVID-19 and there will be a real appetite for face-to-face events, coupled with all of the experience and benefits of the last 12-18months.

Virtual events have shown that we don’t always need be travel halfway across the world to receive a message, there are in fact huge benefits both financially and for the environment by attending a virtual online event and I feel virtual events industry will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years for our industry and in turn our clients.

Our team will continue to help drive Corporate Events forward, ensuring we remain a first choice for clients across their virtual, hybrid and face-to-face event needs and I’m pleased to share that in the last 10mths, we have not only developed our existing accounts, but we have also welcomed a further 10 clients to our Virtual Event Studios as a result of both account management and marketing efforts.”

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on 22nd February that most restrictions on events taking place could be lifted by 21 June, Corporate Events has also reported that 30% of bookings from September are for face-to-face events with the remaining 70% are for virtual or hybrid events.

Andy Ashley concluded, “Whilst we’re embracing the possibilities of face-to-face events with our clients, we mustn’t become complacent. We’ll be positioned to provide a seamless transition to virtual or hybrid, should this be required, as we did back in March 2020.

I am hopeful for the future and looking forward to celebrating our achievements as a business across the year. In the same breath, I’m proud of each and every member of the team here at Corporate Events – our success has truly been a team effort amidst the most difficult of times.”

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