Losberger De Boer’s sales director events, John Cochrane talks to Access about innovation, costs, training and more…

Is the demand for innovative design increasing? What sort of demands are organisers requiring, and how can you provide a bespoke solution that fits the event theme?

Innovation is the key to sustainability in the events industry and is always on the wish list from clients. The Losberger De Boer team is always happy to receive a technically challenging request and we love to work on projects that are inventive and creative.  We work closely with our clients and partner suppliers to develop the best solution for their event needs.

In a Losberger De Boer’s survey conducted amongst 100 senior event professionals, participants valued their suppliers’ expertise and top of the list was good breadth of experience (86 per cent); technical expertise (83 per cent); problem solving (78 per cent) and creativity and innovation (63 per cent).

We are lucky to have very creative clients, and because of the extensive Losberger De Boer inventory, we are sometimes able to enhance the already innovative designs by making use of structures such as the curved roof Anova, or the unique circular Panorama.  Our dedicated project managers work alongside clients to make sure we offer the best solution and incorporate any specific needs.

How much do cost come into the equation? Events are constantly looking to grow both in size and profit, but are structure companies also reaping the rewards of what has been one of the most buoyant event seasons to date?

Despite what anyone says – cost is the always the main point of contention in any situation. We may have the best design and the most innovative ideas, but if we exceed the budget expectations, then we have to start again. Compromise and honest discussion on both sides of the table is the answer. Trust and candour between customers and suppliers is still the essential component in any negotiation.

How do you invest into more training, learning and development for your staff?

We understand that our talent is our most valuable tool. We’re proud to have a team of dedicated and technically excellent people working for Losberger De Boer and this comes with a commitment to continuous professional development.

Our build teams are regularly refreshed on procedure, safety and maintenance to ensure our products are the best they can be, our planning team attend health and safety training and within the wider team, any gaps in learning are either outsourced to external training bodies or looked at internally. When people are trained to do their job well, their confidence grows, we work better as a team and with our clients to provide a better service.

How is the relationship between consumer and supplier working? What does it look like and does it work in its current format?

The relationship between customer and supplier can manifest itself in many ways. In my experience, if the basic human ability to respect each other is employed, then everything normally works out very well.

Winning business – has this process changed for you? Are you more pro-active or re-active in this competitive market?

Winning business is more challenging now than ever. Business is more competitive than ever, and we are having to up our game accordingly. It’s incredibly important to be both proactive and reactive in the current market.

There’s clients we’ve built relationships with for a number of years and we’re constantly looking at the ways we work with them to ensure the best possible experience, but we also want to introduce new clients to the benefits of working with us.

We have a great team and some amazing projects under our belt that we’re keen to shout about, and are committed more than ever to doing so. The larger and more expansive Losberger De Boer organisation, however, has helped in terms of having more inventory and resources for our potential customers to choose from.

What will temporary structures look like in 10 years’ time?

The trend will be for bespoke, shorter duration events particularly in the business to consumer sector. With more and more personal data available to companies, marketing will become more ‘intelligent’ and focussed, thereby creating experiences and opportunities tailored to certain target groups. The result could be a rise in the number of events but there will certainly be an increased demand for innovation and flexibility and as these are our core strengths, this trend is to be welcomed!

(Amendment – an original print version of this interview incorrectly attributed the words above to Jim Muldoon, the MD of Losberger in Dubai.)