Agency Unicorn Events has ceased trading, it can be confirmed. In an exclusive letter to Access sister publication Conference News, MD Hannah Luffman (pictured) revealed that the agency would not survive the next 6-9 months in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.
In a heartfelt letter, Luffman said that the reasons for closure were so that she could afford to pay staff salaries, to be able to support clients through a transition process, and to be able to pay suppliers for work already completed.
The agency owner has warned that there will be further business casualties in the events industry, as the government continues to ignore the true value and importance of the £70bn sector.
Luffman has challenged the events industry to do more to improve representation of the BAME community, champion neuro-diversity and reduce the industry’s impact on the planet, as well as noting that she is often in a minority of women at ‘big talk’ sector events.
Luffman also paid tribute to her team and hinted that she will return to the events industry in the future.
Unicorn Events won the Grand Prix Award at the CN Agency Awards, 13 March, for outstanding contributions to the events industry. Luffman was an CN30 Under Thirty winner in 2017.
Letter in full:
To the industry that I love,
I believe and hope that this will be the most difficult letter I ever have to write.
As MD of Unicorn Events Ltd and Unicorn Events Inc, I have taken the decision to close Unicorn as an agency.
With the Covid-19 challenges ahead we likely won’t survive the next 6-9 months and I have taken the decision to close the business whilst the following is still true:
● It is a decision I am in control of and I can handle the closure sensitively.
● I can make sure my team is paid in full.
● I can support our clients through the transition process.
● I can pay all our suppliers for the work they have completed.
Sadly, we, like most, didn’t prepare for something on this scale and we want to make sure that we close the agency as the same business that it was when it started; agile, honest and a little over-emotional.
There will be great casualties of this period and there will also be great successes. I am so proud to be part of an industry that is pulling together, supporting each other and developing new relationships in response to this crisis.
There are other challenges that our industry must face, I remain to this day the only woman at most of the big-talk tables and that must change. I want to see everyone pull together to bring more under-represented BAME groups to the table on a daily basis. I want to see neuro-diversity understood and championed and I want everyone to work together to reduce our impact on this planet that we are so lucky to fly around.
As the underdog we were scrappy and passionate and we fought hard for the incredible relationships that we have built up and down the industry and I am grateful for every person that took a chance with us, worked with us and helped us develop as a young agency.
Luckily for you all, the greatest team in the industry is now available for poaching and there are a few individuals who might just be the best recruitment move you ever made.
For me personally, I have been running at 100 miles a minute for 13 years, I will take a (short) rest, I will come back on fire, and you will find me bouncing around brand creative strategy until they force me into retirement.
For everything you have done for me and for the outstanding team that I have had the pleasure of leading, I will always be thankful.
For now only, Goodbye, Love Hannah and The Unicorns.