TR Global Events becomes event partner for Iliffe Media
TR Global Events has been unveiled as the events partner for Cambridge Independent publisher Iliffe Media. Editor Paul Brackley caught up with managing director Tony Murdock.
Following a successful spell at Quy Mill Hotel & Spa, Tony Murdock has a new mission.
He is leading TR Global Events as it helps corporate clients with the management of events of all sizes.
“We can offer as much or as little as the customer wants from an event management firm,” says the managing director.
“We can take the whole event from the very start to the finish, through registration portals for attendees to the creative design of the event.
“We can provide all the AV and production side, logistics, such as getting attendees to and from the event and accommodation, and event management on the day or days.
“We offer global venue sourcing for both accommodations and events.
“We can take on retained service contracts, where we manage a company’s events on a yearly or two-yearly basis. The benefit there is it saves on the recruitment side and they have a ready-made team. It’s a full service.”
Cambridge Independent publisher Iliffe Media is partnering with TR Global Events on its programme of events.
Based alongside the Iliffe Media team in Winship Road, Milton, the company has already helped to run The Indies awards for the Bishop’s Stortford Independent, an event that returns in November.
And it will help with the event management for the SME Cambridgeshire Business Awards, now run by the Cambridge Independent.
TR Global was established two years ago, while Tony was general manager at Quy Mill, a role he held for nearly six years until a change of ownership.
“We had three years of four silver stars, making it the highest rated four-star hotel in Cambridgeshire,” recalls Tony.
“We had Investors in People and numerous wedding awards for the county and Eastern region. We had two rosettes in the restaurant and we were winner of the SME Business Award leisure and tourism award.”
While there, Tony also established the fundraising series of events called Cambridge Roar, which raised £107,000 over four years.
It was while establishing events in a marquee at Quy Mill that Tony saw the opportunity to set up TR Global Events to help source venues or arrange events.
“We would get enquiries in that didn’t want a marquee. Rather than lose the customer, the events company would then source events externally,” explained Tony.
He is working with business partner Steve Warren, who previously supported the Cambridge Roar and is a committee member of the Star Trust in Nottingham, which organises some spectacular fundraising events.
“It’s a good tie-up - I am the event manager on the operational side and Steve is on the creative design side, which adds another dimension to what we can do,” says Tony.
The team also includes finance director Kathryn Preston, a director of digital accountants Fletcher Thompson in Newmarket, sales manager Karis Parker and events manager Kelly Walker, who helped organise the Cambridge Roar.
John Kershaw, who has worked with companies including Facebook, Bentley, Skoda and LG, has been brought in as a freelance events consultant, while Matt Jamison has worked with the BBC globally.
“He is very experienced in front and back of house production, working in venues like the Royal Albert Hall and the O2 arena,” says Tony.
The company also has a US arm, with sales consultant Tracy Solly in Florida.
“Tracy has a team of people on the east and west coast of America, selling our services over there and hopefully bringing things that work in America into Cambridge or the UK,” explains Tony.
“We are looking at the corporate market primarily and it can be anything from a 10-person meeting to thousands of people.”
Among the key services of TR Global Event is venue sourcing.
“We have worked in a lot of venues so we know the limitations and we know what to ask the client,” says Tony. “I find a lot of venue sourcing agents don’t necessarily ask the right questions.
“When a client comes to us wanting to us to find a venue, they want it done efficiently and quickly. They don’t want to go back and forwards because you didn’t ask the right questions in the first place.
“It’s important to get a feel for what the client is actually looking for and what is important to them.
“We are offering a TR representative on site when they arrive to make sure the room or venue is set correctly for them and that they get started properly.
“As venue operators previously, we know the biggest issue can be that a conference will be booked by an agent, and the agent or the venue will get the details wrong and there is nobody there to liaise on site. We’ll be there to check the room over and the client can just walk in.”
An understanding of the particular requirements of an event is key, he suggests.
“Every event is different. With a conference, it’s about the ease of the day for the lead delegate. Everything needs to be on time and as they’ve asked for.
“With an annual dinner or gala awards, people are looking for a different kind of entertainment. They’re looking for the wow factor as people walk into the room or venue.
“It’s about having experience to know what you can and can’t do,” he says.
At many events, food forms a key part of the recipe for success.
“We have good experience with high quality food,” says Tony.
“We work with several catering companies. They can work at a lower level budget, with quality food but different ingredients, or we can provide top-end food.
“With a gala dinner, we would find the right caterer or venue, provide sample menus and then organise a menu tasting with the client to make sure they are completely happy.”
Whatever the event, the aim is to keep the arrangement transparent.
“There are no hidden charges,” adds Tony. “For venue sourcing it’s a free service for the client - that works on a commission basis.
“For event management, we negotiate an event management fee.
“With the AV, we know people in the industry, so we can make it cost effective. We have recruited a network of AV people we can call upon.”
And for Tony, there is a very simple reason why outsourcing event management makes perfect sense for companies.
“People’s workloads these days are getting bigger. Bringing in an event company alleviates a lot of that,” he says.