Quarterly Event and Brand Experience Industry Recruitment Trends: January – March 2024

YOU Search & Select, the leading senior specialist in event and brand experience industry recruitment is pleased to share its newest quarterly report on recruitment trends for January to March 2024.

Founder and Fitabilty® Recruiter, Robert Kenward, is uniquely placed to gather intel from multiple interactions with many of the leading agencies and stakeholders and can offer the industry insights into key recruitment trends and future business forecasts.

This quarter Kenward has witnessed the emergence of three noteworthy trends:

Trend One: Focus on Strategic Growth

“This quarter the sector has seen a surge in demand for new business and client development professionals.  This has led to a divide within the industry; half the agencies are focused on growth from attracting new business, whilst the other half are focussed on retaining and developing their existing client base. The fact that agencies are prioritising strategic long-term growth gives a very positive outlook for the sustainability of our industry. As a senior recruiter, I aim to work with one or two agencies each month, but so far this year I have worked with nine… this can only be a positive sign.”

Trend Two: Global Uncertainty

“The first year, post lockdown was amazing, but last year was a rollercoaster of constant ups and downs. 2024 is a year of change; we’re going to see a new government (based on current polls), and we must face the fact that Trump will be president again. Add to this, a rise in supply chain costs and the public demise of some very big suppliers and we have the perfect storm to cause ripples of uncertainty and trepidation for our industry.”

Trend Three: Hiring Uncertainties and Partnership Building

“Amidst these uncertainties, agencies are now seeking guidance in defining their recruitment needs. Agencies know they must recruit but are not quite sure exactly who they need to recruit because of this shifting landscape. This has resulted in a move towards consultative partnerships with recruiters; we are seeing a departure from transactional engagements towards a more collaborative approach which will help them to first establish the role they really need. This can only be a good thing if they have chosen their recruiters wisely.”

As we look forward, Kenward can make several forecasts for 2024

Half-and-Half

“The division in the industry will continue to grow, with half the industry focusing on consolidation and stability while the other half pursues expansion and growth. The progressive, forward-thinking agencies who are equipped with robust strategies are poised to capitalise on opportunities, whilst risk averse agencies who maybe don’t have a unique offering opt for a more cautious approach, prioritising resilience amidst the uncertainty.”

The Rise of the MSAs…

“A rising trend towards globalisation sees medium to large agencies seeking stability through master service agreements (MSAs) with procurement-led roster inclusion with the big brands. To me, this represents a ‘professionalisation’ of our industry – events contracts are no longer just handed out without a PO.”

…And the Rise of the Nibblers:

“The smaller agencies and startups are steadily nibbling away at the big boys. The smaller agencies who survived by building a strong business, rather than just focusing on their social media presence, are quietly and steadily capturing segments of revenue from the established players. They may be small, but they are creative and nimble and they are having an impact.”

The next recruitment report looking at the second quarter of 2024 will be published in August 2024. Stay informed, stay ahead – subscribe to Robert Kenward’s newsletter for the latest updates and trends shaping the industry: Recruitment Report .

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