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EuBEA Exclusive: Montse Stewart (La5ª) talks about her experience with the world of events

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We met Montse Stewart, General Director at
La5ª in Barcelona. In the following interview she talks about her agency and the world of events.

Can you describe the main markets where you are operating, from Spain onwards, in terms of attitude of the clients towards the events, investment, etc.?

As from La5ª we are used to work mainly with European clients and we must say we do not see so much difference in terms of attitude towards the events…British, Germans, French, Spanish… they all look forwards innovation and creativity with a good ROI.

According to your experience with your clients, are live events considered as a strategic ‘medium’ to communicate with the different targets? Do the clients distracts investments from other media (if yes which ones and why)?

Besides the great importance internet media is gaining all over, the ‘human contact’ with the targets is still very important and therefore live events are a strategic way to communicate. What´s happening is that these live events are smaller in terms of number of participants, in order to really get closer to the real target, being more effective and efficient.

What is your strategy in combining events and social media. How do you think this ‘link’ will evolve?

Social media is a key tool in La5ª´s strategy. Whatever communication action is developed, you always will take into consideration the social media, either to focus on the real target or just to be accurate on the messages. Your target ‘speak’s’ on the social media. You have to listen. This is a must and will be a must in the future.

Creativity and technology (audio, video,etc.). How this relationship has evolved?.

Although it could seem there has been a great evolution in the technology applied to the events world, my opinion is that there has not been so much. But what is true is that every day we should work more and more trying to reach a perfect combination of both creativity and technology. We cannot work without technology and an event without creativity is just not worthy.

Which are the most common ‘mistakes’ that clients do in approaching and producing events?

Sometime the goals they want to reach are not clear defined and, therefore, it could happen that the event do not get the results expected. That´s the reason why in La5ª we like to work very close to our clients, be really part of their teams, in order to get known them and their problems and opportunities well.

Do you happen to organize events on an European basis? Do you think this could be a trend?

Yes. Even Worldwide. La5ª, together with our colleges from the Grupo O (Dicom, GAC3000…) we are used to work for events with an international participation (with more than 5.000 assistants at once or by groups of 500), and in different countries.
For sure I think this trend will continue, but I also think that the ‘think local (and even ‘think one to one’) cannot be forgotten. Every person, every target, every country has and should keep its own personality.

How do you think will evolve the competitive arena regarding the agencies in Europe. How do you think the big networks will impact on the independent agencies like yours?

As I mentioned before, nowadays creativity and efficiency are a must. To tell the truth, I think only small agencies like La5ª can really deserve that to their clients, sometimes with the support of local agencies from other markets. The problem of the big networks are the high costs they have to support.

Do you have a particular experience in one specific market or segment? How is this market evolving, what this industry is demanding today?

The car industry is one of the sectors we are working with, both with multinational companies or with local importers in Spain. Due to the economical situation, and particularly in the Spanish market, today they are demanding for even more creativity but with a reduced budget. And unfortunately, sometimes ‘money’ has priority.

Sustainability is a real issue for the clients? How do you answer to this request?

Sustainability is an issue, but not the only one. The most important thing it’s to reach the goal with effectiveness. As I said, in La5ª we like to work close with our clients. Define the goals together. Assuming them as ours. Looking forwards synergies with the rest of the marketing activities. It´s a real team work.

Finally let’s talk about effectiveness and ROI. How do you approach this matter? Working together with the client, side by side.

All we do has to have a good result. Everything has to have a reason why. La5ª´s company claim is ‘Together we build memories’. Every word in this sentence is important in our mission: we working ‘together’ with our clients, ‘building’ brands for the ‘future’.