EuBea Festival – European calls for tenders: pros and cons explained by Benoit Conti
There are many calls for tenders published by the EU in various fields for which the ‘standard’ rules don’t count. For example: contract prices, no negotiation.
“Every day European institutions publish on the Internet many calls for tenders for the provision of services related to events. Perhaps among some of them there may be contracts for you”.
This was the beginning of the speech ‘European Institutional Tenders: What’s in it for european event agencies?’ by Benoit Conti, Euro Tasc Consulting Manager, during the EuBea Festival.
The types of events required are usually rather institutional: conferences, seminars, congresses. Conti added: “Maybe they’re less fun than those to which you are accustomed, they’re less ‘wow’, but it’s work that you are quite capable of doing.”
Conti then highlighted the reasons why it might be interesting for an agency to win and manage a European tender, most of all because it’s public money. And last but not least, having worked for the European institutions is a good reference for future assignments from other clients.
At the same time, however, if you want to work for the EU, it is necessary to give up some common beliefs that usually apply for all other types of clients. “Forget live presentations: everything is sent by email. You can’t change your client’s brief, but you must stick to what he requested. The rule ‘A good business is a fast business’ doesn’t apply for the EU. And budget renegotiations don’t exist”, said Conti.
For their part, institutions require agencies several features, most notably being suitable to do the job that is offered. Another important aspect is being able to manage the work effectively, which also results in a sustainable way. Fundamental, then, is the knowledge of European policies and its institutions, as well as being able to speak some European languages, first of all English, French, German and Spanish.