AMR International helps clients build business strategies for sustainable growth, EN talks to CEO Denzil Rankine about the value behind the decision process.
It was the simplicity and complexity of exhibitions that first drew AMR International CEO Denzil Rankine, to working in the events industry.
Specialising in business growth strategy consulting for clients, the consultancy supports growth, both organic and through acquisition and has acted as a trusted advisor to major companies and investors across the globe.
“I founded AMR International 25 years ago – we were one of the first consultancies to provide commercial due diligence. I saw the gap in the market for speaking to customers before buying a business,” he tells EN.
“About half of our work is linked to acquisitions – helping organisers decide if they should acquire other businesses. The other half of strategy work includes growth strategy and performance improvement such as launch reviews, operational re-structure and price optimisation.”
As well as exhibitions and events, the firm also focuses on industry sectors: media, information and technology, and industrials.
Described as a “mirror of the industry” Rankine launched the company with an office in London and expanded to New York and then Paris, and has worked on the ground in 40 countries.
“We believe in original primary research – although the key is to ask the right questions and then combine this with strategic analysis,” he explains.
Over the years AMR International has built up a strong client base through its sector expertise and now find the team working with all of the major players across the globe and smaller ones too.
“It’s all about understanding customers," he says. "We have seen massive amounts of research in the industry and the common theme is not asking the right questions, failing to get under the skin of visitors and working out how to translate their needs into a successful event. It’s not rocket science, but it does require taking a step back and putting a cold towel on your head.”
“Customer-centric means putting our clients’ customers are at the heart of our work. A lot of strategy is based on assumptions about what customers might value, or what others think they want,” he explains.
“We understand the range of challenges faced by our clients’ customers, how their markets are changing, and the inefficiencies in their processes, how their workflow is changing and why their competitors are successful. We then interpret all that to develop strategies that work for customers – not ones that just sound good in a meeting room.”
The firm recently helped a major exhibition organiser in Europe review its digital solution.
Through AMR’s research and analysis, the firm found that the visitors and exhibitors were not adopting the product.
“We were able to define and rank the aspects that would increase the adoption and enhance the visitor exhibitor experience and exhibitor ROI. We found the opportunity to expand revenues by millions and at the same time to make events more relevant to their audiences through the use of this digital solution.” The results are being rolled out right now.
The digital revolution has not impacted events much up to now, says Rankine, while it has devastated business publishing.
“We are now at the stage where it will matter and it will lead to a separation between the more sophisticated organisers and the others.
“We are seeing more focus on the needs of the visitor base, with continuing investment in digital tools, in show content, but most importantly in data." He adds that this trend is most in evidence in mature markets, but international organisers are also taking this approach into their events in emerging economies.
“Everyone agrees that face-to-face will remain important, but few have really clicked the extent to which this will be supported by data and digital.
“To date, most of the investment in digital has been directed towards improving show performance, but AMR believes that technology will provide the opportunity for new, meaningful revenue streams for organisers,” he concludes.
This article was first published in the November issue of EN. Any comments? Email Annie Byrne