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Name

Liz Axten

Job title

Business Development Director, KTS Events

Location

United Kingdom

Katie Savage founded KTS Events in 2004. With a keen eye for detail and a tireless approach to service levels, the ambition of the agency was always to be a class-leading events management supplier. Since then, KTS has grown to a team of 27 full-time staff operating events across five continents. Their core focus is conference and exhibition production but delivers a truly diverse range of products and services beyond those disciplines.

KTS Events has been women-owned since founded but only became aware of WEConnect International and certification in 2016. One of their clients told them about their supplier diversity goals and prompted them to get certified. Since then, KTS Events has won two contracts with IBM.

According to Liz Axten, Business Development Director at KTS Events, they followed a comprehensive process to become an IBM vendor: “We initially responded for a request for information around our capabilities and set up for Ireland, directly from IBM procurement. Following this stage, two separate competitive tenders were received – one for a UK agency roster and one for an Ireland agency roster. Both were identical in scope and scale and required rate cards by job role for each region, a dummy event costing (for two separate scenarios) and standard company information (including policies, procedures, insurances, accreditations and financial history). We also provided an example conference content proposal for one of the dummy scenarios to demonstrate our creative scope. 

“The next stage in the process was an online reverse auction, where competing agencies bid against each other by reducing their various day rates in real time to show the best value. This was not the ultimate deciding factor for the tender, but value played a pivotal role in the decision making. The final stage following this was a face to face presentation between agency and client team, with a focus on creative value and expertise. We later received confirmation that we had been successful in our bids for both the UK and Ireland tenders. We have been established as an IBM preferred supplier since 1st September 2017.”

In addition to IBM, KTS Events has been awarded their first pharmaceutical client following an introduction at a WEConnect International event, and has increased client business in Nigeria and China.

“We’re growing continually within IBM and within the technology sector as a whole, which is a very exciting place to be right now. Even for our non-tech clients, we are regularly applying the principles of AR, AI, and VR to enhance experiential activity at events, so the synergies within our industry are boundless,” concludes Liz.

From the WEConnect Academy, watch Liz Axten’s webinar on her journey to become an IBM supplier.

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