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Richmond Events' Business Panel Report - Research and Development

Richmond Events’ latest business panel report on research and development is now available. Headline findings include –

  • The average number of people working within an organisations' research function is 21.
  • 55% of respondents have between 1-5 employees within their research function.
  • Around a third of the panel don’t have a specific research department yet allow whoever comes up with a new idea / product to research it themselves.
  • The average amount the panel commits to R&D as a percentage of their overall turnover is 4%.
  • 80% of the panel say they purchase from external market research agencies - 20% regularly and 60% sometimes.
  • Organisations tend to undertake research more frequently with their customers than non customers.
  • The majority of the panel are positive in their views towards research - almost one third say it keeps them up with or ahead of competition whilst over half feel it greatly increases effectiveness / product development.
  • Well over half of organisations use their own employees to continually research their customers.
  • Just under half of the panel feel it is always almost money well spent. However it is closely followed by 45% who feel measuring ROI on R&D is more difficult.
  • On a less positive note only 39% of the panel use research to better understand their competition.
To request the full report, please contact David Clark.

Richmond Events’ Business Panel Report – Employee Engagement

Richmond Events’ latest business panel report on employee engagement is now available. Headline findings include –

  • 82% of the panel feel employee engagement is essential within their organisation, with a further 15% feeling it’s nice to have.
  • Only 70% of the panel say their organisations actually measure employee engagement. A worrying 4% are unsure if they do or not…
  • The panel feel that levels of employee engagement are higher within their department than they are for their organisation as a whole.
  • 50% of the panel feel that engagement levels have increased within their organisations’ over the past 3 years.
  • The most popular measurement tools for employee engagement are questionnaires and appraisals. However, only 4% of the panel feel engagement questionnaires completely reflect the true feelings of their organisation.
  • The two most important factors in terms of employee engagement are good line management and a good leadership team.
  • The two areas needing most improvement are good line management and a good leadership team!
To request the report please contact David Clark.

Richmond Events’ Business Panel Report – Economic Outlook

Our latest Business Panel report on the UK economic outlook is now available. Headline findings include:-

  • Only 8% rate the government’s handling of the economy as very good, 52% as acceptable, 28% could have been better and 8% as shocking. 
  • The panel predicts interest rates will be at (average) 0.8% in 1 year’s time and 1.88% in 3 years’ time.
  • Not a single respondent expects the economy to grow significantly over the coming year, whilst 24% expect it to grow marginally.  A further 45% expect it to stay much the same as it is now, whilst 29% expect it to shrink a little and 2% shrink a lot.  These figures are down versus last year.
  • The Retail sector is the most pessimistic, with 92% predicting things are going to get a little or a lot tougher (transport & travel are the only ones who predict ‘carnage’!)  
  • Less than half the panel feel their organisation’s profit will increase in 2012, though up from 41% last year.  19% feel their profits will fall this year, 6% more than last year.  3% are undecided.
  • Budgets – mixed news. The proportion expecting an increase has remained similar to last year, 23% down from 24%. However this figure is still dwarfed by the 33% expecting a decrease (though also down from 37% last year). The remaining 44% don’t expect to see a change.   

Download the full report.

For further information please contact David Clark.

Richmond Events' Business Panel Report - Leadership

Our latest report is now available on the topic of leadership. Here are the headline findings and to view the full report please click the link at the bottom.
  • Almost 75% of the panel feel they are good leaders and 13% are prepared to claim they are excellent! 
  • IT are the most are most bullish about their leadership abilities, followed by Marketing and Finance.
  • 100% are honest enough to admit their leadership skills can be improved, be it slightly or significantly.
  • The majority of the panel feel their leadership style involves them supporting and developing their staff (we haven’t asked the staff).  The panel also feel they value input and seek commitment.
  • When asked where improvements can be made in terms of leadership, the most popular responses were relationship building with senior colleagues, followed by better communication skills and encouraging more innovation and creativity.
  • The majority of people have picked up their leadership skills from a combination of people they’ve worked for.  Only 10% say they acquired them from their current boss.
  • The panel has more confidence in their team delivering the strategy and vision of their organisation than they do in the organisation’s leaders.
  • Over 75% of the panel admit at some stage to experiencing anxiety in their role, with the  majority feeling at some point it affects their ability to do the job.
  • Only just over 25% currently admit to having both the desire and ability to one day become the leader of an organisation.
  • Unsurprisingly the current economic situation is the biggest challenge that over half the panel face.  This is followed by growing their businesses and culture change.  Budgets are in 4th place, followed by increased regulation.
  • Good news for David Cameron, less so for Ed Miliband.  Whilst 65% of the panel rate Cameron’s leadership qualities as good or excellent, the corresponding figure for Miliband is 8%.  In terms of being poor / very poor the figures are 8% and 56% respectively.
Download the full report.

For further information please contact David Clark.

Richmond Events' Business Panel Report - The Eurozone

Our latest report is now available on the topical subject of The Eurozone.  

Here are the headline findings and to view the full report please click on the link at the bottom.
  • Asked for their views on the Euro a 69% majority of the panel feel it’s likely to stagger on much as presently.
  • The next highest proportion of 13% feel the Euro will recover and strengthen within one year, whilst 12% feel the polar opposite, i.e. it will collapse within one year.
  • Only one person feels it will strengthen within 6 months, whilst 2% feel it will collapse within 6 months.  Interesting times indeed!
  • Asked about their view of a return to individual currencies for the Eurozone the highest proportion of the panel is indifferent.  Of those with a view over one third believes it would be advantageous to Britain whilst one in five believe it would be disastrous.
  • We then asked if Europe was to regain stability and its former economic strength would the panel favour Britain joining the Eurozone.  Only 14% said yes compared to 63% no, the remainder maybe; never say never.
  • 6% of the panel feel the Eurozone will return to a sustained period of growth within the year.  The highest proportion, 43% feel it will return within 2 years, whilst 41% feel it will within 5 years.  10% admit to having no idea whatsoever! 
  • In terms of banks lending to British businesses, one in five claims it’s not as easy to obtain credit as it was before the recession, whilst 9% say ‘their’ banks have not always been helpful lately.  7% have found it excessively expensive to borrow from their banks whilst 3% admit to having real problems. 
  • Two thirds of the panel believe unemployment will eventually fall; over half the panel feels it will reduce within 2 years and 9% within the year.  Against this, the remaining third cannot see a fall in unemployment for the foreseeable future.
  • Asked for their agreement levels from a series of statements: the most vehement are that British banks should separate their retail functions from the more speculative investment arm, and, that whilst the Coalition promised to slash the numbers of quangos and civil servants, the results so far have been wholly unimpressive.
  • Interestingly over half the panel disagreed with the statement that the Government should relax some of its austerity measures to stimulate the economy.  Just under one third agreed they should.
  • Over ½ the panel agree that Anti-Europe sentiment is increasing in Britain.
  • Almost two thirds of the panel agree that British banks have been insufficiently penalised for their role in provoking the credit crunch.
Download the full report.

For further information please contact David Clark.

Richmond Events’ Business Panel Report - Workplace Happiness

Business-Panel-Report-image.jpgIn these joyful times that we currently live it seemed only right that the latest piece of research from Richmond Events’ UK Business panel focuses on Workplace Happiness.  However, all is not lost.  As the report reveals employees still have a real sense of pride for their organisation and whilst the economic situation has clearly had an effect,  individuals are utterly determined to succeed both for themselves and their organisation. 

The headline findings can be found below and if you’d like to view the full report please click on the link at the bottom. 

We hope you enjoy!  

  • Whilst just over ½ the panel claim to be content in their present position, this means 47% are not.
  • 63% of the panel say their workplace happiness has reduced or remained static over the past year.  37% say it has improved.
  • Unsurprisingly the current economic situation has left its mark on the panel.  Only 31% say it hasn’t affected their workplace happiness whilst 37% say it remains difficult but they’ve had to learn to adapt.
  • Figures are similar for organisations as a whole with all but 19% being affected; 14% admitting it remains a difficult time for their organisation.
  • The top two areas that give the panel most workplace satisfaction (excluding promotion & a pay rise) are helping their organisation improve its competitive position & helping the team reach peak performance.  The panel say they receive little satisfaction from proving a superior wrong or getting rid of a troublesome team member.  Of course they don’t…
  • The top two reasons the panel are likely to experience periods of discontent at work are slow / poor decision-making and actions of colleagues.
  • If the panel are asked to take on extra work (without additional resource or remuneration) the highest proportion are likely to view it favourably, believing it confirms the confidence their superiors have in them.  Only ¼ feel they are being taken advantage of.
  • The two departments to give the panel most grief on a regular basis are Operations and Finance.
  • Asked about their families’ happiness the top three areas for concern are; the high levels of debt their children will take on to fund university, the ever increasing cost of living and how their children will get on the property ladder.  

For the full report please click here

Global Leadership with The Marketing Society

For the last 50 years, The Marketing Society has challenged its members to think differently and be bolder marketing leaders. And in 2011, ahead of their Annual Conference on global leadership, The Marketing Society is offering clients at The Marketing Forum an inspirational taster of how marketers can lead their people, brands and organisations. Sessions on offer include:-
  • Leadership coaching with Steve Radcliffe – become a better, bolder leader in today’s global economy
  • ‘Under the spotlight’ with Sarah Speake, Strategic Marketing Director, Google – marketing author Alan Mitchell asks all the questions marketers need answered
  • Digital leadership: the next big thing – what does it look, feel and sound like?
  • The future of marketing with Hugh Burkitt – what role with marketing play in the future success of your business?
For more details please see our conference page.

Pitching for success

Despite the ongoing debate regarding pitching models and practices, little has fundamentally changed over the past few years. Pitching remains costly, time consuming and a resource hungry process for agencies and clients alike.

A series of seminars and interactive workshops at this year’s Marketing forum will enable marketers to tap into the work that an IPA/ISBA taskforce has been doing over the last 12 months to develop alternatives to pitching beyond the current one-size fits all model. It provides more efficient options on how to implement a successful pitch by using the approved IPA/ISBA pitch principles, with hands on tips on putting them into practice.

Speakers include Mark Robinson, Head of Marketing, Grey London; Helen Weisinger: Chief Marketing Officer, McCann London and Traci Dunne, Consultancy Manager, ISBA.

For more details please contact Kirsty Brown.

Still cutting those costs - David Smith, Economics Editor, The Sunday Times

Of all the developments since the global financial crisis, perhaps the most unwelcome has been the return of inflation. We knew that there would be a banking hangover, with weak credit growth, as in the aftermath of every previous financial crisis.

We also knew there would have to be some tough fiscal decisions, with both tax hikes and an end to the carefree days of significant increases in government spending. People can debate the size of the cuts, and their pace, but few can dispute the need for them.

Less predictable was the rise in costs. Recessions and crises are supposed to destroy inflation. Many recessions, or at least slowdowns, are engineered by policymakers precisely for that purpose.

In that respect, one source of inflationary pressure has behaved in a textbook way. Pay settlements have remained subdued, averaging 2% or so in Britain, in spite of a strong rise in employment. People are grateful to be in work and sense that their bargaining power is limited.

The picture is similar across most advanced economies, though wage pressures have increased in the emerging world, perhaps unsurprisingly. That is where growth is far stronger and it is where the impact of rising energy and commodity prices is biggest.

The return of inflation is simply explained. In the worst phase of the crisis, in the autumn of 2008, the commodities’ bubble burst spectacularly. The oil price, which reached an all-time high of $147 a barrel in the summer of 2008, slumped all the way to the mid-$30s. Many commodity prices followed a similar pattern.

Then came the bounce, as a result of a global recovery led by commodity-hungry emerging economies, pushing some prices above their previous peaks. It is not yet true for oil, and may not be for some time as a result of an International Energy Agency decision to release some strategic shocks. But other commodities have raced ahead.

David Smith writes a column for Richmond Events News, our monthly newsletter with updates across the whole forum portfolio and the wider business community. To subscribe please contact us.

London 2012 - The Inside Story

The delivery of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is a project of such magnitude that it is hard to comprehend the timescales and budgets involved. Coupled with an unprecedented level of public and media scrutiny, bringing the Games to London is full of challenges, demands and many, many triumphs.

Delegates on board this year’s Communication Directors’ Forum will be lucky enough to hear from Julie King, Head of External Relations for the Olympic Delivery Authority who will be sharing her story of a lifetime, including…
  • From 6th July 2006 to 27th July 2012 - the journey from winning the bid to Opening Ceremony
  • The challenges of running the country’s largest & most high-profile publicly funded project, and meeting the need for complete transparency
  • Managing the interests of stakeholders, the challenges of the local communities and the public’s expectations
  • Creating a lasting legacy, ensuring UK PLC benefits from the public investment
To listen to her story at the forum, get in touch and request an invite.

Professional Development Programme Announced

As well as discussing key business issues, clients at The Communication Directors' Forum and The Marketing Forum can focus on their own individual growth through the professional development workshops. These groups give delegates the rare opportunity to think about their own learning and improvement.

The career success toolkit - Hilary Wilson, Owner, Hilary M Wilson Associates Ltd
Understand and implement the top critical success factors to create security and success in the ever-changing world of work

Take the plunge – step away from the comfort zone!
- Martin Crook, Owner, CMBT Consulting
See how the voice of judgement holds you and others back, embrace the moment and recognise that the best ideas often emerge from nowhere.
Influencing in shifting sands – know yourself to influence others - Gabrielle Gaché, The Success Mentor and MD of Power of Words
Understand your own influencing strategies, and those of others, to become a stronger, more flexible negotiator.

How to get executive teams working effectively and powerfully together… and why? - Peter Haydock, Owner, Organisation Science
Discuss the real tasks of leadership, the relationship between behaviours, actions & results and how a powerful senior team impacts the future.

Leading change in challenging times - Peter Haydock, Owner, Organisation Science
Debate the key considerations for you as a leader, how to create resilience and why true leaders developed in challenging times.

Beyond Gatwick - the business travel survival course - Simon Herrema, former Royal Bodyguard and Training Director, Bright Eagle Training
Get life saving survival tips to prepare yourself for the unforeseen, and possible worse case scenarios, when you travel overseas.

More information can be found on our conference page.

Social Media Latest

The Richmond Events’ UK Business panel has recently carried out some research into social media.

Headline stats include…
  • 44% of organisations do not currently spend any budget on social media. Of those that do the average percentage of departmental budget spend is 2.8%.
  • Over half the panel are likely to increase their spend on social media, 40% moderately and 13% drastically.
  • In terms of the social media platforms individuals use in the workplace, LinkedIn is by far the most popular, three times more so than 2nd placed Twitter.
  • Only 5% of organisations have strict ROI measures in place for social media. Almost two thirds don’t measure ROI at all.
  • LinkedIn and Blogs are viewed as the most effective social media.
  • The 2 most popular areas for employing social media within organisations are towards customer engagement and brand promotion. These are followed by general marketing and building web traffic.
  • In over half of organisations the marketing department is responsible for social media content.
  • On average 5.5% of individuals within organisations are using social media for business purposes.
  • A high proportion of the panel still perceive social media as ‘still more of a personal than a business tool’.
If you would like to receive a full copy of the research please get in touch. The research is free of charge.

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