Three companies operating in the event space are coming together under one umbrella that promises to provide clients with a one-stop-shop capable of servicing every related need with the efficiency and dedication that have powered their growth over the last 15 years.
Companies looking for everything from branded mugs to conference booths that catch the eye of the most discerning of attendees will be familiar with MYeventplanner, TurnkeyExpos and Merchandise Malta, which have managed to establish themselves as one of the market leaders.
MYeventplanner organises everything from large expos, to conferences, to staff team building and events to training courses to gala awards nights, while TurnkeyExpos handles clients’ expo exhibition needs from A to Z. These include services like booth design and construction, furnishings, hosts and other staff, photography and videography, accommodation, security, and more. Merchandise Malta, intuitively enough, produces branded merchandise and bespoke products.
Sharing common ownership, the three brands will now operate as one through the 242.group label while retaining their individual brand identities, in a move co-founder and executive director James Cassar describes as “necessary”, given their growth trajectories.
“What we are doing is streamlining processes and making life easier for each and every client,” he says.
Speaking to BusinessNow.mt, Dr Cassar explains that MYeventplanner, TurnkeyExpos and Merchandise Malta “have long co-evolved in an organic way.”
Illustrating his point, he notes that certain departments within one company were opened to meet a need felt in another one, while one of the three brands, Merchandise Malta, was itself launched to satisfy MYeventplanner’s clients’ requests.
Dr Cassar shares that the idea to bring the three companies under one roof originated prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With all forms of gatherings shut down in one fell swoop, the restructuring took a back seat.
“It did not make sense to launch the group and introduce the new concept to the market at a time when the market was effectively dead,” he laughs.
Once the economy and the event sector in particular re-opened, the stage was set for the re-structuring to go ahead.
Behind the scenes, however, the plan had long been set in motion, with Dr Cassar describing a sort of ‘soft launch’ whereby intercompany requirements were handled through one client account manager.
“This afforded us the space to trial the concept, make sure that all our processes were robust, and iron out any kinks before launch.”
By having a single point of contact, well-versed in both the client’s needs and the company’s capacity to service them, 242.group is able to showcase everything it offers in a manner that feels more organic than ever.
Dr Cassar points out that TurnkeyExpos had long been operating with this single point of contact concept, with the change, really, affecting the other two companies.
“There is a lot of overlap, and what we want to do is to facilitate access to our offering to the markets each brand has in common.”
Touching on the continuation of each brand as a distinct entity, he acknowledges that the overlap between each service does not extend to every market.
“Many offices, for examples, may make extensive use of Merchandise Malta’s products and services, but have not yet felt the need for TurnkeyExpos. So anyone who just needs merchandise knows where to go. “
“What we’re really selling,” Dr Cassar continues, “is a working relationship that ties up all of the client’s event-related loose ends.”
Another benefit clients can expect emerges from 242.group’s in-house technical expertise and resources, which allow it to “guarantee excellent quality every time” without being at the mercy of a long chain of suppliers.
“Unfortunately, we live in an era where delays are the order of the day. Since we do so many things in-house, we can guarantee that delaying problems will have no impact on our clients.”
242.group’s edge over the competition, Dr Cassar says, comes down to three factors.
First is the group’s long experience in the sector, dating back 15 years – years in which it has developed alongside Malta’s booming economy, working on projects that have grown ever more complex.
Today, the group also boasts offices in Cyprus and Dubai, with its expertise increasingly in demand internationally by foreign clients all over the world.
Second is the fact that clients need only establish a relationship with a single account manager.
“Once you have trust with your account manager, you’re sorted for everything.”
Third is 242.group’s unique set-up which allows it to service most client requests itself, or through trusted partners it has been working with for many years, and some of which it has a shareholding in.
“Taking expos or networking events as examples, it can be a nightmare for a client to organise everything needed for a successful event. There’s the stand, the staff, the gifts and merchandise… The norm is to source all these things from different suppliers, but that means that each different point of contact needs to get onboard with and understand the client’s vision,” says Dr Cassar.
“We do not, will not and cannot hide behind third parties. We do not deal in excuses.”
This restructuring, then, boils down to one thing: “It’s about simplifying and improving our services, to take the stress out of event organisation and allow our clients to relax, knowing that everything is being handled by professionals who have their back.”
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