Monday, 16 January 2017

Bespoke is your best option!

By Mark Kingston Jones

When we get the call from prospective clients interested in making a booking, the most frequently asked question we get during the initial conversation is ‘so what exactly will we be doing on the day?’

It is a good question and the honest answer is, ‘we don’t know yet!’. That is not the answer everyone wants to hear, and it might be off-putting for a client reluctant to sign up for such an unusual event, but we genuinely believe we have good reason for sticking to it!

And we can back this up because we could just as easily go for the quick fix option, which means we would have a generic output for every size and length event we do. It would save us a huge amount of planning time, we would benefit from bulk buying costs on materials and we could stop buying new and different tools, because we would have everything we needed in stock. It would also make pricing a lot easier and we could have a flat rate that applied to everything. So I hear you cry, why not go down this easy road, making the client conversation easier and letting us know exactly what we are booking? The answer is because it would be no good for the animals we work with, which means ultimately it would be no good for you as the client!

In addition to giving you an incredible experience, our primary motivation is to increase animal welfare. The main way we do this is keeping our events bespoke; we deliver new and exciting offerings to the animals, we never know how they will respond but we know we are enhancing their environment. If we went for a generic output, we would know how the animals would respond, and just like with humans if they get the same thing again and again they would get bored, and your hard work would be ignored, guaranteed! If you have a pet at home and they have the same toys laying around all the time you will have seen this yourself. With the possible exception of their favourite toy ever, the best responses come from new things, or things that have been lost behind the sofa for a while. In zoos we have the same issues, and big cats are the worst for this. If you want them to be excited about something, zoo science has shown you can only give it to them once every 6 weeks – that means you need a lot of options to keep them happy!

The other reaction we rely on in the zoo is that of the keepers! As you may remember from our first blog, one of the reasons we started these workshops was to help the keepers out by giving them things they might not have time to build or the zoos might not have funds to pay for themselves. When we make something new, of course we watch the animals, but we also watch the keeper’s responses. If they are happy, excited and taking photos and videos, we know we have done a good job, and the clients can see it too. If we presented them with the same things over and over again, they won’t need them any more, they would end up with too many, and they are certainly not going to get excited about it.

The final reason we do not go generic is that it would seriously limit the number of animals and species we could work with, every species and individual animal is different and to make the same items again and again would be very restricting. The way we run things we can tailor to each animals needs, which means your group could literally be working with anything from elephants to reptiles, and everything in between, and we love to get people excited about a species they may never even have heard of before!

For the clients point of view, generic events would turn into just a bit of fun and be no different to many other activities out there, a tick box exercise you can say your team did and move on. Bespoke transcends that, it gives you an event that meets your needs, it gives you a tangible outcome so no one feels like they wasted their time and it gives something for the team to be talking about for months to come.

Critically though, bespoke ensures you get the feel good factor of knowing you did something important, the fuzzy feeling that you made things better – generic would at best be pretty cool! It also means for our clients that rebooked we could guarantee they wouldn't be doing the same thing twice.

So bespoke is better for you, your team and your event, and it lives up to the BITE in our name. Our ultimate mission is to combine client satisfaction with improved animal welfare, so that you get exactly what you are looking for, and the animals truly benefit!

1 comment:

  1. This is such a fantastic idea which benefits all involved. What amazing photos too!