Marketing Report - Top 134 Design Agencies 2000: Design League Tables - Dome sparks a banner year - Millennium-related events saw top events designers do well out of government-backed projects

It goes without saying that, thanks to the Dome and a string of other millennium-related events around the country, this has been a red letter year for designers involved with exhibition and event design.

It goes without saying that, thanks to the Dome and a string of

other millennium-related events around the country, this has been a red

letter year for designers involved with exhibition and event design.



And since there are only a handful of international heavy-hitting

companies specialising in the design and orchestration of exhibitions

and events, you’d expect most of the top players in the industry to be

doing very nicely.



The top of Marketing’s exhibitions table is predictably dominated by

designers who had a piece of the Dome action. Remarkably, table-topper

Imagination, designer of the Journey and Talk zones has matched last

year’s performance by adding another pounds 8m to its turnover. It also

grabbed an extra slice of reflected glory via the Tate Modern by laying

on a vivid lighting display for the opening. Second place belongs to the

London office of US group Caribiner International, making its debut in

these tables, whose London office designed the Dome’s Money and

Self-Portrait zones.



The exception to this tale of government-sponsored prosperity is HP:ICM,

which experienced a blip in the rapid growth it has enjoyed for the past

few years. The agency’s Body zone stands out as the Dome’s most

memorable feature, but it doesn’t seem to have earned the agency a glut

of new commissions yet. Indeed, despite its work on the British pavilion

for the recently opened Hanover Expo, HP:ICM’s revenue from exhibitions

has fallen by nearly pounds 4m, with sales and marketing director David

Tarsh expressing concern that the high level of the pound threatens to

diminish international competitiveness.



The consultancy most likely to join the sector’s elite appears to be In

Real Life, a debutant in the table which is already able to boast an

exhibition turnover of pounds 1.6m. Elsewhere near the top of the table,

with the exception of the Northcross Group, whose turnover has grown by

nearly pounds 1m, the story is one of steady and unspectacular

growth.



The figures also seem to suggest that the exhibition and event field is

a bit less crowded than some other design specialisms have become in the

past few years. For the most part, the non-specialist companies below

tenth in the table, such as branding specialist Landor and the Conran

Design Group, seem to offer exhibition and events less as a core skill

to clients than as an add-on benefit.



TOP 20 EXHIBITION/EVENTS AGENCIES

     Agency                              Turnover 1999    Exhibts/Events

                                              (pounds)          (pounds)

1    Imagination                           101,512,000        28,423,360

2    Caribiner International                41,000,000        16,400,000

3    Firbank Kempster International          8,500,000         3,400,000

4    The Northcross Group                    5,000,000         3,250,000

5    HP:ICM                                 16,800,000         2,520,000

6    Barsby Prince & Partners                2,800,000         2,520,000

7    In Real Life                            6,568,373         1,642,093

8    Shelton Fleming Associates              2,285,899           685,770

9    Cairnes                                 2,434,258           632,907

10   Landor                                 10,460,000           523,000

11   Crown Business Communications          10,000,000           500,000

12   Marsteller                              3,600,000           396,000

13   Conran Design Group                     7,789,000           389,450

14   Uffindell West                          1,877,000           375,400

15   Scott Stern Associates                  2,400,000           360,000

16   Checkland Kindleysides                 14,250,000           353,150

17   Burrows                                11,007,422           330,223

18   Cobalt Consultancy                      3,200,000           320,000

19   Minale Tattersfield & Partners          3,000,000           300,000

20   Deepend London                          2,900,000           232,000



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