Should agencies within the events/experiential sector charge for pitching seems to be a hot topic at the moment.
The answer is no.
I get the complaints, it takes time, money, effort, brainpower etc. to create the work only to be told “you were a close number 2 this time”, however without being too harsh, that’s how the world works.
Recruiters don’t get paid for their time if they don’t complete an assignment, you wouldn’t pay a decorator if they didn’t actually do any work on your house, so why expect to be paid for being unsuccessful?
The answer lies in the detail, or lack of it.
With the adrenaline rush that comes with a new opportunity, also comes the fog that clouds judgement.
If a client has invited 10 agencies to pitch, with the 5-year incumbent on the panel, and the whole thing is being led by procurement who give you no access to decision-makers to qualify or investigate the opportunity, then don’t pitch.
It’s that simple.
If you’ve made a well thought out business decision to pitch then you must think you can win, if you don’t, you either missed the mark or your competitors were better than you this time.
Dust yourself down and move on.