Edinburgh-based Origin Events has been bought over by Dundee agency Red Pepper.
The niche consultancy, which has a special interest in conference provision and support within the legal, women’s healthcare and housing sectors, is thought to be the first step in Red Pepper’s ambitious expansion plans.
Since forming in 2005, Red Pepper Events have entertained more than 333,000 people at events as diverse as The Monaco Grand Prix and BP’s International Conferences on the one hand and Arbroath’s Sea Fest and Dundee’s NEoN Digital Arts Festival on the other.
Red Pepper director Eleanor Whitby believes that not only is the buy-out a massive statement of intent on the part of Red Pepper, but it is also a signifier of the buoyant cultural status of Dundee as a city increasingly accustomed to international conferences and events.
Whitby says the purchase of Origin’s IP in the form of two bespoke software packages, will be a major bonus to the Dundee firm, allowing them to continue with an ambitious growth plan that will bring further employment in their home town.
She said: “Origin’s cutting edge conference booking and integrated accommodation platforms set the standards for our industry, making the process of attending their conferences easy and streamlined. That’s extremely attractive for our clients, and their event delegates. It puts Red Pepper in a fantastic position to extend the level of client service our reputation in the industry is founded upon.”
“Typically you’d expect a Dundee firm to be the subject of an Edinburgh agency buy-out rather than the other way around. So this is a very important moment for the city. It justifies Red Pepper’s decision to be based here for the last 11 years and it also shows just how far Dundee has come as cultural force in the last decade.”
Lizzie Fisher and her business partner, Denise Pinto, founded Origin in 2004 and, according to Red Pepper, are delighted to sell to a company that shares their values and can ensure ‘business as usual’ for their clients.
Fisher said: “Our paths have crossed regularly over the years and I have nothing but the utmost respect for Eleanor and the job she’s done at Red Pepper. When Denise and I decided to explore other options in the events sector it became imperative to ensure that we’d have professionalism and continuity assured for our existing clients and staff. We couldn’t be happier that Red Pepper are carrying on our work.”