Report: #1013818

Complaint Review: Marcus Evans/Margarita Theophilou events manager

  • Submitted: Wed, February 13, 2013
  • Updated: Tue, February 26, 2013
  • Reported By: CDB — melbourne Internet Australia
  • Marcus Evans/Margarita Theophilou events manager

    United States of America

Marcus Evans/Margarita Theophilou events manager Be Aware of Marcus Evans conferences particlarly if you are approached to be a speaking and agree to reimburse your costs.Getting your money is likely "getting blood out of a stone. I was promised pay Internet

*Author of original report: Marcus Evans Rebuttal of Rebuttal

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: In response to the complaint filed by Chris Badger former Director at Loy Yang Power about Marcus Evans/Margarita Theophilou

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: in reply to the report filed against Margarita Theophilou

*Author of original report: Progress at last

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I was approached by Marcus Evans events in mid 2012 to present at a conference in Asia in early December 2012. After much flattery about how they really wanted me to to attend as an expert international speaker I agree to attend on the basis of coverage of my travel expenses and provision of some accommodation.  

I was told by their representative(s) that whilst they could pay for my flight it would be best if I organised this and then my travel expenses would be reimbursed and that payment could be made within approx. 2 weeks of producing receipts. They asked that I sign a contract with them to ensure I would complete my end of the deal and to enable payment by them.

I purchased the the airfare in mid October 2012, send them my draft 28 slide presentation in November, submitted my receipts on their proforma in November, attended the conference in early December, made a sucessfull presentation, agreed to have the presentation included on their conference web site, and then submitted additional receipts post the conference.

Despite the agreements , repeated emails requesting payment, unprofessional conduct and broken promises by their Conference Manager, escalation to their Australian General Manager (who apologised and asked for a few days to sort this out) I have still not been reimbursed some 2.5 months after the conference.

I have now had to resort to further escalation and potentially legal proceedings given that the final deadline for payment was 5 pm yesterday and guess what another email of promises but no payment.

So in summary be very wary of Marcus Evans reps and their business model which seems to mamixise their cash flow/profits (upfront conference fees, sponsorship payments) by not reimbursing legitimate costs (as promised) by their presenters and potential future customers (ps I won't be one of them)!
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/13/2013 05:28 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Marcus Evans Rebuttal of Rebuttal

AUTHOR: CDB - (Australia)

I too am surprised by the rebuttal from Margarita/Marcus Evans. Particularly given that based on receiving payment and apologies for their actions/ lack of action I updated the website indicating that an amicable solution had been reached and that the Manager concerned name be removed. Given the half truths, misrepresentation and tangential issues (smoke screen) in their rebuttal I contacted those responsible at Marcus Evans and requesting that they modify/retract their rebuttal. I gave them until 5 pm Tuesday 26th February to address this situation and unfortunately (I did not want to further escalate) they have not responded so reluctantly I must correct the situation.

To be clear the issues relate to Marcus Evans reps making promises regarding payment that they did not deliver, failure to respond in a professional manner, failure to escalate the situation appropriately and more recently attempting to undermine the creditability of the whistle blower.

I have kept all the correspondence regarding my  dealings with Marcus Evans right back to mid 2012. The key correspondence was provided to Margarita well in advance of the Conference and I agreed to attend and present at the conference based on this understanding with Marcus Evans.

It is interesting to note that if Marcus Evans were so diligent and accommodating as their rebuttal indicates why they found it necessary to investigate the situation, sympathise, apologise to me on multiple levels, and instigate performance management???? I have emails to support my comments and if necessary (i.e If Marcus Evans continue to escalate) I will publicise which will be very embarrassing for those concerned at Marcus Evans.
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#2 REBUTTAL Individual responds

In response to the complaint filed by Chris Badger former Director at Loy Yang Power about Marcus Evans/Margarita Theophilou

AUTHOR: responsible professional - (United States of America)

In reply to the report below, it is really time to set certain things straight. The person who filed this report is Mr. Chris Badger, formerly a Director at Loy Yang Power who had been initially approached by a former Marcus Evans employee to speak at the Power Generation APAC Summit 2012, which took place at the Venetian Macau at the beginning of December 2012.

Mr. Chris Badger agreed to present at this event and booked his flights in October. The former Marcus Evans employee promised him reimbursement within a 2 week time frame, which is not standard Marcus Evans procedure. The event was then passed on to Margarita Theophilou, Senior Executive Summit Producer, with an exceptional reputation and stellar recommendations from extremely senior people she has collaborated over the course of her career with the company (please refer to her LinkedIn profile recommendations for some real information).

When Margarita took the event over, she explained to Mr. Badger that reimbursement of his travel expenses would require a minimum of 6-8 weeks after the event was completed, and asked if he was ok with it. Mr. Badger confirmed that he would still like to present at the event, and agreed to see his payment reimbursed 6-8 weeks after the event, which is the minimum time frame the company needs to process travel expenses payments for speakers who opt to purchase their own tickets, and then seek reimbursement, as opposed to having the company book their flights, pay upfront, and avoid the process of reimbursement altogether.

In order to keep Mr. Badger happy, the Executive Summit Producer in question agreed to cover for an amount which was 3 times as much as any other speaker had been granted towards travel expenses, plus extra nights at the very luxurious Venetian Macau, because the Speaker mentioned that it was his 30th wedding anniversary and wanted to do something special for his wife. So all this, expenses out of the pocket of Marcus Evans to keep Mr. Badger happy. The extra nights were granted, full expenses have been paid to date, and here we are with extremely damaging accusations for the Producer who went out of her way, onsite and offsite, trying to keep Mr. Badger happy.

It should also be noted that Mr. Badger's wife was invited to all dinners and lunches, free of charge of course, as part of the Marcus Evans hospitality spirit. Further to that, when Mr. Badger had told the Producer that his wife had fallen ill, the Producer offered to find a doctor and offer medical help to his wife.

Additionally, the Producer spent a great deal of time onsite helping revamp and re-write Mr. Badger's PowerPoint presentation - approximately 1.5 hours, producing notes so that he could deliver his presentation better, printing out copies of his slides, and basically everything else that he requested, in order to have a smoother presentation for the high level delegation which was present at the event. At the time, Mr. Badger seemed extremely grateful and thankful for all that was being offered, and the over and above attention that was given, to ensure flawless delivery and customer satisfaction.

Following the completion of the event, Mr. Badger's expenses were given top priority with the Finance department and to this date Mr. Badger has been fully reimbursed for his expenses, with a delay of 10 working days from the initial 6-8 weeks time frame that was given to him. While Mr. Badger has chosen to slander a Senior Producer who receives nothing but exceptional praise for all her hard work and has demonstrated nothing but extreme efficiency and commitment to the job, it is very very sad indeed to see how he has opted to slander someone who has gone out of their way, time and time again to please him, and to meet his every whim and demand. 

We would like to wish Mr. Badger the best in his future endeavours, and now consider this a closed matter.
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#3 REBUTTAL Individual responds

in reply to the report filed against Margarita Theophilou

AUTHOR: responsible professional - (United States of America)

It was an absolute shock to have read this report which was filed by Mr. Chris Badger, formerly a Director at Loy Yang Power. Mr. Chris Badger had been initially contacted by a former employee of Marcus Evans to speak at the Power Generation APAC Summit 2012 which took place at the Venetian Macau, in Macau in December of 2012 and had wrongfully been promised reimbursement for his travel expenses within a 2 week time frame.

Once the Senior Executive Summit Producer Margarita Theophilou was assigned to this event, after the departure of her former colleague, she very nicely explained to Mr. Chris Badger, that reimbursement of his travel expenses would only be possible after the event, since Mr. Badger decided to book his own flights himself, at his own accord. Had Mr. Badger decided on a different agreement with the company and the former Producer, whereby his travel would have been booked and paid for by Marcus Evans upfront, he would not have to go through the process of claiming expenses in the aftermath of the event. Let it be noted that Margarita Theophilou explained to Mr. Badger, on several occasions, via very frequent email correspondence, that the process of reimbursement, after a speaker himself paid for his own expenses and claimed later, required a MINIMUM of 6-8 weeks, following the completion of the event. Further to that, once Mr. Badger was made aware of the situation, he nonetheless agreed to come and speak at the event.

It should also be duly noted that the Producer went out of her way to please the Speaker's every whim and request, granting him a travel allowance 3 times the amount of any other speaker who attended this event, plus extra nights at the Venetian Macau, because as Mr. Badger mentioned, it was his 30th wedding anniversary and he wanted to do something nice for his wife. The Producer agreed to this as well, not wanting to disgruntle the Speaker, and proceeded to cover this as well. 

It should also be known that Mr. Badger's wife was allowed to join the event lunches and dinners, all costs covered by Marcus Evans naturally. Even when his wife fell ill and was unable to join the delegation for the lunches and dinners, the Senior Executive Summit Producer offered to send a doctor to her room, to see if she required any medical assistance. Mr. Badger refused this, saying it was not necessary. Onsite, the Producer went out of her way to be helpful to Mr. Chris Badger, spending approximately 1.5 hours re-defining the format of his presentation, adding notes, printing slides, so that he would be able to read his presentation out more easily, to the testament of several Marcus Evans staff.

Let is be noted that the Senior Executive Summit Producer Margarita Theophilou has up until now maintained a stellar and outstanding reputation with everyone she has ever worked with on Summits, as can be seen on her LinkedIn profile. Following the end of this event, Mr. Badger sent his expenses via email to the Producer, who forwarded the claim to the Marcus Evans Finance Department. Let it be noted that the speaker has been fully reimbursed, with some minor delay, due to the very serious reason that the Marcus Evans Cyprus-based CFO departed from the company at the end of January, hence some slight delay had occurred from the minimum time frame of 6-8 weeks that had been given to Mr. Badger.

So all in all, Mr. Badger has been reimbursed fully by the company within a 10 day delay from the time frame that was given, slandered the reputation of the Producer who went out of her way to accommodate for his demands, and also slandered the company that provided him a speaker platform in Macau, amongst a very high level delegation, and did indeed reimburse him fully for all of his expenses, as had been initially promised.

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#4 Author of original report

Progress at last

AUTHOR: CDB - (Australia)

After further escalation to senior executive management level and of course posting on  "Rip Off report" I have received apologies from all concerned and have now been reimbursed some 4 months after my expenses were originally incurred. I now consider the matter closed.
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