EVENT SUPPLIER OPPORTUNITY - PART 1

3 April 2020

If you are an event supplier, you have what I believe is a once in a lifetime opportunity, or in a long time anyway. As we emerge from this crisis, brands, agencies and governments are going to want to buy better, find the most appropriate creativity and generate more value.

Most people who work in brands, agencies and governments - who buy, produce, design or create live events have no formal training in the craft of doing so – call it stage craft, theatre craft… whatever you like. As such, the knowledge gap between ideas and reality is enormous.

Once upon a time, those designing and developing live events would have had some theatrical background or training, though now, with a sector so diverse with people from all manners of backgrounds, this basic knowledge and expertise is lacking – across the board. This hinders productivity, creativity and budgets – it’s also frustrating and reduces an event or exhibitons value and impact.

Few involved in live events are ever going to theatre or stage school or anything similar. So where could they learn the expertise and insights that can get them what they need? Who else has this knowledge of ‘the craft’.

Yes… you - if you’re an event supplier. And there’s your enormous, almost untapped, opportunity.

Whether people realise it or not (yet) there has never been a greater need for your expertise, your talent, your knowledge… one of your biggest assets. 4 and a half minutes to explain in this first of two videos...

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, I'm Will Glendinning. I'm a Producer, Writer, Designer, and Director.

As I've said previously, I'm trying to help as many people as possible during these times of isolated uncertainty. So if you're an event supplier, that is you supply goods or services to the event, or exhibition sector, I believe you have a once in a generation opportunity. Or once in a very long time anyway.

In this is the first video of two, I hope I can help and inspire you.

Whilst your warehouses may be packed sky high, staff on leave or phones sitting silent, many of you have an enormous, valuable asset that is, by and large, completely untapped. Back in the day when I started out, as a young'un, I worked somewhere where I was taught the fundamental basics of theater, stagecraft, event technology and logistics, or as I call it, "The Craft." I also spent an enormous amount of time with event suppliers learning everything I could. And if you look at some of the established leaders in the live event sectors, many of them have some form of theatrical, or similar, training or backgrounds.

The majority of events and exhibitions though are conceived, procured, produced, and developed by people without the expertise or experience in this craft. Now that's not always a bad thing, because it can lead to new ideas, new thinking, new creativity and innovations.

This lack of basic knowledge in the craft though does often lead to frustration, wasted time, money and effort, crap tenders and RFPs, and events and exhibitions that could have delivered far more value, creativity and impact if time and resources were better focused. There is an enormous knowledge gap between what people want to try and achieve with their ideas and how to actually make them happen.

Those that have the expertise in this craft, I mean, there are some event agencies and some exhibition agencies for sure, but, by and large, it's you if you're an event supplier. This knowledge, this expertise, is one of your biggest assets. Few other people have it. And most people involved with anything live haven't been and won't be going to theater or stage school or anything similar.

And this is where your opportunity lies. At the moment, people are isolated and internet binging. Give them something worthwhile to binge on.

If you can educate people or explain even the basics of your expertise or your craft, you'll be doing far more for the people that need it and yourselves than many other people.

There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of event agencies, production companies, branding agencies, digital agencies, advertising agencies, marketing agencies, PR agencies, experiential agencies, media companies, governments, charities, arts organisations, artists, architects, sports federations, sports organisations, organising committees, freelancers and more who work with, in and around live events and exhibitions. Many of them have no training in the craft of doing anything live. Why would they?

As we come out of the crisis we're in, many of them are going to be looking to do things better, more effectively, more efficiently, and more creatively, or to create more value and more impact. Couldn't you be helping them? Shouldn't you be helping them? And if you do, if you're there helping them now with qualified expertise, who do you think they are going to turn to when projects come back online or when new ideas are getting discussed?

I urge you to consider creating material, content, lectures, talks, videos or whatever other information and put it out there to help. A note of caution though. This is categorically not about selling your flashy lights, your latest LED product, your great people, your manufacturing expertise, or credentials, and it's not product demonstrations or anything like that. This is just giving, helping. Don't sell your products and services. Just educate and inform - in a language people without the knowledge you have will understand. Give without expectation.

And make it useful, specific information, not generic or general ideas or opinions. Facts, knowledge and expertise. Stick to what you know, and stick to what you know inside out.

The ways and means of doing this are easy to find across the interweb. And it doesn't need to be glossy or polished. Just be yourselves and explain what you think people ought to know.

You have knowledge and expertise that most people don't, even if they say they do. You can fill that knowledge gap, helping them and, in turn, yourself or your company. There has never been a better time, there has never been a greater opportunity, and there's never been a greater need for your expertise and for your knowledge.

That's it for now in this first video, and I hope it's food for thought. In the second video of this two-parter, next week, I'll go through examples of what I believe different suppliers could be talking about and teaching and what they shouldn't and who it would benefit.

I'm happy to take any questions, and I'm interested in your thoughts.

Thanks for your time, thanks for watching, and I'll speak to you again soon.