Exhibition News October 2017 - Page 57

COLUMN: JULIAN AGOSTINI Waste not want not Julian Agostini, MD of Mash Media, ponders the ‘uberisation’ of events W hatever you think of Uber, it has opened up a whole new way of thinking but not for them it would seem. We are now the ‘sharing society’ and that opens up an infi nite number of opportunities with a simple return to this basic premise: utilising everything we have at our disposal. It’s almost caveman in its principles; back then if you killed a beast, every part of the animal was put to use in some way or another. Zero waste. By contrast we live in a somewhat profl igate society, certainly in the West. I’m always appalled at how much food I waste, yet no lessons are ever learned. Perishables are still bought and go straight from fridge to bin, clothes will end up at the back of the wardrobe, etc. The recent wave of sustainability has made us all sit up a bit, and of course it makes perfect business sense as well, but there is so much more that we could all be doing, if we are in the right mindset. Apparently Uber’s vision is to make everything available instantly, in the same way Amazon seeks to. I was disappointed that this is their chosen direction. I’d assumed they might prefer to mobilise under-used assets, which, for me, is far more innovative, and can be incorporated through many different avenues. A few examples off the top of my head: • • The already mentioned food: a system that connects people so that unwante, yet still edible, food gets resold to those that can utilise it. Rubbish collection: tap into an instant collection service. I’m • • • going to the dump, does anyone else want to make use of my trip? Ironing: there must be loads of people more willing to do my ironing, for a more competitive fee, and more conveniently, than a local dry cleaners. Grass cutting, weeding, car washing etc: I want it done now; click on the network, four people in the area; one turns up within 20 mins. Perfect. Storage: making use of someone else’s space, rather than falling over clutter constantly. The list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware that all these services exist if I want to buy them in the traditional manner but this is the gig economy; services like these can be offered by you, me or the people next door. Once there were bed and breakfasts, now that business is available to anyone with a spare room via Airbnb. Usemydrive is another one, among others, already capitalising on this concept. Simply using what you already have and monetising your downtime or spare capacity. Nothing wasted. One service that I’ve always thought should exist is ‘Shared Load’ (see I’ve even named it). Lorries and vans travel up and down our roads half, or completely empty, every day. What a waste. There must be a way of co-ordinating this so that anyone can click on a site and piggyback a delivery. Logistics would change forever which delivers us nicely to the door of our industry. Surely we can also apply these principles if we can just leap into that mindset? Many farmers have woken up to the fact that they can now rent their land to event organisers – especially in the ever-diversifying festival market... but let’s look fi rst at the organising community. All event organisers create and own a huge amount of assets that can be shared or monetised without compromising their own core business. Aside from the venue and subletting any unutilised space, the key sharing opportunity for organisers is surely the audience; the precious visitors. These are very valuable of course and hard to get to the venue, so once they are there, we should maximise their power. There is no question that traditionally organisers have a tendency to be paranoid about their databases and the communities they serve. Rightly so. Many shows, however, will attract an audience that could also be relevant to a tangential market. 57 “I’m aware all these services exist in the traditional manner, but this is the gig economy; services like these can be offered by you, me or the people next door.” I look down the list of UK shows that we compile and update at Mash Media and regularly see so many opportunities for a co-locate or, better, a new launch against an existing event which is in no way competitive but making use of the audience. A simple fee or even licence afforded to or from the incumbent organiser and off you go; they are making the most of their asset and suddenly a new show exists, which has the double benefi t of maximising the visitors’ time. A simple way of adding to the bottom line is to embrace Uber world. In line with today’s modern, sharing thought processes, this is no longer a bumpy ride. exhibitionnews.co.uk | October 2017