Andy King is known as the ultimate team player, but it goes beyond what happened at Fyre Festival. Listen as we sit down with him to discuss what actually happened as well as the state of the industry amidst the pandemic. We say this a lot but you really really don’t want to miss this episode!
What are you up to?
This spring I took a few months off to be with my kiddos. I was doing the whole mom thing and doing all the activities and cooking, and in the interim I did my first show calling gig. It was terrifying. It’s super scary. I loved the control of it. I had zero experience show calling so I called a friend of mine to prep. I sent her gift cards and we practiced multiple times. It ended up being ok, but the thing I learned is its not what on the paper its about what you don’t know is going to happen and how you are going to keep that calm voice and directing people.
I’m apart of this non profit, she climbs mountains that supports motherless daughters. We are now doing a new program called girls drive up, youth motherless daughters ages 8-18. We’re doing a launch party Nov 16th. It’s a fundraiser/launch event. Sheclimbsmountians.org
What are your pet peeves?
I do not like getting gas, I like going down to 0 miles on my dashboard and my husband wants to kill me.
Another one is people who are not accountable. If you sign yourself up for a project you need to be accountable and communicate if you can’t do something.
Not starting on time.
What are you working on right now?
Target’s fall national meeting. It happens September 11th, I’ve done it for 5 years now. I’ve been an element producer, for the last 3 or 4 years I’ve been the presentation lead, the lead for all the executive speaker presentations. Which includes the power point and the video. I meet with them and work with the communications team who writes scripts and outlines, work with the decor, video team. Schedule all the rehearsals. There are 20 people on the core team, and there are 100’s of staff once we get on site. 12-14,000 attend this event.
Twitter:The Meeting Minds
Tell us about your background
I was with Microsoft for 13 years came into the program to change the world at Microsoft with food. I was able to do that. We had some good times and some bad times along the way, but for the most part it came out really well. The thing about Microsoft is they are using food as every tech company is using food, to be able to attract the best and the brightest. They invest a lot of money in the food program to be able to attract and retain. The kids that are coming out of college they are not looking to come to a company that they will stay a long time, they are looking for the Big Bang and a lot of that has to deal with food. In college mom and dad picked up the bill so it was free food and you come to work and your expectations are high around that. At Microsoft we didn’t have free food. We were big on food waste so the idea of paying for food you make decisions differently than you would with having it be free. For the most part we were able to maintain that in the Bay Area where there is a competition for workers.
I did a lot with this idea of becoming a profit center vs a cost center. We got into a lot of crazy things, growing our own food hydroponically. I had some grow towers that we put out in the cafe and our digital geniuses that worked there saw it and wanted to digitize it. We had our grow towers connected to the cloud and we were monitoring them with a surface tablet. The cool thing about that is they were growing in the office space, as you were doing your work next to you lettuce was growing.
Listen to this episode to hear Mark’s full story!
Twitter:The Meeting Minds
At ILEA Live we sit down with Kevin White, XPL, and he talks all about the science of human behavior. We were encouraged to think through the human experience at events in order to create an event that your guest will love!
Sarah Shewey is a pioneer woman of the experience economy. She is the Founder & CEO of Happily, a platform that rapidly assembles experiences for the fastest growing brands in the world with the largest network of freelance event producers. She is also the co-founder of TEDActive, the founder of EXP, a co-founder of The Margin, and the board president of dublab. An environmentalist, Sarah has spoken about the importance of sustainable event practices on NPR and publications around the world. She also co-invented the world’s first underwater projector.
Stay connected with Sarah Shewey on Linkedin.
Tell us about you.
I got into events because I was the super fan of Weezer. They dropped off the face of the earth and there was rumors Weezer was coming back. I organized online in the Weezer fan forum, a Weezer after party for their first concert. I’m an over achiever so I got yahoo to sponsor and we brought in fans and randomly Sofia Coppola showed up. I rented a venue, it was a legit thing. They got word and apologized they couldn’t make it. After I graduated college I went across the country and I moved to Boston. I fell into a job as a freelance event coordinator. That became Boston’s best party of the year. I knew I was an entrepreneur but I didn’t know what industry or product I would build. After those two experiences I started to take the events industry seriously.
Your main thing is Happily, what is it?
It is a lot of things, it is really a place where anyone can find freelance event experts. We specialize in producers, coordinators, assistants. There are over 50,000 in our network. It’s like air b n b for events. It’s my full time job.
How does your process work?
You create an event and then you create multiple gigs or jobs. Then we calculate the cost. Then we surface all of the people that are local in the area. You can see all the profiles and you can request an interview and hire them through there. You can pay them through there and invoice them.
Who is on this?
Right now our focus is planners, we are starting first with production managers and people that are organizing. We get a lot of requests for example of do you know people that know VR? Technical teams and freelancers is on our roadmap to bring to the platform.
What was the fact that you dropped before we started recording?
Sustainability, it’s really important, if not the most important area of innovation in the events space. It’s important because events are the 2nd most wasteful industry on the planet, after construction. When you add sporting events and concerts, you’re building all this stuff and throwing it out. We know how much plastic and crap is out there. I think that for me, once I found that out, it was really important for me to take a look at the entire supply chain and process, and how can we reduce waste and get ourselves off this horrible list of offenders?
How do we do it?
It’s crazy how small things can make a huge impact. For instance, take meat off your menu or reducing it by half, it can save millions of gallons of water on a 100 person event. Beef in particular. Create opportunities for people to jump in on a live stream instead of jumping on a plane to get to an event. Obviously an in person interaction has it’s own special brand of magic, but live stream allows people to hear information and create accessibility around the world. It also reduces carbon foot print.
You are co – founder of the margin, tell us about that.
It makes space for people of color at gatherings. I started it with a friend of mine and we met at a women’s conference in the Bay Area and we were the only people of color there. We started to talk about behind the gender conversation there still are not safe spaces for people of color when you are feeling like the other. It’s hard to say hello and make friends.
What are other things you want people to know?
Just know about happily and the platform. I really am an event nerd and rat. The last few years I’ve been on a technology kick and it’s been a wild journey that keeps improving and getting better. We’d like people to beta test and give us feedback. We are so offline so it’s been cool to share those things with people in our space.
Superpower: Communicating to people nonverbally
Twitter:The Meeting Minds