Tech

S.3 Episode 13: Believe it or Not, Everyone is a Sales Person!

Karen Gordon of Goodshuffle shares some information gold this week!  With a super power of empathy, she shares some helpful tips for those starting out in the events world.  

You have to tell us about your career.

I started in tech sales and decided I never wanted to work in sales and technology again, and now I find myself heading up sales for a tech company. I decided to leave because I wanted to get into events, I quit that job and started to do events for Living Social. They had a huge presence out of DC. I worked in their adventures division. They tapped me for a new division, they opened a live event venue. 7 stories, a speakeasy basement bar, test kitchen. We’d be running 7 different events in one night. I moved over into a creative sales role.  I worked in the live event space for a long time, did logistics, sales, creative, budgeting. That sadly closed down, we were ahead of our time. I went on and worked at several different startups in the DC area. 

What is Goodshuffle?

It’s bringing powerful modern technology to the event world. We are in an on demand society, there are a lot of last minute changes and decisions that get made. And you know all the inventory you have to manage, and a last minute change could mean changing a contract last minute, letting a warehouse know… all of that can be a huge disaster. We are on a mission to solve that. Goodshuffle Pro is software for these companies so you can have photo driven proposals, that are interactive, you can make last minute changes, pay online. 

What is your role?

My title is VP of Growth. I’m in charge of everything related to business development. Goodshuffle is pretty small still, half a dozen full time within our office. We work with tons of part time and contractors, but we are still small. It’s crazy, I was the first employee, there were three of us and we didn’t launch the GS Pro software until January of last year and we are in 42 states, Canada, and Mexico already.

You were tasked at ILEA Live to talk about powerful language tell us about that.

We talked about branding and finding your voice. Everyone has different versions of powerful language. I encourage everyone to do branding exercises. We were talking about how powerful language can help your sales style.  Listen for specific examples!

Sounds like this is applicable in many situations.

One of the things I said is some of you may not think you are sales people but everyone is a sales person. 

What advice do you have for people new in the events industry?

In the events industry there are a lot of paths you can take. A lot of people who I talk to that are successful, it’s because they saw other opportunities and pivoted. Even myself, I didn’t stay in core events but used it to be in event technology. 

People get really eager to get to the top in any role. That is especially true in events. I was talking to a guy who thinks he wants to be in events and he was complaining and I said it doesn’t matter if you get to the very top, most people if you’re a good boss you’re also rolling up your sleeves and moving things across the floor. You really need to love it. 

Super power: Empathy, understanding people very quickly

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S.3 Episode 9: Tomatoes, Crickets, and Heads of Lettuce?

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!

mfreem61@ford.com

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S.3 Episode 7: “Happily” Save the Planet With Events!

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

Cause: DoveLove

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Twitter:The Meeting Minds

S.3 Episode 6: Beam in your Keynote: Using Holograms to up your Event Game!

You can have someone present without being at your event: Holograms.  Ashley C talks all about holograms and how they are changing the events industry. Listen to the expert in the market who has created the patents for this engaging experience!

Ashley Crowder, Co-Founder and CEO of VNTANA

Tell us holographs?

We are all about putting the digital into the real world.  If any of you have kids or have played Pokemon Go that is one version of mixed reality.  Your phone can act as a third eye. You also have headsets you can wear that put the digital in the real world. With these only the person with the device can see. At VNTANA we built hardware to do holographic projections. Everyone in the room can the see and interact with the digital together.  We do keynote presentations, true live.  I can beam myself next time, I’ll be in LA and my hologram will be here.

You are doing movie magic but for real. She told us before, we patented all of this ourselves.  How did you develop this?

We are a tech company, a team of engineers.  My background is engineering, we have about 15 patents on hardware and software to do this. In the beginning we were using projectors but we switched  to LED because it’s brighter.  Now we can do things in bright environments. 

What is the use for this?

About 7 years ago we found a key use cases people love.

1.Someone can’t be there we can beam them in live, or pre record their hologram.  We just did a hologram of Kobe Bryant.

2.Lots of leveraging endorsement deals.  For Adidas we did holograms of Stella McCartney.  

3.Other interactive experiences to show off products and understand product preferences. 

How do you beam in live?

We need dedicated fiber, really good dedicated internet on both sides.5G is coming and we are working with a few different telecom  providers to show it off on the 5G network. 

What about stages?  Are you beaming in keynotes?

Yes we do a number of keynote presentations.  That is a lot of our life-size holograms. 

You use holograms to show off dead celebrities?

We provide the hardware but we let other people do the “digital resurrection”. We can help people, we have partners who specialize in digital recreation, it get’s expensive.  You can’t use old footage it’s CGI. You need to create a photo realistic model of that person and you animate it. We prefer to stick with the living and products!

Have you met and worked with famous people?

Yes leveraging endorsement deals.  These brands pay so much money to use their likeness. 

Where do you see the technology going?

It’s super exciting, using it as a new medium. Even if the person is there, if they are launching a product the hologram can show up on stage next to them.  We are excited about being able to push he boundaries with the creative and content side. 

You are a speaker tomorrow what are you talking about?

How you can use mixed reality to influence the attendee journey at an event. Why do you want to do it?  What is the purpose of the tech?  Then figure out what you want to do. Rob Thomas, we did a great hologram karaoke for his tour it was really successful because it was a holistic approach.  He talked about it on his radio show. They published it and you got to sing karaoke with the hologram. I always say don’t put technology in the corner. 

With these experiences people are willing to give their information freely because it’s a fun experience. 

How much does this cost?

The cost depends on the size of the hologram.  Is if life-size or a small kiosk display and content.  Does the content need to be created for it?  We have done a lot with our software to automate the process. In general you can start between 10 – 20,000 range and go up. Realistically people say, this is doable. 

Superpower: Super focused on things I want to do.

Cause you Love: Girls Who Code

www.vntana.com

info@vntana.com

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S. 3 Episode 4: Swag, Gifts, and Apparel: Quality Over Quantity

On this episode of Meeting Minds; Charles and Paige chat with Zach Sussman about merchandise trends in the event industry. Swag (stuff we all get) that people actually want is crucial. Find out what merchandise is likely to resonate and not become waste!