ILEA Quick Tips For Event Planners: August 2016

Making the most of the sharing economy as an event planner.

“At current rates of growth, more than six in 10 Americans will use a sharing service in the coming year, and by 2017, eight in 10 Americans will be part of the collaborative economy,” according to The New Rules of the Collaborative Economy. Here are a few tips for event planners to take advantage of these changing trends.

Think outside of the hotel: It’s easier than ever to access unique spaces that perfectly fit your event’s (or client’s) needs. Companies like spacebase.com or meetingsbooker.com allow you to filter your specific requirements and find an ideal location anywhere around the globe. Or, make your studio or warehouse space an item in your inventory. List your space on a site like these and you can gain a wider consumer reach plus increased revenue during your slow season.
 
Go beyond the room block: If you haven’t heard of Airbnb, you should explore listing your remote hideaway on their site.  Originally started as a company dedicated to serving events, it is now the biggest disruptor in the event industry! Created as a service that provided extra beds for conference attendees when hotel capacity was maxed out, in 2014 they surpassed hotel giants Hilton, Marriott & Intercontinental in number of rooms available. Make the most of all these new options! Lodging is no longer just a hotel room block, attendees can now enjoy home away from home and stays customized to their preferences – and important consideration when planning your events and conferences.
 
Reevaluate transportation: Uber now allows for events to have discount codes their attendees can redeem. Great for weddings where guests shouldn’t be driving at the end of the night, and for conferences who have speaker travel arrangements to facilitate. You kill two birds with one stone in these scenarios – it simplifies transportation logistics for the planner and creates an easy experience for the user of the code. Uber and Lyft can also help keep you under budget when dealing with a large conference that involves lots of transportation needs.
 
Make your inventory work for you: As most event professionals know, the longer you are in the industry, the more stuff you acquire. Whether your company is sitting on inventory that isn’t earning its keep or you end every season with another collection of cake plates – take advantage! Rentivist is a platform that connects people with awesome items (that’s you) with people who want to rent them. Why sell or donate your platters when you could receive a greater return while renting?
 
Appeal to the largest generation: Position yourself favorably with millennials who value access over ownership and believe in sustainability. Millennials are the biggest participant in the sharing economy and by 2025 are expected to make up 75% of the workforce worldwide. Align with their values of collaboration and inclusion via the sharing economy and make them your own. Embracing their concerns and habits means they buy in to what you are creating.
 
Sarah Johnson is the director of sales & marketing for Rentivist, working to reinvent the way we own & rent things for creative projects, events and everyday life. She is the director of communications – email & social media marketing for the Minneapolis | St. Paul Chapter of the International Live Events Society.
 
International Live Events Association (ILEA) is the new name for the International Special Events Society (ISES). ILEA represents and supports more than 5,000 members globally – industry professionals who do business together, share knowledge, nurture talent and progress the live events industry. For more information on how an ILEA professional can help you with your event, please contact info@ilea-msp.org.

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