Founder and CEO of Sydney-based air events global, Victoria Garlick, outlines the benefits of embracing peer-to-peer networks for event planning.
The sharing economy — also known as gig economy, access economy, collaborative consumption, and platform economy — is a peer-to-peer network of obtaining, giving, or sharing access to goods and services. My company, air events global, is defined as a sharing economy for the events industry, connecting event-management companies with freelancers for casual and contract work, anywhere in the world.
Over the past few years, we’ve heard about the rise of sharing-economy platforms such as Uber and Airbnb, and how they are transforming industries and disrupting existing business models. Uber in particular has made an enormous effort to engage event audiences through partnerships and promotions, globally. The basic Uber Event Package includes discount codes (customised) that can be offered to event attendees, as well as VIP packages and upgrades for event managers. Another example is Uber’s alignment with public events such as large music festivals. When demand increases (and prices surge) in a concentrated area due to an event, Uber’s event package provides an excellent resource that event managers can harness to make logistics smoother and more cost effective.
By definition, the sharing economy opens up opportunities for people to provide on-demand services, and this is a great tool for the events industry, which is largely project-based. For example, a small-to-medium-sized events company may not be in a position to hire a full-time event coordinator, but could afford an eight-week contractor to work on a set project.
This is where the shared-economy business model is so effective — it connects people and shares resources. And business is booming. PricewaterhouseCoopers expects the sharing economy to grow exponentially from US$15 billion today to US$335 billion by 2025.
Prior to launching air events global in 2017, our market research showed there was a gap in the market and people were interested in being able to use a shared-economy platform that is quick and easy, instead of employing a recruitment agency and waiting for a response.
Having worked as an event director for the past 20 years, I saw pain points on both sides of the marketplace: clients needing casual or contract freelancers that they can book quickly, and freelancers looking for paid work, not simply voluntary work experience.
The use of online sharing-economy platforms for business events can achieve greater efficiency than traditional business methods. Most importantly, this platform allows target audiences to access services when they need them and often with no lock-in contracts.
For example, if an event manager needs an extra pair of hands for a few hours to help bump-in a trade show, the shared (on-demand) economy can provide flexibility and efficiency.