Ever wonder what the best event industry publications are? Which ones are the “not to miss” shows? What are the #EventIcons watching and following? This week we have Adam Parry of Event Industry News and David Adler of Bizbash joining us on our panel and they are going to share their personal favorites with all of you! There are so many podcasts and blogs out there that it is difficult to navigate through and find the ones most suited to our industry. These iconic leaders are sharing their personal favorites with us and will explain why these are not to be missed. From industry news to just all-around great podcasts, we have their personal picks and we’re sharing them with you today! Tune in and stay up-to-date on the latest and Best Event Industry Publications!
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Epic resources mentioned:
- C2 Montreal
- Google IO
- Nozstock (UK Festival)
- Exhibitor Smarts
- Alexa Echo Dot
- Event Industry News
- Talking Events Podcast
- GatherGeeks Podcast
- Social Physics by Alex Pentland
- Tim Ferriss Podcast
- Emporers of Rome Podcast
- David Pollock – The 10 Minute Marketer
- 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy Podcast
- Event Industry News Podcast
- SocialTables Turn of Events Podcast
- Gary Vaynerchuk Podcast
- The Investing Podcast – We Study Billionaires
- David Axelrod Podcast
- Kara Swisher Podcast
- TechsyTalk Podcast
- HBR Ideacast
- TED Radio Hour
- Feedly (RSS Reader)
- From BizBash C.E.O. David Adler: What the Trump Rallies Showed Us About Events in the Age of Social Media
- Collaborate America
- Event industry News Event Tech Guide 2017
Transcription of this episode:
Will: Oh yeah. Unfortunately Laura’s not here today so you guys are stuck with Mr Will Curran, but that’s quite okay after a week off and a huge thank you to Grant for hosting last week. We are back and ready to rock and we have an amazing topic. I’ve been looking forward to this episode for a very long time. These guys are so busy. We had to schedule them so far in advance to make sure that we had them on the show, but I’m really excited because today we’re talking about event industry media.
More likely if you’re watching this show you consume some sort of event industry media. Whether it’s a magazine, or a blog, or a PDF version of a magazine, whatever it may be. A podcast for example. We wanted to bring in two of the biggest heavy hitters in the events industry media to talk a little bit about what is it like? Where do they get their sources of inspiration? Basically kind of pick their brains because they’re the ones who really lead the charge when it comes to the trends that we talk about, the events that we’re going to cover, all that sort of stuff.
Without any further delay, I got to jump right on in. First man of the hour is Mr Adam Perry from Event Industry News. Adam is an amazing guy. We actually got to officially meet at IMAX after doing a little bit of work back and forth over the last year or two. It was just so exciting.
Adam’s an awesome guy. Really cool and Events Industry News is kind of like the over the pond. Covers all the major stuff that’s basically happening in the events industry. They just had their first, not first. It was like the fourth or fifth Event Tech.
Adam: Fourth or fifth, yeah.
Will: Something like that. It’s so many years I can’t count any more. They have a huge awards show and, oh my gosh, you have to see the pictures of this thing. It’s a legit event tech awards show so they were the ones who were naming the biggest names in all the events tech. Really cool. So not only are they covering all the news, but they’re also walking the talk, palling their own conferences, and everything like. So I got to give a huge shout out, a huge welcome, to Mr Adam Perry.
Adam: Thank you very. Will. Very good to be on again.
Will: Again, yes. I forgot to mention we had you on the IMAX episode, so if you didn’t watch that one, you got to go watch back and get Adam’s 15 minutes of fame that he had on that episode as well. Awesome and then next up is no stranger to this show. We actually had him on about a year ago actually. Almost to the date too. Mr David Adler doesn’t need much introduction because everybody’s heard of BizBash.
You guys are the number one publisher in the events industry. Literally you cover all the biggest events across the country and the world. You’re the ones naming the biggest venues. You’re the ones naming the top events of the year. If people kind of want the back story on how BizBash was formed and how David got this all started, you’ll definitely have to go check out his episode from a year ago, but we were just so honored to have you back Mr David Adler of BizBash.
David: Hey, fantastic to be here.
Will: All right, we got you guys on the show and, you know, some people may have watched previous episodes and they may know a little bit about you, but for those who haven’t I always want to start with this question. Feel free to make it as short or as long as you’d like, but what got you into the events industry and maybe also spin it into why did you decide to go towards, you know, creating your guys’s respective media companies that you guys now do? So Adam, why don’t you kick it off on how you kind of got where you are today?
Adam: Sure. Pure chance. Really pure chance. I had a marketing background and at the time I was looking for a new challenge, something different. Applied for a job with a media publishing company here in the UK that at the time I didn’t realize that was events focused. When I started working with the company at the time that I was working with was festival focused for festival production.
So working with or interviewing companies like Live Nation, AEG, you know, large festival/outdoor event organizers. From that moment got a real kind of look into the events industry. A look at the people in it. How challenging events are, but how much joy it brings so many people.
Then it transitioned over into Event Industry News. The realization that new media, social media, the way that some people interacting with their media concent, their news concent, that they wanted to change it. Social media being the predominant driver of that. If I’m honest, Event Industry News was an idea that myself and my business partner now pitched back to the company that we were working for at the time and the reply that we got was that the event industry’s just a phase and the rest is history.
Adam: Yeah, that’s how we got into it.
Will: That’s awesome. Very cool. What made you guys decide to, you know, host a show on event tech too?
Adam: Well, one of the benefits of probably everybody that have now got websites knows is that they can see a lot of data. They can see a lot of interaction. They can see what their users or their visitors are interacting with. A big passion of mine is technology just in general and we kind of started publishing news and articles around technology. Some [inaudible 06:20] leadership stuff. Interviewing some of the technology suppliers.
We saw a quick shift or a quick traction with those types of articles. We understood there was a keen interest there with our readership. We kind of looked in the industry and before Event Tech Live, which is our trade show now that happens every year, we initially decided to launch the Event Technology Awards on the basis that there was no real recognition for any of the companies delivering this technology and that’s both from a technical supplier. From an event app provider, a registration provider, all the way to maybe an agency or an organizer that’s harnessing the technology or developing it to better their event in these very specific ways.
We decided to launch the Event Technology Awards initially to showcase in the industry some of the biggest and best jobs that are going on. How this technology is really being used at the leading edge. Yeah, that’s how it came to be and then the exhibition came out of that because again there was no real one pinnacle event. Everybody used to come to … There’s lots of other events and brilliant events that have a technology section, but we just wanted to focus on that niche and give a real focus to that theme. It’s such a massive talking point anyway that there’s so much to discuss there. That’s how the Event Tech Live came about.
Will: Awesome. Very cool. Just so you know too, we’ve got someone out in the audience who says hello. Megan Powers from Event Collab says hello Adam.
Will: She just wanted to say hello. One of the benefits of a live show is you get to say hello to your guests. So make sure you guys are posting those questions over on the right hand side.
All right, so next up, Mr David Adler. So I know we talked a little bit about this during your episode and kind of how you got int BizBash and kind of everything like that. So hopefully people can listen to the full story over there, but why don’t you give people kind of a high-level what got you into setting up BizBash and why the events industry?
David: Well, I love the community industry. I think that’s the industry that I’m in. I started out of a college and I started a magazine. Society Magazine for Washington DC. It was pretty cool because people thought for about 10 years that I was a maitre d’ because I was in black tie almost every single night.
What was interesting about it is that all these big shots. The senators, and the politicians, and everybody, they all talked about events because a politician’s number one skill set is event planning and I really learned that event planning is like one of the centerpieces for collaboration and in anything that we do. When I was at a big corporation like Prime Media and McMillan, the events were what really moved the company.
That changed people’s behavior. That created the readership because people actually talked to each other at events. I started BizBash after being head of corporate communications for a company called Prime Media which owned 350 magazines. I was spending millions of dollars on events and there was no real marketplace. You just called your friend and said who did what.
I was using this guy named Robert Isabell who was a big event designer in New York. I would argue with him over how many trees at the 50th anniversary party and each tree was $100,000. It was like the cost of doing these events were unbelievable, but in the scheme of things around marketing, they were really small. If you do a marketing campaign, you’re spending a lot more money than on an event, but the impact that you’re making is just crazy.
That’s what I love about this industry and I think that there is a universal language that events talk about. That’s why it is everywhere in the world. We’re doing the same thing that everyone else is doing. This is translating everywhere no matter … Everyone talks about music is an international language. Events are an international language.
Will: That’s very true. I love it. I love that it’s funny how not a lot of people know that really you’ve always been a media man. You’ve always been doing that sort of stuff. So you really got that in where it’s, for example, like when we started our blog I had no journalism background at all. We were just like, “We want to publish great content, right?”
David: Well, you know now everybody’s a media person.
David: We are basically coming up on the 10th anniversary of the creation of everybody being a media person with the invention of the iPhone. This is the day. July I don’t know the exact date, 2007. We’re not even 10 years into it and everybody is under a media company.
Will: It’s crazy. My question to you, Dave, is, “Why did you guys decide to …” You know obviously there was a huge part of BizBash Live. You guys have this live component of what you’ve done and kind of harnessing your audience. What made you guys turn towards wanting to do events?” Obviously, for example, a lot of people say, “Hey, keep your costs as variable as possible,” but you guys decided, “Hey, we’re going to do this massive events. Why did you guys decided to do it?”
David: Well, the real reason was opportunistic. Richard Aaron, who works for me, who is my president, had a meeting with The Javits Center and they wanted to reach sort of the big event organizers in New York so they gave us a free trade show for about three years.
David: It was unbelievable how opportunistic I was about that because I had no plans of going into the print magazine business because I started out as online only. You have to kind of be opportunistic. That’s the only way I think we’ve survived. I think both of us have in the same way. You’ve got to be opportunistic and you have to be flexible, and you have to believe. I believe that I’m probably the oldest millennial-minded person on the planet and so we have to really think the way that people are thinking out there today.
Will: I love it. I am curious to know, so this is a new question that you guys might not know that we ask now. One of my favorite questions to ask is, “If you weren’t in the events industry, what would you being doing instead?” I’m sure you guys have both some amazing things that you guys would be doing. If you weren’t in the events industry David, what would you be doing?
David: I would be doing the same type of thing. I started something this last year called Collaborate America, which celebrates the art of people working together because I think all event organizers are really collaboration artists. I really devote my life to that. I believe that understanding how people interact in a face-to-face event. I don’t know if it’s not being an event organizer or not being in the event industry, but I think that what we do is at the core of every possible part of the world.
Will: Very cool. You think that you would still be running a media company? Like someone on the basis of either online or …?
David: As I said earlier, we’re basically in charge of activating communities. I love the idea of watching a community co-create its future no matter what it is. Whether it’s an innovation, I don’t know. I think that [inaudible 13:00] we’re idea people. You can make ideas happen in anything. The events are just one strategy or tactic that allows progress to happen. That is what’s so fantastic about in this industry. We’re really doing a million other things at the same time we’re in this business anyway.
Will: Yeah. Awesome. Adam, I know that you would definitely be a professional beard modeler if you weren’t in the events industry. If you weren’t in the events industry, what do you think you would be doing instead?
Adam: If I wasn’t in the events industry, I suppose I would still be in media because where I take a huge amount of my inspiration from at the moment is a platform that’s been around with us for years, but funnily enough only in the last three, four years seems to be really kind of maturing which is YouTube. That platform really intrigues me in the way that it connects millions of people around the world to a single source and a single platform.
It’s so easily accessible to anybody that wants to start being a media person and putting their own content out there, but then also the way that Google has it set up because it’s very fulfilling in terms of being able to actually make a living from it and from that also fulfill other people around you. Find jobs for people in post-production or on-location production.
Some of these guys, awesome YouTube stars as we call them, though I wouldn’t necessarily say I would be a star myself, they’re making good money, and they’re really connecting with people, and really changing thought processes, and really opening up conversation. I’d like to say that maybe if I didn’t start in the event industry at the time but came into it now, that’s probably the medium I’d go down. We utilize, are utilizing, video a lot more on our platform now, but yeah, I think I’d be over at YouTube trying to upload selfies and that kind of stuff.
David: One thing I learned a long time ago, that when you’re in the media business you have to be media agnostic because you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.
Adam: Yeah, that’s true.
Will: Very true. So professional YouTuber over here. I love it. To be honest, I definitely would try to go down that route too. I mean, I definitely agree with you on the YouTube platform side of things. It’s just an amazing platform for sure. I think I’ve spent more time on it than I have on Netflix. That’s for sure.
All right. You guys obviously both represent two of the hugest players in the events industry media, but I think people who maybe aren’t, you know, necessarily familiar with your platform, or read from you before, which I mean, if you guys haven’t before you guys definitely need to and you need to subscribe today, but if people are curious, what makes you guys stand apart from other news outlets in the events industry? I guess why should people read Events Industry News or BizBash? Adam, why don’t you kick it off by telling us a little bit of why do you think people should read you versus anyone else out there?
Adam: Well, I don’t think people should read me versus everybody else. I mean, they’re all resources and they’ve all got great content. We cover slightly different things to what David might cover, to what MeetingsNet might cover, to what some of the UK publications cover right here. If you’re a serious event organizer, my advice and one of my biggest tips is consume as much information about the industry as you can.
Learn from what other people are doing or other content out there. I’d say read us all. Consume as much as humanly possible and with technology now that’s easier than ever. What makes us maybe slightly different is … Well, I say from everybody, but we don’t do anything physical in terms of we don’t do any print. We just harness digital avenues so we push our content out through Instagram, through podcasts, through video, through YouTube, through Twitter, through the web, but that’s our core.
Our decision do to that was predominantly because in the UK there are a number of publications that are print and we didn’t feel that we would fulfill any niche or any need there to the reader. To be honest with you, we are a business. We fund our business through advertising and companies advertise with us so it’s a cost-cutting exercise for them as well in terms of marketing with them. There’s no way they could actually [inaudible 17:19].
Will: That’s very cool. I’ll ask this question later. David, go ahead and let us know what you think.
David: I’d say what makes us different is that we’re on the cusp, and I think Adam is actually too, on the festivalization of the event industry. In the old days it used to be a meeting planner, or a conference planner, or a gala planner, or a social planner. Now it’s all the same thing and 25% of all marketing is now events.
Everyone has discovered this great secret weapon that we have been understanding and saying. I think that it’s the people that want to cross-fertilize their ideas that rose to the media that has more of the mass approach. An idea for a festival is used now for a meeting and the idea is that we’re able to allow people to peek over the fence to see what other people are doing.
We’re very photographic rich and we have 14 full time reporters, and editors, and journalists and we’re spending a lot of money on actually covering the industry because I don’t think that I lot of organizations are able to sustain the idea of lots of journalists covering your industry, which is what is happening in the mainstream industry, and that niches are becoming actually better because it’s more defined as opposed to sort of investigative journalism is dying. We have the ability through our niche to really focus on this one piece of the world.
Will: Very cool. David, you bring up a really good point. Obviously you know you guys have a big journalism staff behind you. As journalists yourselves, and maybe what you maybe David you ask your staff to do, and Adam you ask your staff to do too, how do you guys find these newsworthy things to ask, and find, and cover, and you know, investigate and go deep into? Is it what’s happening? Tell us a little bit about maybe your process for finding these topics, David.
David: Well, we cannot cover enough. We’re in the most dynamic business in the world. It’s changing literally every single minute so there’s something new to cover every single night. In fact, there’s like a million events happening in the US a year, let’s say. I don’t even know if it’s that many, but we just don’t even have to. We just have to open our door. Look, I always believe that everything’s in front of your nose, and so you don’t really have to go that far, but you have to be smart about what you say about it, and what you see, and how you observe it.
Will: That’s true. That’s very true. Adam, what about you? How do you guys find what to cover?
Adam: It’s very much the same as what David said. You know, it terms of just our process we have a huge amount of information sent to us just in general through PR companies, direct from organizers, direct from suppliers. You get a lot of information, you go through and you filter that, and decide what is on trend, or what might be coming up, and what might work for any type of news article or feature that we’re covering and that I’m a strong believer in talking to the industry.
Getting in there whether that be via social media or like we did at the trade show event. Just seeking out interesting articles and information and people. Generally it starts with people for me because those who have an interesting story to tell can generally translate that into good content for our readers. That’s the way that we do it.
With some of our journalists or some of our freelancers that we work with, we set them down a kind of specific I suppose theme of topics and content, but they’re given the freedom to do exactly the same which is go off and kind of direct that content based on what’s currently happening in the industry or the conversations that are happening with organizers, suppliers, et cetera.
Will: Awesome. I think one of my favorite shows on tv is Newsroom. Well, was on tv. It doesn’t exist anymore, but talks a lot about how does a television news channel able to provide accurate and informed, you know, news broadcasts, right?
One of the biggest things that they struggle with and during the first season, no spoilers or anything, but is this balance between advertisers and covering the news in the right way. How do you guys find that nice balance without it basically becoming advertising fueled? Obviously you guys aren’t like necessarily the same thing as Newsroom where you’re providing a public service?
David: Well actually we are. We feel that we are. We have a church and state policy. I get advertisers calling me up and yelling at me sometimes because we’re trying to tell the truth because ultimately all you’re going to have is your reputation at the end and journalism is not content. That’s one big thing that we thing that journalism trumps content over and over again.
Will: Can you tell me a little bit about that that you were saying. The church and state policy that you have. How do you negate that? How do you move around and still provide that great public service, but also making sure that you can still keep your site, and the magazine, and events all on board?
David: I couldn’t hired editors in New York City if I was compromising my content or my integrity in any way, shape, or form. We do have sponsored content and we do identify it as sponsored content, but any time an editor writes a story, there is no direction given to them other than maybe “We’re going to go down this direction. We’re going to go down that direction.” That’s what’s missing in today’s world. I think both of us are doing that. We have to maintain our integrity. That is a fight to the death right now actually.
Adam: We have the same as David. We have certain content which is our guide ec cetera that we, you know, openly admit that some of it’s featured sponsored content and giving the opportunity for the suppliers to work with that. In companies that work with us on campaigns we will try and tailor the content around them, but predominantly make sure that the reader understands that that is content that is part of a larger marketing package.
I think the key to it is balance. It’s all about balance. If you tip one way or the other, then you might get angry advertisers, but you also might get angry readers. It’s just balancing it and managing it. Deep down as publishers we know it’s balance there and which way it’s tipping.
I think our readers know because they probably go to the websites where it’s a clickbaity thing and it goes through and there’s a bajillion adverts around everything. It doesn’t really tell anything. It’s just page after page of drivel and stuff and it doesn’t really lead anywhere whereas we try and balance everything so that’s how we approach it.
David: You know, one of things that I’ve heard recently at a dinner that I did was that transparency is the new authenticity and that being completely honest about what people are doing, are you getting influenced by something, is what’s really happening now. We’re trying to do that in editorial, and then in the event industry, it actually is causing a bit of a problem because a lot of people think that they don’t have to be that transparent.
I think that that’s an issue that’s arising actually in terms of the expense of entertainment, and kickbacks, and things like that. I think that’s going to be one of the problems with our industry that we’re going to have to face.
Will: I love it. I love that transparency is the new authenticity too. That’s huge for sure and I kind of find it’s that same way too. That it also transpires across multiple companies too so presumably us in the AV industry realized when you’re super transparent people see that you’re authentic and they want to work with you. You guys, obviously being big players in the events industry media, get to cover some really fricking cool events.
People for example, are on the chat like, “Hey, so how can we cover this event for you?” They want to get into those cool events that you guys get into. For example, David, I know you get to go into even some exclusive events that aren’t even open to the public in some ways, but tell me a little bit about what are your favorite events that you have covered or maybe even companies that you’ve covered that you’re like, “Man, this was a dream getting to do this.” David, why don’t you kick it off for us with your favorite event or company that you’ve covered?
David: Well, my favorite event, and I think they’re groundbreaking is [inaudible 25:35] Montreal. I don’t know if anyone’s been to [inaudible 25:36] Montreal, but they’re changing the way people collaborate together. It’s a 5,000 person conference between brands, and advertising, and agencies and it’s a whole creative mish-mash for people to meet each other, to learn about what’s happening, what’s new.
It’s completely rethought. Cirque Du Soliel got together with a [inaudible 26:00] agency and they created this baby called [inaudible 26:03] Montreal because they thought business events suck and they reinvented them. We’re seeing that Google I/O just came out with their new conference. Their Google conference, which is unbelievable. Dream Force, unbelievable what they’re doing. A lot of these what you thought would be old dying boring things are becoming the hot new thing.
Training is the hottest coolest thing going. You’re re-thinking. Everything’s being rethought and then also the biggest thing that I’m also seeing is the whole emphasis on internal events as well. I’ve seen Adobe is doing amazing internal events. When I go to San Francisco, every company is really focusing on ratcheting up their internal events.
Will: Awesome. I love it. I agree with that list of events. Those are all dream events for me as well. I think this is the second time you’ve mentioned the [inaudible 27:00] Montreal so I’m going to have to check that out.
David: Oh yeah. I’m a total fanboy.
Will: Adam, what about you? What are your favorite events that you’ve covered?
Adam: Well, there’s one in particular that stands out for me and it goes back to what David was saying earlier about everything’s becoming a festival. I don’t know whether your audience has heard of it, but we have in Dublin until recently has had a huge event in November called Web Summit. Bringing in the Facebooks, the Instagrams, the biggest technology companies in the world together. [inaudible 27:33]. You know they have the top speakers, but what they’ve really done is really interesting.
They’ve taken the exhibition format and flipped it on its head. The exhibition takes place over three days, but none of the exhibitors are the same each day. They change the whole exhibition each day. As an exhibition attendee you can go each day and you can see new companies, new tech. You can get to see what they’re kind of doing.
Whether they’re doing film tech, or music, or et cetera. You can really go in there, but the serendipity there of meeting people is tarnished by them then kind of layering on top of it a [inaudible 28:08] summit, a network in Dublin in the evening which is obviously lots of alcohol, and of course music, and then just fun.
It becomes this week-long event of just community-driven networking but underneath it is this B to B or B to C kind of trade show harnessing business and really bringing in a lot of people into one place at one time. So it’s a real interesting way to kind of deliver an exhibition and I’ve seen so many exhibition organizers kind of latch onto that format and go, “Oh, right. So if we get people to network in the evening, that means more attendees the following days and better ROI for exhibits. Et cetera.”
That’s probably the one big standout event that really piques my interest over the last couple of years. Other than that I’m a festival boy. That’s where I’ve been. That’s where I’ve come from. The summer season for us is not too far away. We get out onto festivals and I really love the festival sector because there’s no infrastructure. It’s a green field.
There’s nothing there. We come in, we build it, we create two days of chaos, and then it’s all taken away again and onto next year when it’s just an amazing world. The people that run it here in the UK and across Europe I just think are astonishing people. They must just have Red Bull in their veins that’s all I can say.
Will: I love it. I love that take away that you had too about Web Summit and how they change their exhibitors every single day because I think one thing that they probably do, and maybe they did this on purpose or not, is that a lot of times you go to these conferences and you see exhibitors.
You’re like, “Oh, I’ll just go to see that company tomorrow or the next day,” and you might not ever go see them because you’re just putting it off. “Oh, they’re going to be there,” right? Versus if you say, “They’re only here for one day,” it almost creates this urgency for people to go which then probably increases traction for the traffic that people are getting for their booths and everything like that. I love that. Super duper cool.
Adam: Thanks. It’s exactly that. The first year I went, I spent three days on the show floor. I never do that. Never ever do that. I am a big believer in one day events. Just because ours is a one day event I’ve had no experience with it. What they have created is three one day events all tied together at the same time, in the same room, with the same ticket. It’s just amazing what they do. So yeah, take a look if you have not seen Web Summit. Go online and have a look at it.
Will: Awesome. Then you said you were a festival guy. What would you say is your favorite festival if you had to pick one to go to for the rest of your life?
Adam: Wow, that’s so hard.
Will: I know. That was probably the hardest question to ask.
Adam: There’s so many big ones that you could say. There’s a little one in the UK called Nozstock. I go to many. I don’t go to many as a publisher because I don’t take hospitality or anything like that from them because I’ve got to work. I got invited by a festival here in the UK called Nozstock in a place called The Hidden Valley. Very small family-oriented festival run by a family. Just the atmosphere and the way that they managed everybody and the accents that they had on was just amazing.
Don’t get me wrong, the big festivals, the [inaudible 31:29], the British on the Thames, all these kind of things are amazing as well. They’re big infrastructure, big bands, big people, but I think some of the small or medium events really have that I suppose personal touch to their attendees which is really nice. Yeah, Nozstock is the one that’s probably kicked up for me for the last couple of years.
Will: I’m definitely going to have to check that out for sure. I’ve never heard of that one. That’s awesome. Cool. Well, I want to take a quick break. For everyone who’s watching live right now we have a ton of people watching live right now. If you have questions for David and Adam, on the right hand side, use the question pane in Go-To Webinar, or if you’re having a good time and you love social media and Twitter, hop on Twitter #EventIcons where our awesome partner Alex Plaxen with A Little Bird Told Media, is taking your questions live on Twitter if you just use #EventIcons as well. Hop on Twitter, send your questions on in.
To kind of flip on the other side, you guys have gone to interview some amazing people, seen some amazing events that you’ve covered. Is there any one that’s kind of like you’ve always wanted to interview but you have never gotten the chance to interview or an event that you’ve always wanted to cover that you’ve never gotten a chance to cover? I know that’s going to be really hard because you guys have gotten to do a lot of awesome events, but who’s on your wish list of people you want to talk to? David, do you want to kick it off?
David: Well, yeah. I believe that the real event organizers are the principals. I believe that the people that really know about events are the people like Oprah Winfrey. She must drive her event person crazy because she is the ultimate expert and she knows. I mean, Tina Brown, I’ve actually interviewed her and she talks about her rules of doing events like never have a dinner than 25 minutes.
There’s all these rules that people have. It’s just so exciting to get into the nooks and crannies. I was talking to a lighting designer [inaudible 33:18] recently. He was talking about how he hates LED lights because it doesn’t look good. It’s unnatural. I love talking about all the nuances of the parts of our business that people take for granted, which really fascinates me.
Will: Absolutely. You need to tell the guy who doesn’t like LED lights to contact us. We’ll make him look good and do LED.
David: He hates LED. He thinks LED is the worst.
Will: Oh, wow. Awesome. Adam, what about you? Who’s on your wish list?
Adam: This is so hard. I suppose the one person that I think is probably or part of the biggest event organizers here in the UK is probably the royal family. I mean, they throw some big shindigs all year round. A lot goes into them. Same as what David said, I bet the queen is a stickler.
Yeah, just really interested to see or speak to her and her events team and how they roll out their events. It’s not something that I’ve done. I don’t believe it’s something that anybody else has done. I think it would be real cool, but yeah.
David: Adam, I got to tell you. My friend, who is the Chief of Protocol, has this great story about how when she took Barack Obama to visit the queen, the queen is her own Chief of Protocol. She controls everything.
Adam: I imagine. There’s nobody telling her what to do.
David: No way.
Will: That’s awesome. Well, hopefully we will some day be able to get you guys in front of your wish list people that you want to interview.
Adam: If you know anybody ask if they can put me up to it.
Will: Yeah, if anyone out there has a connection what is it they say six degrees away from Kevin Bacon or five degrees now, right? We actually have a really great question from the audience. For someone who is looking to get into becoming involved in media, whether it’s the event industry or not, obviously you guys have to start out somewhere, right?
You guys weren’t always able just to knock on someone’s door and say, “Hey, we want to cover your big event.” “How would you go about interviewing someone who’s famous or well-known when you’re just getting started? Do you have any good tips for getting in front of that person’s calendar?” They ask.
Adam: I think you just have to start. It’s as simple as that. You have to start somewhere. You know, when we started Event Industry News, although we had a bit of a background in the events industry we started with no readers, no Twitter followers. A lot of companies and a lot of organizers will look for those figures for credibility because they want to see an audience there in terms of who you are.
Maybe even reach out to someone like me or David, or another publication to see if you can guest write for them and get some coverage there in terms of your own content and stuff. Yeah, ask. Get in touch with the PR or the media company that works with the act or the person that you want to get in front of. Always above everything else always be utterly professional about it.
David: I would say if you’re going to meet with one of us, make sure you’ve done something in your life that shows that you really want to be in this business because the last thing you want to see is a person that you look at an empty resume. You’ve got to volunteer when you’re in junior high school and show that you have that gene for doing something and you’re passionate about something. Whether it’s computers, or events, or whatever, we want to see that spark of “That’s a future superstar.”
I’m willing to talk. At the risk of getting too many calls, I love talking to young people about their careers. What happens, this is a business you cannot scale. You can’t just do it on a spreadsheet and have it happen. People have to actually manage these events or else they go off into a ditch. I’m finding every time I talk to a young person, five minutes later they’re working for a big company, or an organization, or they’re doing something. It’s what’s great about this business too.
Will: That’s a magical tip. Just talk to David Adler and he will help you with that. I was going to say, do you guys have any sort of tips for how people maybe want to get their feet wet? Say there’s someone out there. It’s [inaudible 37:25] playing for a couple of years, but they have a passion for writing and that they love to do it. They maybe want to move towards journalism. How would you recommend that maybe someone start to get their feet wet? Should the jump in trying to get involved with media companies? What are your thoughts on getting started being a journalist in general?
David: My feeling is be your own media company and show that you can do it. The number one problem with journalists is that they can’t write sometimes and you have to be a good writer in order to be a good journalist. Writing, writing, writing, writing is the best way to become a journalist. To get into a media company.
Will: I love it.
Adam: I would totally agree with what David said there. I think there’s new forms of media that you don’t need to have a journalistic background for. Whether that be video content, social media, all that kind of stuff, but yeah I think David’s right. If you want to get into real journalism and really write, then repetition is the best way.
David: The other thing that I do, every holiday I go on [inaudible 38:33].com and I try to learn something new. I became a podcast crazy person. I listen to everything I could about podcasting for two to three months. I learned [inaudible 38:45] 10. I sat there and I did it for days after days. I learned WordPress when it came out. You have to be curious and you have to add something to be hired to do something.
Will: Yeah. Absolutely. I love the that you have to curious too. That’s a big trait that we look for when we hire people. You have to be naturally curious and naturally wanting to learn and grown. The worst thing that you want is an employee who requires, “Hey, you have to learn how to do this,” and that’s the only way they will grow is by you forcing trainings on them right? You want them to just naturally grow on their own and that’s how they become indispensable, right?
Will: Next question that we have actually from the audience is, “What is one event that doesn’t exist that you wish existed?” Ooh, mind blow. It doesn’t exist, but you wish it existed.
Adam: Wasn’t it, “If you think it, it can be done?”
Adam: I don’t know. Maybe an event in outer space. That would be really cool.
David: That’s a good one. I’ve got a list of 15 that I want to do. I’m not sure I want to reveal those here today.
Will: Well, you have to bring David on as the co-event planner if you steal one of his ideas out there. Do you have any one of them that you want to share?
David: Well, I actually have one that I am going to do and believe that there is a passion point around conferences. That there is not a conference for really geeky conference people.
Will: Define geek conference conference.
David: Someone that like really gets off on picking speakers and creating things like content for a TED conference and making sure that the people that are actually at the conference talk to each other in ways, but the whole process around it. Not the topic, but the conference of conferences. That’s actually turning into Conference Con. Now I haven’t announced it.
Adam: It’s out there now.
David: My 50 people will kill me if I throw that in. Right? That’s the problem with being an entrepreneur with a smaller company. Your ideas are faster than your ability to do them.
Will: Yup. That’s very true. I love that idea. You let me know when you need a geeky person on AV stuff too. I’m ready for that.
Will: Awesome. Okay, cool. We have a couple more questions and only a couple more minutes left out there. One question that we have right now. Obviously you guys, other than your own media companies that you obviously follow on your own as well, but is there any other media outlets that you read to stay relevant on tech and news. Whether it’s events industry or not what are you reading every Sunday, or watching, or listening to I guess I should say now which have multi-media aspects?
Adam: For me, I am probably consuming a huge amount of information through YouTube and that’s through traditional media outlets or new media outlets like [inaudible 41:57] and Wired, and people like that that put their content all on there. With that being in line with Facebook and stuff with pages that I like and that, but also individuals as well.
Somebody that maybe everyone has heard of Kitty [inaudible 42:11] who is a big New York blogger. She does things with a lot of people like Samsung, large events and that kind of stuff. That’s the way that I’m consuming media and the way that I’m getting new information and new inspiration as well. It’s very easy to access a lot quickly, but also I find myself I’m not a huge concentrator. I can concentrate maybe 45 minutes and then I’m like [crosstalk 42:37].
Will: I’ve seen it too.
Adam: Yeah. I kind of break my day up by doing a bit of work, concentrating on something, go to watch a quick YouTube channel, give me some inspiration. It might not be inspiration for the thing I’m doing right there right then, but it might be something that either it sparks a conversation later with somebody else or gives me some inspiration for an event or something like that that we’re doing or a piece of content. That’s kind of how I’m consuming my traditional or non-traditional media as well.
Will: On YouTube, how are you discovering videos? Are you kind of you have the channels you subscribe to and then letting the auto-play go its route? How do you find things? Are you searching for topics on the search?
Adam: I think that’s what YouTube or Google is great at. It kind of works out what you’re search history or what your watch history has been and especially around time length and stuff so it can give an indicator on topic. When you search on there it is very good at bringing up very relevant content. If you’re signed into a Google account then it curates that history over time.
Now I’m in a position where I go onto the YouTube page and it comes up with kind of what you should watch and it’s kind of what I already want to watch without knowing it. That’s ever-evolving because I’m searching for new content. At the moment I’m really into this new idea of ketogenic diets and stuff so I’m kind of searching on stuff like that and all of a sudden I’ve got all these content that’s free to access and it’s just there by interesting people and you can kind of get differences of opinions and stuff.
I think the platform essentially does it for itself. I wish we could have that technology behind Event Industry News. When our readers come on, all the content’s just there that they want already. Maybe it’s something we’ll get to in a couple years, but yeah, the technology’s really clever.
Will: I’m waiting for that WordPress blogging too, so I’m ready.
Adam: Serendipity, yeah? It just works out what you want.
Will: Yeah. Awesome. What about you, David? What are your go-to media outlets?
David: I’ve become a huge podcast fan. Huge. It’s your secret weapon because all of a sudden you’re listening to something and then you go into your office the next day and you say, “Do you know about this?” and nobody knows. My podcast thing is I’m listening to The Emperors of Rome Podcast, The 10-Minute Marketer, Keepin It 1600 about politics, 50 Things That Made The Modern Economy, The Ezra Klien Show, Recode Decode hosted by Kara Swisher, Trumpcast by Slate, the Events Industry News Podcast, Taxi Talk Unscripted I listen to, A Turn of Events: A Social Tables Podcast.
I listen to Gary Vaynerchuk, but I don’t know how he’s everywhere at the same time. I listen to HBR Ideacast. I listen to We Study Billionaires investors Podcast. Alex Gladwell, David Axelrod, Ted Radio Hour, Tim Ferris, and my favorite one. Every Sunday I listen to TWiT stuff. TWiT.tv. That’s my kind of go-to thing. I read the newspaper every day. I’m a news junkie so I’ve obsessed with this Trump stuff. I’m better at consuming actually than putting out my own social media actually.
Will: I love it. I think I’m the same way too. I consume more than I share. That’s why I have people on my team that I’m just like, “Hey, post this on the Slack channel. You need to share it and figure out how to get it out there. I just find it.”
One big recommendation for all those who are listening right now. Obviously there’s so many publications. David literally just named off a million podcasts for you to listen to. A really great tool that if you have too many news sources you’re trying to stay on top of, you want to try and stay on top of all of them there’s a think called an RSS reader. Something like Feedly. That’s feed. F-E-E-D-L-Y is my favorite one. You just basically enter all your blogs there. You can categorize them and then every day I just go in and I scroll through all my things.
Once I’ve scrolled through them all, they all get marked as read and then I’m like, “Cool,” and I just do that once a day and that’s how I stay on top of all my sources coming from there. That’s a recommendation if you have too many email newsletters. You’re getting too many trying to click on a million different tabs and things like that, grab an RSS reader to bring it all together.
Adam: I’m a big fan of Pocket for saving content.
Will: Pop Kit, yes. That’s the second part of my process is I go through and if I like it I press and hold on Feedly and it saves it to pocket, which for those who don’t have Pocket is it saves it offline and makes it prettier and easier to read. I find it’s easier to read on Pocket than most people’s website and I probably should redesign my site bases on that.
Definitely Pocket is huge because far too often we get articles. Someone sends you an article on Slack and you’re like, “Oh, I want to read this!” but you don’t want to get distracted from the work you’re doing. You can just save it in Pocket and there it is to have. By the way, if you are wondering about all these resources and stuff, we’re going to be posting all of these in the show notes afterwards, so don’t worry if you’re missing out on some them.
All right, so we’ve got a couple minutes left so I want to end the show on my two favorite questions I love to ask. So obviously you guys have planned events on your own, you guys cover so many events already. If you had to pick one tip for 2017, I guess that’s where we are now, that people need to know for their planning of their events, what would you recommend for people here? Your one tip for planners in 2017. David, kick it off.
David: Oh my God. My one tip for planners is flexibility and curiosity and don’t be too stuck in the ways you’ve done things in the past because it’s all changing and you can look it up and you can get ideas from other people by asking them.
Will: Awesome. I love it.
Adam: My tip’s kind of twofold. It kind of goes with what we touched on earlier which is consume as much information as possible, see what other people are doing in different parts of the world, and just because you deliver let’s say conferences don’t feel that you can’t learn from festivals, or exhibitions, or launch parties from brands, experiential stuff.
At the same time, don’t be distracted by what they’re doing. You really need to focus on what your deliverables are because it’s easy to kind of try to really shoehorn a lot of different things into an event without really thinking about actually it’s just about the attendee and what your attendee is going to get out of it. Yeah. Look and explore, but don’t forget the kind of targets of the event.
Will: I love it. I like how you were, “It’s like ‘Go free! Wait, don’t go too far though.'” Awesome. Cool. So I want to end this show. I know you guys are full of a ton or resources. Obviously David just listed off his top 20 million podcasts that he has, so I know you guys are full of resources and you love this stuff as much as I do.
I’d love to know and I’m sure that everyone watching right now, what are your favorite resources that you want to share? Let’s start off with maybe you want to talk a little bit about where do people find you? Where are you guys publishing and projects you’re working on? Then share anything cool. Apps, gadgets, scuba masks. Anything cool that basically you want to share with the whole world for them to check out. I want to kick it off. Adam, you want to let us know what your favorite resources are?
Adam: Sure. My favorite resources, well there’s an individual called Jim Curry at the moment running a website called Exhibitor Smarts and he’s putting some real cool content there about the exhibition landscape. Which again, although it’s exhibitions, I think people from any event type or any of that background familiar with [inaudible 50:44]. His style is very tongue in cheek. It’s very dry. It’s very raw. He doesn’t kind of butter it up. He doesn’t sugarcoat it. He just says it as he sees it, so that’s really refreshing.
You can follow Jim on Exhibitor Smarts on Twitter and go to exhibitorsmarts.com. He’s got some really cool resources. Just free open resources for people in the events industry. It doesn’t really matter what background you come from. For me obviously Event Industry news is a resource.
We have a topical podcast which is available on iTunes and other kind of platforms and stuff. In terms of technology at the moment I like Slack. I’m just getting into kind of the connected home and I’m just going to go off map. Sorry.
Will: Never say the m word.
Adam: Never say it. It is really interesting how I’m using that piece of technology to speed up my web process. Just things that I would normally go off and Google or kind of research. Just being able to ask the question out loud while I’m in a mouthpiece or at home just really has changed the way over the last few weeks since I’ve only just recently got the Dot. That’s really interesting how that’s kind of speeding up my web process. Yeah, I think that’s it.
Will: I think we’re all geeking out over smart home things too, so yeah, definitely the Echo Dot for sure. Awesome. David, what about you? What are your favorite resources, apps, gadgets?
David: My go-to sort of thinking is probably the most important. I’ve been really a fanboy of two things. One a book called Social Physics by Alex Pentland about how ideas flow because it’s no longer about how many people attend your events, it’s how many conversations you’re curating at an event. There’s also a guy named Ben Parr who wrote a book called Captivology that is all about how you capture people’s attention. He has studied all of the aspects of it and it’s absolutely brilliant. Every event organizer has to read it.
Where people can get in touch with me, I’m at BizBash.com is my website. We have about 230,000 new visitors a month which is unbelievable actually, from zero [inaudible 53:00] years ago so it takes time. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I think that the best technology, the best thing to do, is actually take your hand and shake someone else’s hand at a party and say, “Hello my name is …” That is the hardest technology you can get.
Will: Awesome. I love it. One little piece of bonus question that I have for you guys too. I completely forgot to ask this. I Pocketed this and completely forgot about it, but what’s a recent article that maybe you guys have published or that you featured that you think that people definitely should check out? Whether it’s, you know, something you featured, or an event you’ve covered, or something like that. David, is there any recent articles that you think people need to know about on BizBash?
David: Yes. Actually, I wrote one. I’ve been writing stuff and based on the Social Physics and things like that, it’s on how the Trump rallies were absolutely brilliant and they were so similar to the YouTube star rallies by [inaudible 53:55] and things like that, that they use exactly the same techniques and that the idea of being so informal, and intimate, and things like that was a real lesson.
Even though I’m a total not Trump supporter, just to put that on the record, I don’t have a problem with anyone who is. At the same time I believe what he did was brilliant. The idea of wearing hats to make people actually have a uniform for the Trump thing is a great lesson for event organizers. The idea that people waiting in line for such a long time gave them nothing else to do but to talk to each other, so it promoted conversations. Just the way he did it turned out to be brilliant. I don’t think he planned it that way, but it was.
Will: Awesome. Adam, what’s a recent piece of content that you guys have published that you think people should check out?
Adam: Am I allowed to mention two?
Adam: Recently because we did a piece on the UFC Fan Expo and how they curated plan engagement. It’s a really interesting piece. It really goes into detail about the process of how they did it, what the results were, and stuff. Yeah, I would go and I would put a link to it and it would get some people to go there and kind of look at how they did that because that’s … That could apply to any event. UFC and all that kind of stuff, but you can apply it to any event.
Then recently just back in the last year we published that we published our Event Tech Buyer’s Guide. Now technology is a huge kind of talking point at the moment in the events sector. It’s a big minefield as well so we put a resource out there to kind of give people information about what’s out there, what they can use, what to avoid as well based on projects and what their objectives are and stuff. That’s a resource that people can go and get their news from as well.
Will: Awesome, and I know there will be continuous amounts of awesome content coming from you guys in the future as well. You guys are just … I mean, I’m a huge avid reader of all of your guys’ stuff. You guys are in my Feedly every single day, so definitely a huge fan for sure.
Well, we’re getting to the end of the show, so I want to give a huge thank you to my amazing guests. Adam and David, you guys have been such an honor to talk to. It was so cool getting to see inside the minds of all the things that I read every day and that everyone I’m sure tuned in right now listens to and watches every single day. Huge thank you to you guys for being on the show. Now I’m so excited to have you here.
Adam: That was lovely.
Will: Awesome. Well, we’re going to close out the show so make sure next week you guys tune in. I will have another episode again every single Wednesday. We’re not going away any time soon, so be sure to check it out. We have an amazing lineup next week as well, so definitely be sure to check it out. We’re going to get out of here. Enjoy the closing music and we’ll see you guys all next week.