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Open innovating the events industry

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Open innovating the events industry

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I was talking to an associate recently who works in the events industry, or more specifically in the speaker industry, about how the whole field is ripe for innovation.  The conversation brought to mind my post from several years ago about how Threadless have taken a pull approach to t-shirt retailing, and any lessons that could be learned from them and applied to how events are constructed.

Australia’s Real Big Things aren’t doing that, but they are going about building events in a pretty neat way.  Real Big Things run a series of 2 hour long events in the online marketing field.  They’ve shaken things up in a number of ways.

Firstly, there isn’t a headline ticket price.  Instead, you pay according to your ticket number, so the earlier you book, the less you pay for your ticket.  It’s an interesting approach that is taking clues from how airlines are increasingly pricing tickets.  So if you get in early you could bag yourself a real bargain, paying just a few $ for your ticket.

They are also innovating with the lineup for each event, or at least the advertising of it.  In a similar vein to the increasingly popular Secret Cinema style events, Real Big Things don’t actually divulge the speaker lineup at all.  They make certain promises about the kind of speakers you’re likely to see, but they don’t tell you who they are.

What’s more, the location itself is also kept underwraps, with attendees given the date of the event plus a general location to attend.  Pretty much the only thing that they aim to guarantee are three 30 minute lectures about the latest and greatest in online marketing on a monthly basis.

The success of the model will only materialise over time, but in a field where events are increasingly formulaic, I think this is a really nice attempt to spruce things up a bit.

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