Ahead of XLIVE, we sat down with Michael to discuss how his career influenced his decision to help create Events Locker and asked him for his thoughts on the most critical challenges facing live event organizers as we begin to turn the page to 2017.
What was your inspiration behind the decision to start Events Locker last year as the first website to allow experiential and event marketers to find events, and book event space and sponsorships entirely online?
My partner and I started EventsLocker.com after spending about a decade working in experiential marketing with various agencies, and also after producing my own charity festival. When producing experiential programs, our specialty was in finding nationwide events for them to active. Pretty much, aHeres our program, we need X events in markets Y and Z, so where should we go? What was remarkable to us is how difficult it was to find and vet great events. On the flip side, producing a charity yoga and music festival, I quickly discovered how much production team time and resources are lost in not only signing up vendors and sponsors, but in chasing down payments and coordinating all of the necessary logistics. So, we wanted to develop not only an Airbnb type of platform for marketers to find their events, but also a very intuitive and streamlined platform for events to manage all of their vendors and sponsors. For larger expos and vendor villages, we've also recently added interactive floor plans.
How does the Events Locker platform help event organizers and vendors manage the daily operations of their festivals and live events?
Events Locker is a cloud-based, mobile friendly platform and event organizers love that, because they no longer need to worry about hardcopy applications, poorly scanned PDFs, or incomplete apps from vendors ahead of an event. Once an app is approved, the system processes payments, vendors can upload their COIs and permits, and modify booth add-ons. The producers are notified by the system when this happens, and can review documents from their desktop or smartphone. It makes everyones job infinitely less stressful leading up to an event.
When vendor management takes less time, a producer can procure more potential sponsors and vendors apps to increase overall sponsor and vendor quality, or focus on other aspects of the event, both of which result in a higher quality experience for attendees. Our goal is to simplify and streamline the vendor management process as much as possible, to save enormous amounts of time and labor costs for everyone involved leading up to any live event.
What do you see as the most difficult challenge facing event organizers as we approach the start of a new year?
Theres no question that with ever increasing competition from new events, ticket sales and attendance are huge issues for the ongoing health of a festival, calendar gets more crowded every year but your sponsors and commercial vendors are ultimately what will make or break a live event from a revenue standpoint.
Better outreach, communication with, and organization of vendors and sponsors- from the initial application leading up through the event, makes participants feel valued. Increased participant enthusiasm creates more demand, leads to higher asking fees and faster booth space and sponsorship sellouts. EventsLocker.com aims to help event producers achieve those goals, with an inexpensive and easy-to-use vendor management system, and by getting their event in front of new vendor and sponsor prospects, via our advanced nationwide event search.