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The birth of ‘showslicing’ – B2B Collaborative Procurement for events.

My involvement in the installation of the temporary structures for the London 2012 Olympics as well as The Games itself through to decommissioning, taught me about the clarity of purpose, sharing of expertise and the importance of learning from each other in order to get things done, particularly on a B2B level. The Olympics and the internet have been around for many years and some have said they were built on ideal systems that are geared towards social responsibility and globalisation…just ask the guy who invented the internet Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee who was actually honoured at the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics. Anyway, when you are part of something as big as the Olympics it is nearly impossible to walk away from the experience without being affected, one way or another. In terms of my entrepreneurial values and aspiration, I was most certainly affected.

Basketball Arena

Above is the Basketball Arena on the Olympic Park where I met my co-founder Jon Gunn…powerful enough to inspire both of us!

I had started work late 2013 on finding a solution to the very wasteful problem of events and was almost half way through developing our platform when I was eventually introduced to the sharing economy. If you’re reading this and don’t know what the sharing economy is and the big companies involved then please kindly go ahead and use the Google Machine and get yourself acquainted with the innovations that they call Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Taskrabbit etc. Note the way that they and many others have coordinated new services in their particular age old industries. The sharing economy, peer economy, collaborative economy and collaborative consumption are all terms embedded within a movement gaining serious traction throughout several marketplaces. I’ve launched an events procurement collaborator called Showslice which falls under something I like to call ‘collaborative procurement’ for meetings and events. Supplier distribution within the events sector does ultimately affect price from the backend when executing events and there’s plenty of room for innovation in terms of collaboration, cost efficiency and sustainability.

Sharing event resources in any way be it labour, equipment or logistics most certainly has a positive impact on the environment and in no doubt a positive effect on the event venue and supplier sourcing process. This clearly saves on costs and frees up extra budget. So, is there added value when sharing infrastracture costs for meetings & events? Can businesses really benefit from B2B marketplaces? The answer is yes, in more ways than 1!

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A description of where Showslice fits within the sharing economy and meetings and events. An innovation where B2B is concerned.

For those of you that aren’t involved in middle to large meetings and events I would just like you to know that they are happening everyday, there are loads of them and in the busy season event venues are sometimes booked weeks on end, holding back-to-back events for many different types of event owners. I started off at the bottom end of events working as a crewman and even after almost 9 years, I still see the same types of events happening all over the place. Why can’t somebody just help them all communicate with each other and help them start combining some of their operations?! The untapped opportunity for less wastage is as simple as information exchange…

That been said, I feel that the journey has just begun for us all and I’m pleased that the UK event industry is leading sustainability particularly following the London 2012 Olympics. So…event resource sharing: If you look close enough at the photo below you’ll see staging, set, sound, lights, video and of course some of the ‘behind the scenes’ production crew and event staff. It’s a perfect image of the ‘bread and butter’ of large meetings and events and it doesn’t get more standard than that.  Most events are using different suppliers, sometimes at the same venues and sometimes different venues and yes, sure, every event has their own little custom requirements but by having most of the framework set-up already, a little change over is an absolute dream when compared with the alternative of a completely new load in/set-up/de-rig. The crux of the matter remains that there is a very common nature and infrastructure between most of these sizeable events. So why isn’t ‘showslicing’ widespread?

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 One of the many standard London events that take at least 1 day to load in and rig followed by an evening of festivities then finished off with a half a day de-rig and load out.

As a lot of these events are large corporate meetings or personal parties, their chances of sharing events are slightly crippled by privacy and confidentiality and not to mention the old school way of doing things. The trouble is communicating with peers outside of their network in a way that wouldn’t jeopardise the sensitive nature of their confidential details.

I’ve actually experienced small pockets of event infrastructure sharing for many years via several of my high profile UK event manager contacts who for example share 1 event set-up back-to-back at 1 venue between 2 to 3 of their clients looking to hold similar events, around similar dates with similar requirements. I had learned in part from these event planners that when their clients share 3 events back-to-back there is roughly a 33% saving on technical production and set-up costs. That’s almost like a ‘buy 2 get 1 free’ deal. Does this add value for event owners & their guests? Well, what this means is more budget for event owners to put back into their business or more budget for an even bigger ‘partay’ experience for their guests. There is also a notable improvement in time management from not needing to set up each event separately, freeing up valuable time for rehearsals and testing between events…sounds like an opportunity for a better party to me!

Event Sharing Samples

The current sharing standard of event infrastructure…before Showslice. Click the image to see an enlarged view.

With the amount of large meetings and events going on in London alone, there is now nothing stopping them from joining hands and sharing their similar temporary set-up. www.showslice.co.uk allows any event owner or planner to register their events confidentially with us and let the value added connections start rolling in. We basically work to privately match events in a safe manner while assisting with sourcing the right event venues & suppliers in the most cost effective manner. It’s a simple approach of matchmaking certain common event infrastructure requirements within a very exclusive network of events, encouraging collaboration like never before. That’s the baseline of all of this and that’s where technology and the sharing economy come in. That’s how Showslice was born.

We’re helping large award galas, charity balls, conferences as well as any large corporate meetings and events looking to save on set-up costs and start holding more sustainable events with better guest experiences. Give our professional team a shout on +44 (0)20 3488 0220 with any queries or simply signup on our website and confidentially list your upcoming events with us. Our platform and team will work for you.

Go ahead and comment, like, chat with us, learn from us, teach us but whatever you do, in the end always share.

Damian Jon Oracki

Showslice Co-founder