The Business of Meetings – Episode 123: What are the Main Industry Trends with Will Curran
Today we are happy to speak with Will Curran, the Chief Event Einstein of Endless Events! Will has been in our industry for many years and has an interesting perspective to share!
In this episode, he talks about his journey, shares his insights, and discusses the trends we need to concentrate on.
We hope you enjoy listening to our fascinating conversation with Will Curran today!
As the founder of Endless Events, Will Curran has been named one of the most influential people in the meeting & events industry, one of the 40 under 40 event industry leaders, 35 entrepreneurs under the age of 35, and the highest customer satisfaction of any event company in the industry. Will has been producing in-person, virtual, and hybrid events since high school when he started his first company, and he has now worked in the management of large event clients such as Emerald City Comicon, Anheuser-Busch, Warner Brothers, Morton Salt & Uber. His team’s mission is to simplify the event planning process by creating the equation for an event’s perfect solution. From event management to business development to the latest technologies, Will Curran has a diverse background in growing events and companies to the next level.
Will loved electronic music in high school, so he started a radio station and a DJ company. The DJ company exploded when he went to college. Will wanted to do larger-scale productions like high school dances and college events, so he learned about production and started hiring production companies. He transformed his DJ company into a production company and began to do big corporate events and productions. He also started using event technology, publishing tons of content about events and event technology and did a few podcasts along the way. The pandemic pushed them to help with all the aspects of events because technology became central to everything, so they transitioned and became a full-scale event management company.
Learning from people’s business stories
Will loves hearing about how business owners came up with innovative ideas for their businesses, and he is constantly getting new ideas from different places.
Will thinks he may be more conservative than some other innovative individuals, but he believes that he is more innovative than most people in many ways.
Will was having his busiest year ever in March of 2020. Fortunately, his company had begun working remotely seven years before that, so none of his clients canceled when the pandemic hit. Some of them were even looking at adding more services, so Will felt that the pandemic was good for him.
Will had plans to go to a music festival in Belgium in Mid-March, but it got canceled a day before it was due to take place, even though millions of dollars had been spent on producing it.
Will realized that the pandemic was going to devastate the United States. Everyone was looking for event tech, so he decided to use the situation as an opportunity and started contacting people to assist him with helping people produce their events virtually. As a result, his business blew up so fast in 2020 that it was almost uncontrolled in some ways! Although Will found it somewhat overwhelming, the entrepreneur in him resolved to go with it and help as many people as possible.
Thought leadership and flexibility
Fortunately, their willingness to be flexible, and the thought leadership they gained from the content marketing they had been doing, really paid off in 2020!
Things to consider
With the recession, economic downturn, and all the changes we are facing right now, Will is thinking of ways to do things differently from other businesses, reduce the fixed costs of his business, and become more variable. He is also considering the conversations he will need to have with his clients in the future, rising costs, and how to get his business to move faster.
Will did not like maintaining equipment, so he sold all his equipment and started renting whatever he needs.
A unique business model
Renting the equipment made Will feel liberated, and he learned that you can have a different model and still work very well! Even though there are still some challenges, he has managed to create a unique business model. Now they focus more on the people, the experience, and the design of events.
Will was excited when the pandemic started because people were going to work remotely. He knew his business would excel because they had been doing things remotely for years, so they had an advantage. They used to be one of the larger remote companies in the events industry, so many people wanted to work for them. Now it has become much harder to find the right people. Over the next two years, Will hopes that most people will revert to working in offices, and then he will employ those who prefer working remotely.
The next cultural trends
People are moving toward feeling more natural with international hires and having their businesses become more global than before. We will see more people moving from places like San Francisco to bigger and cheaper metropolitan areas- even rural areas like Kansas and Montana. Will believes America needs more infrastructure, like faster and better internet, and we are moving towards having more digital nomads when flights become more affordable. Another trend he foresees is people demanding better workspaces and refusing to work for toxic bosses. It is also likely that by 2027, most people working in America will be freelancers, and new laws may come out to protect freelancers and contractors.
How the culture of our industry has changed
The meetings and events industry used to be run by older people. When the pandemic broke out, many of those people were averse to the idea of virtual events. So they left the industry and were replaced by a generation of people who feel comfortable with technology and appreciate its value. Many of those people have subsequently risen within the ranks of their organizations.
Understanding company culture
It is vital for people working for Endless Events to feel comfortable with technology and using different software. They also need to understand the company culture and try to stand out within it.
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