Jason Allan Scott is an award-winning Entrepreneur, Podcaster, and Bestselling Author. Various media and social media platforms including Amazon have called me Scott a top influencer on the web, Double Dutch said he is one of the most influential Event Professionals in the world as did Eventbrite. Jason was recognized as a top 100 small business for my Podcast Production and Teaching Platform and invited to Number 10 Downing Street.
Scott has helped ILEA UK, Arsenal FC, Fulham University, Small Business UK, Google, Canvas Planner, TFN, The Marketing Society, BBC, Marvel, Asemblr, EventMB, WB, Interguide and Holmes Place grow through events, sales, and online marketing.
His online marketing has generated several million visitors (38% of them spend money on paid ads), his podcasts generate over 100 000 listens per month, Jason’s YouTube videos have had over 1 million views and my podcast school has had a 98% success rate since starting. Jason also started an aesthetic cosmetic technology firm in 2012, Lokkima, for his father selling, franchising and renting aesthetic cosmetic technology machinery.
Scott has spoken at over 210 conferences, events, and companies around the world. He also helps people to use podcasts for their business and brand, www.apodcastcompany.com and is now focused on helping the struggling hospitality industry with Kopus. Anyspace a Workplace
- How long have you worked in the events industry and what keeps you interested in it?
14 years, OMG I AM an OG, the people and the problems that we solve while making memories keeps me interested.
- Best (and worst?) moments working in the events industry?
No job is perfect, that’s for sure, but it seems like you have to have thick skin to make it in events.
If the world of events is a jungle, event assistants are like the rodents scavenging for insects on the forest floor—constantly hungry, vulnerable to all sorts of predators, and barely equipped with enough adaptations to survive. Almost invisible but necessary, these people consciously decide to put their self-respect aside in the hopes of one day becoming a carbon copy of their boss.
Despite the constant psychological and physical torture, they are subjected to, the amount of respect they have for their clients and boss’s generally has no limits. I started as an event assistant in Tiger Tiger, Haymarket, London—to sum it up, it was like being the assistant to the assistant.
I spent my time answering emails, buying Coke Zero, picking up lunch orders, buying pens, sharpening pencils, changing flowers, and making coffee. Basically, I did everything but plan an event.
I would not even see the event plans, checklists, etc. let alone the events. No—actually, I did see the event plans the day before the event, where my responsibilities included picking up extra toilet paper, straws, and folding napkins. Months later, I attended my first event, to work, everybody was stressed out and tired. But the planner never showed it. I learned that you need to be calm and you need to do everything in your power to allow the client, the product, or the point of the event to manifest itself.
Of course, there are no working hours. During the events that followed, I get to work by 9 AM and never leave before 11 PM—sometimes way after 2 AM. I never complained: Secretly, the whole ordeal still gives me a little pleasure.
- What was the last event on which you worked?
Urban Digital Creative Conference for Digital Nomads.
Titled is “How Anyone Can Learn to Build a Product Less Than 1 Year and Travel”.
The promise and premise were simple: learn from highly successful professionals and network with hundreds of like-minded people who share your goals and vision.
Come learn, grow and meet your future business partners, employers, mentors, and best friends.
- From your experience, what’s the best way to utilise tech at an event?
Event technology has changed the way we invite, outreach, run and promote events.
Consumers want to have fully integrated mobile experiences during events, I believe the best way to utilize tech at an event is to use current apps instead of creating new ones, everyone is using slack so why not have a slack channel that answers questions, or a WhatsApp group for attendees, or guests at an event – look at using the intercom or a bot to answer popular questions such as where is the toilet, who is the next speaker, how do I find x, can you drop a pin to show me how to find my next meeting.
We need to stop making apps, and use current tech in a way that provides a seamless experience from phone to roam…ing the event and event spaces themselves.
We need to focus on mobile, place more emphasis on complete experiences over transactions, in-venue cloud-based systems rather than terminal-driven access are just some of the key trends that I hope to see, and no more long lines for lanyards and to sign-in would be just the best future.
- We all learn from our mistakes! What was the biggest lesson you learned from a mistake since being in the industry?
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
Anyone who has been in events for any amount of time has come up with a process for working. Having a process is good, but be careful that it does not overshadow the project itself or the people involved.
I was reminded of this a few years ago in a project that was going badly. The simple reality was that I was not getting along with the project manager who was appointed by the client. Our personalities clashed almost from the start, as I found his feedback and requests to be misguided and his personality abrasive. At the same time, I am sure he found me unhelpful and combative because I was unwilling to honor all of his requests.
As frustration grew, I tried to fall back on our process as a way of adding structure to the relationship and trying to get it back on track. If he made a request that took us outside of our normal process, I explained how we could not do it without setting the project back in both time and budget. The worse the project got, the more I deferred to our process, until the client, exasperated to the limit, told me that I seemed to care more about our process than the event.
My plan had backfired. I had tried to lean on our process in order to fix the problems, instead of having a difficult confrontation and dealing with the real issue — the fact that personality clashes were becoming strained to the point that nothing was being accomplished.
Eventually, we reset the project by calling for a meeting to clear the air and address the problems honestly so that we could move forward. While I continued as the project lead on our side, I brought in another team member, someone who did not have a rocky history with the client’s project manager, to handle the day-to-day communications. Even though she acted as little more than an interpreter for me in many cases, the fresh voice and personality from our side did wonders for the relationship, and the project manager responded to our new team member much better than she had to me.
Additionally, we looked at the client’s requests a little more deeply and, rather than dismissing them outright because they deviated from our normal process, tried to identify the reasoning behind each request so that we could honor them in the spirit in which they were made (which we normally do anyway). We realized that those requests didn’t really affect our normal process in a big way. Any deviation was minor, and the relationship and the project were much better off with the flexibility in our process.
Of course, you need to strike a balance. A process exists for a reason, and if you abandon it whenever anyone shows resistance, then there is little point in having a process at all. That being said, any good process has some flexibility to accommodate the different needs of clients and projects.
Lesson learned: Followed blindly, no process will save you from having to deal with difficult personalities or bumps in the road. A process is meant to help a project along, not to be hidden behind when the going gets tough.
- What are you most looking forward to at Event Tech Live?
We don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. Freedom is like that. It’s like air. When you have it, you don’t notice it, so what am I most looking forward to at ETL?
Seeing friends and peers in our industry is a category in its own right.
So other than most looking forward to that, I am looking forward to seeing engaging, entertaining, brand-building event technology.
- What do events, such as ETL, mean to you?
One of the main reasons I love events, like ETL, is that attending events help build communication and helps to earn trust.
To feel part of something much bigger. To feel connected to others in a similar group, profession or position. To ask questions. To build rapport. And to connect with new or existing contacts and develop long-lasting relationships.
Events are also the perfect way to generate immediate feedback from your audience. I love to ask questions and delve more deeply into queries at events on my ideas, talking subjects, and event technology.
- What can our delegates expect to take away from your session at ETL?
We are in the midst of a new age of revolution that is creating sweeping changes across all layers of society. Mark Gilbreath takes the principles which enabled the meteoric rise of such services as Uber and Airbnb, and applies them to office space in order to revolutionize how and where we work.
Mark is the founder of LiquidSpace, the first end-to-end digital platform for flexible office procurement, combining powerful, technology-driven solutions with real-time space availability across the industry’s largest, most diverse marketplace for workspace solutions. Mark is an experienced entrepreneur, highly effective leader and powerful voice in the commercial real estate industry. In 2016, Mark fundamentally transformed the fragmented real estate industry by introducing a unified network experience designed to bring each member of the complex commercial real estate supply chain together into a single, cohesive network. Engineered to simplify the discovery and transaction of office space, the advanced LiquidSpace network seamlessly connects more than 60,000 growing teams and professionals looking for space, with over 2,200 verified venue partners, space providers, real estate professionals, and service providers. Mark spent 25+ years in the technology industry.
- Which one piece of tech couldn’t you live without?
The World Wide Web and my Tamagotchis
- Most pointless tech you have purchased?
I purchased a piece of tech called, SociaMonials – stay away…stay far far far away.
Join Jason for his session: Underutlized to Monetized: The business opportunity.
at ETL US & Canada on June 9th on the Smart Stage – Book your ticket here