CEO of air events global, Victoria Garlick, sits down with This Woman Can to tell us a little bit more about her Aussie start-up that she aims to see become the default global online marketplace within the events industry
Can you tell us a little more about the journey that led you to founding air events global?
I have worked in the events industry for approximately 20 years and have seen an enormous change in the casual employment sector in events. air events global was created from conversations with event students that were frustrated with not being able to source casual event and hospitality work and clients, that were keen to hire only when they needed it – for example, for seasonal events. The lightbulb moment was being able to connect both sides of the marketplace with a shared economy platform, connecting clients looking to outsource casual work, with event freelancers, looking for casual employment. Hence, the inspiration and creation of air events global.
How would you describe what you do? Why does this concept work for both consumers and event freelancers?
The concept has been created so clients can outsource any event work such as having an Event Coordinator come into their office for a short contract, hiring wait staff to serve food and beverages at an event, sourcing a social media influencer to promote an upcoming product or product launch, right through to having an event freelancer plan a wedding for a client.
Is your business global or do you find most of your work comes via Australia?
We are a global platform, however, we do work with a large portion of events in Australia.
How important do you feel events are in today’s business marketing world?
The events industry contributes significantly to the economy and just looking at Australia alone, business events contribute $24.9 billion to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), $30.2 billion in direct expenditure and create more than 190,000 direct jobs. It is extremely exciting to be part of such a booming industry, on an international scale.
What kind of events do you find most popular?
The most popular events are corporate events such as product launches, brand activations, and definitely weddings. Corporate clients are always looking for an extra set of hands in the pre-planning stages of their events and don’t necessarily have the resources of their full time staff to work on the event. This is where air events global comes in and can help fill the gap with casual employment within the industry.
What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced along the way when building this business?
The main challenge has been launching air events global, as it is a new concept to the events industry, and we were concerned that industry people would be cynical about exploring such a new platform to outsource event work. We knew we would have to encourage industry leaders to take a chance on our shared economy platform. We now feel confident that when someone tries air events global and sees the potential, then they will likely become a supporter of the air events global community, and share our community with others in their personal and professional network.
How did you overcome the challenges outlined above?
We are still in the process of overcoming the above challenges at the moment and the aim is to market and promote air events global to as many people in the events industry, globally as possible. We have been doing this through our marketing and social media campaign.
Tell us about an event you wished you organised?
Easy, the MET BALL. Officially, it is the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Benefit; unofficially, it is named the New York Party of the Year. Each September, I am fortunate enough to take a group of event students to New York from The International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) and the International Study Tour. We meet an array of Event Managers, including the Event Manager for the MET BALL. We are shown around the MET Museum and also get to visit other iconic event venues such as The Plaza, The New York Palace, The Waldorf Astoria and we visit the US Open and New Yankees and the event students volunteer at two different New York Fashion Week events. The Study Tour is an amazing opportunity for the students and personally the MET BALL is always a stand out for me on a professional level.
How is technology changing the events industry and the role of the event planner?
The events industry is growing all around the world and with growth, comes a need for technology that meets the ever-changing consumer expectations. Big data is king in most industries and events are no different. Technology is changing the events industry and the role of the event planner through many new technologies, such as mobile ticketing, as consumers are looking for a fully integrated mobile experience during events. The technology of event apps is definitely improving attendee engagement. Another big change is cashless events, integrating mobile payments, such as Apple Pay. These are all technologies that are changing and improving the events industry.
Fast-forward 5 years, where do you hope to see air events global?
The aim is to be the default global online marketplace within the events industry for clients looking to hire individuals or businesses to perform professional event jobs.
Victoria Garlick is the founder and CEO of air events global.