6 Ways the Sharing Economy Can Enhance Your Events
The sharing economy - a peer-to-peer sharing of goods and services through apps and online websites - is making news across all sectors of the economy, from buying and selling items and services – think eBay and Fiverr – to crowd funding and shared workspace. Arguably the most disruptive innovation impacting the event planning industry today, it is projected to reach a value of $335 billion in the next decade! Rather than buck the trends, planners have the unique opportunity to embrace this new way of doing business and make it work for you.
Six ways the sharing economy can enhance your meetings and events:
On-Demand Staff: Whether you're creating unique welcome packages, updating registration badges the night before the event, or picking up last minute décor, planners sometimes need an extra hand. The sharing economy makes it easy to outsource tasks without having to hire and pay for additional employees. Consider offloading routine tasks or scheduling pickup and deliveries through local service websites such as TaskRabbit.
Creative Support: Event branding and collateral costs can add up quickly – especially program concepting and design. Sites such as Fiverr offer logo design and video creation, with projects starting from as little as $5. Not only are these types of services cost effective, they usually have impressive turn-around times.
Transportation Services: Local ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft provide much shorter wait times than taxi lineups, plus local drivers can recommend great places to visit while in town. Organizers for South By Southwest® in Austin, Texas said that before the arrival of Uber and Lyft, transportation was among the chief complaints of event attendees. People waited hours for taxis that never came and event staff labored over complex shuttle schedules to move guests around town. After the arrival of ridesharing, however, transportation complaints dramatically decreased. Although some major cities have recently imposed restrictions on ride-share services, Dallas, TX is committed to ensuring abundant availability for all types of ride-sharing needs.
Venue Options: Whether you need to rent a conference room or want to source a unique venue space for your next conference, there are many apps – such LiquidSpace – that showcase unique venues for hourly or daily rentals. There are also companies such as UK-based Showslice that allow event organizers to share costs relating to logistics, setups, production, staging and labor. Even larger hotel chains are accommodating the desire for on-demand venue and workspace through their own proprietary space utilization apps.
Buy Local: Partner with local artisans and allow them to sell goods during breaks in your event. This allows you to give back to the local community and support the local economy, while your attendees can find authentic, unique souvenirs and gifts.
Accommodations: During city-wide events, alternative lodging – like Airbnb – can accommodate more event attendees and during peak times, can sometimes create downward pressure on hotel room rates. Airbnb guests – who have been shown to spend more money, stay longer, stay outside hotel districts and visit establishments that don't usually see tourist traffic – can extend and distribute the economic benefit associated with events. That said, there are times when it's better for everyone if your guests stay on property. To encourage on-property bookings, make sure to highlight services, amenities and benefits of staying at the event venue. Most non-hotel accommodations can't begin to offer the level of service and amenities provided at the conference venue. In areas where alternative lodging is especially attractive, you can also offer attendees a break on registration fees for staying on property.
Despite the push back in many markets, sharing services are here to stay. The competition will not only keep planners on their toes, but they actually stand to improve the experience for attendees and add capacity to meet the traffic spikes inherent in the event planning business.
VisitDallas is here to ensure that your next event is an unprecedented success! For more information on planning your event in Dallas, TX, and advice on maximizing shared and local services, visit www.DallasDelivers.com or call our planning partners at 800-232-5527. We look forward to hearing from you!