Fireside Chat: Lessons that event organizers can learn from binge-watching TV through a pandemic

If you’re someone who has found comfort in the wealth of streamed content delivered through the pandemic by platforms such as Amazon, Netflix, and Disney, then you’ll not want to miss this hilarious yet insightful chat about what event organizers and meeting planners can learn from the best brains in the entertainment world.  

In this fireside chat we feature:

Richard John, C.O.O at Realise

Richard John is C.O.O. of Realise, which describes itself as ’the oil in the engine of events.’ He’s had a 30-year career in events, waving live experiences with the world of learning and development, and describes his role as ‘Corporate Jester.’ He’ll be talking with us about ‘Dent in the Sofa,’ a Realise e-book and video that discusses what lessons can event organizers learn from binge-watching TV through a global pandemic.

Your host and co-guest:

Ankush Gupta, Founder at – The TripAdvisor for Events

Ankush is a marketer with over 20 years of experience with global companies like the TATA Group and MPhasis. He is a pioneer in the space of B2B Media, having been nominated for a Digiday award for Publisher of the Year. Currently, he is the founder at – a platform designed from the ground up to help event profs get the word out and use the power of social proof to accelerate their event brands.

Ankush Gupta: Hi everyone I’m Ankush founder of Welcome to another episode of building awesome events today. I have with me my very good friend Richard John. Richard is the chief operating officer at a company that describes itself as the oil in the engine of events.

Richard is an events veteran with 30 good years behind him and he describes his role currently as a corporate jester.

Today Richard is going to take us through his new e-book titled, “Dent in the sofa”. Which appropriately enough is going to discuss lessons that event organizers can learn from binge-watching TV through a global pandemic.

Welcome Richard, so nice to have you here, and I can say that you’ve really been putting in the time binge-watching a lot of stuff before, you had this epiphany that you then decided to document in the e-book. So, before we come to that, just generally tell us a little bit more about what it is that you’ve been doing, and then we can get into the specifics of your ebook and the top takeaways for event profs.

Richard John: Of course, well firstly, thank you so much for inviting me. It’s a great honor to be here and following in such illustrious footsteps, and you’re right we call this a company that is the oil in the engine of events because it is so difficult to describe what we do. And the company was set up with my business partner David Preston about four years ago.

And originally, we were doing the apprenticeship program for new event professionals in the UK. When the pandemic hit, we became a cliché alert. We pivoted to providing effective online services for a whole host of companies, working with some very big providers and effectively building online events, and then helping with the content capture and actually running the events on the day.

So of course, it was quite difficult for someone who used to be so happy to go off to different events and travel around the world to be sitting at my desk.

I’m based in France, I hadn’t spent very much time in the house here and suddenly, I was confronted with spending a lot of time here. Like the rest of the world, we weren’t allowed to go out so that was a bit of a culture shock for me.

Ankush Gupta: Thanks for sharing that, Richard, and I’m assuming that through the whole pandemic period, you spend a lot of time watching TV binge-watching shows. How did you really make the correlation between Netflix and coming up with all these ideas for your ebook?

Richard John: Well, it’s a very good question. I realized there was a lot of content that other people have been talking about. That I hadn’t seen. So, a good example is a Game of Thrones that everyone was talking about, it was one of those things I wanted to watch, it was one of those I’ll get round to it moments, and then when the pandemic started, and I was down here by myself.

What I realized was that I would be quite tired by at the end of the day and what I do is I close my computer and I would go for a walk, but then what I do is settle myself down in front of the television and there was a report that came up I think it was on the BBC that said that during the pandemic people were watching TV for up to six hours a day.

Ankush Gupta:  Oh wow!

Richard John: And suddenly, I thought well hang on there’s this big disconnect because on the one hand we’re singing we’re fed up with running team meetings and being on zoom all the time, and we’re exhausted by it, and at the same time we’re going sitting down we close one screen and go down and sit in front of another.

So, there’s a disconnect there and it that’s when I started to think about it and I there I was sitting on my sofa hence the title of the e-book and I kind of stepped back and thought well what am I actually doing, and there are probably lessons that we can learn because at the moment we’re all having to let’s do online events.

We’re all struggling with the same problems of how do you get your audience to choose people and that’s where I started thinking about it, and thinking that Hollywood and Bollywood are effectively some of the biggest industries in the world.

They’ve got the best brains, so I’m going to watch, and I’m going to try and steal from their brains and have a look and see what they’re doing.

Ankush Gupta: Well, I don’t know how much you would really want to steal from Bollywood’s brains. Sometimes all that content just seems so mindless, but I’m excited to see what you know, what it is that you’ve learned effectively, and we can get into it, mean if you do you have something to share with us would you like to put up a couple of slides?

Richard John: By all means, here we are, and it’s interesting. When we do events the first thing is we ‘share content,’ and then you can imagine the speakers panicking and thinking, they say ‘Oh please let this work!’

Here is the logo we created for ‘Dent in the Sofa’

Ankush Gupta:  Hey, that’s cool. I can see that you know the little dent is really cute there.

Richard John: And we decide I think in a way here’s one of the lessons we wanted to make this fun so although the subtitle is lessons for organizers from binge-watching TV through a pandemic and one of the things you must realize is that if you are for example a Netflix or an Amazon or a Disney.

Then your audience gets in, sits in front of the TV, and they start flicking and flicking. I don’t know if you’ve ever done this, but I have sat down at seven o’clock in the evening and started looking at trailers and at 10 o’clock at night thought well okay I’ve bookmarked lots of programs, but I haven’t watched any of them. So, one of the things we have to think about is how do you get people to choose your content over someone else’s.

Sometimes having a great title is part of it just getting people stopped your audience has the attention span of a hiccup nowadays so if you don’t capture them in the first few seconds, they are going to move on to something else and throughout dent in the sofa the e-book there are 21 lessons and some of them do refer to the fact that you’ve got to capture you already got to capture your viewers’ attention because they are incredibly unfaithful.

Ankush Gupta:  That’s very sound Richard and you some of what you’re talking about are absolute marketing fundamentals in itself you’re having a great title playing to the attention span which just doesn’t exist these days because everybody is in some screen on the other and there’s really a war waging for people’s attention. So, I think that’s all very apt, let’s just continue. I’m very excited to see it.

Richard John: Well, thank you, and you’re right, and it’s I think a lot of the time means you do have to come up with something a bit witty. I found this beautiful example of someone who wrote a book called “how to hold up a bank” and you’d pick that up in a bookshop, and then the subtitle was the art and science of avoiding soil erosion, and you think [okay, that’s very clever] you’ve got to be a bit clever now but because something short to grab someone’s attention and make them go what, and then you’ve got to keep them

And one of the things is in the past you often used to have this expression the Americans talk about the water cooler moment which is where people come into work and go grab yourself a glass of water you talk about something, you talk about a program that might suddenly have caught your attention, and people say people see this. And you have to think that when we create events how often do we really create a water cooler moment or how often is this the same kind of thing, and it’s all a bit well.

I think one of the important lessons also is that we had to move to doing a physical and moving them online, and the technology is amazing, but a lot of times people think. How do we recreate our event online? And my response is, don’t try and recreate your event online, create something new.

I think this is hugely important just because you can do everything online doesn’t mean you should as you like to say people have short attention spans nowadays. So, we have to be a bit clever, but here’s another lesson that might surprise people.

If I was to ask the program that was most popular throughout the pandemic, you’ll, you might be if people say Game of Thrones or breaking bad or whatever. The program that was streamed more than any other believe it or not was the American version of the office which is a series created in the UK and that’s finished eight years ago they’ve broadcasted eight years ago, and it’s been the most popular program during the pandemic, so you have to ask yourself why, and I think there’s a degree of we like the familiar we recognize some of the characters we’ve probably seen some of the episodes maybe we didn’t see them, so now there’s a chance to sit down and watch all I think it was 212 episodes from beginning to end.

So, you think there’s a lesson here when you’re putting on an event. People still want the comfort of the familiar, a favorite speaker, a favorite presentation so don’t always think I’m like I’ve got to do something new because there is a great deal of passion and enthusiasm for the familiar. What you do is once you’ve captured people, then you can start bringing in some new content.

Ankush Gupta:  I like what you’re, what you just did there. I was thinking about it, and you know what, you’re saying so bang on. I mean some people would go back and watch reruns of Seinfeld or friends, and it’s just comforting. It’s a comfort watch and then just with the squid game I just like what you just put up there.

Richard John: Absolutely, and I think this once you’ve got people comfortable. It’s almost like they trust you, and then they can say now we’re going to show you something that’s a bit new and a bit different.

One of the really interesting things I’d also mention about squid games, and it’s a lesson that we could think about, is that a lot of people started watching it, and it’s from Korea, so they started watching it. It’s got subtitles now if you go into your Netflix, you can change the settings, and suddenly it’s dubbed with English voices or French voices or whatever.

And the interesting thing is a huge number of people switched to dubbing and then thought I don’t like this, and they’ve switched back to watching it with subtitles and a number of useful lessons here. The first thing is we know that when you move to put more events online then suddenly your audience is global. People can watch your content from anywhere, and it’s worth investing in putting subtitles on for people who for whom English isn’t the first language they speak English, but they’re not that familiar, so there’s comfort in subtitles.

I live in France. I’m trying to learn French, so I will watch programs with French subtitles, it helps. It’s painful, but it does help, but I think it’s also about this acceptance. That person are happy to watch subtitles, surprisingly younger people are more open to subtitles than older people, a valuable lesson to people but making squid games, one of the most popular most-watched programs in the world in Korea in a language very few of us speak. So, some interesting lessons here about widening your reach and learning from what the TV companies are doing.

Ankush Gupta: And that’s brilliant Richard because you know I can’t remember the last time I saw content from an event that had subtitles on it. And now, it just makes so much sense especially if you’re going to be putting on a virtual event you want to do everything possible to really know further your reach as much as possible.

Richard John: Absolutely, and if you look at the global success of ted where you can go to the website, and you’ll find that subtitles and transcripts and a lot of those have been done not by the organizers themselves but by people who just want to share that knowledge. And there are options now for generating subtitles that aren’t particularly expensive and when you think about the audience you can reach for virtually nothing it’s worth exporting it.

So, one of my favorite programs is Game of Thrones. I watched every episode of this, and the interesting thing is the character Daenerys who rides a dragon, whenever she introduces herself there’s this long speech from her or from one of her staff about who she is.

She’s the queen of this, an empress of that and mother of dragons, and the thing is she’ll be presented this way, and you think well this is a very popular series they had to keep filling an hour each week, and you had to know who the characters were. But my point is she didn’t need any of that she’s got a fire breathing dragon and one of the things I get people to think about is when we do events when we have our speakers come on especially when we’re doing this online, how often do we perhaps have someone will come in and say I’d just like to introduce our panelists today. And then they’ll tell you about the panelists and where they studied and where they were and what papers they have written then you’ve got sick of them doing this.

And your audience are at home thinking I’m bored and my suggestion to event organizers is when you’re doing events your content is live or pre-recorded get your speakers to unleash their dragons straight away you get out there to walk on stage even if it’s on the screen and says, did you know that the most-watched program is the office, and that hasn’t been on television for seven years? Ask a question or say something that’s going to get the audience thinking, “really”? Because otherwise, the audience is going to start thinking “okay while they’re introducing the panel I’m just going to go over here and do my emails”.

We know it’s a huge issue doing online events especially because you haven’t got the ability to just keep an eye on your audience and make sure they’re staying or at least pretending to stay focused, so they’ve got a great chance to see Game of Thrones and fire breathing dragons.  

Ankush Gupta:  Yeah, I mean I just can’t take my eyes off that, I never thought I’d be just looking at that loop over and over again.

Richard John: Yeah, and as you can see, I’m just picking on a few of the lessons here as I mentioned the book does have 21. But here’s something I think is very interesting when you think about the olden days it was very common for us when we put on events to have people talking about or have what they call a futurist someone would come onto the stage and tell us this is what the future is going to look like, and I don’t think any of those futurists actually predicted covid.

But one of the things that many event organizers are facing now is they’re under pressure from their bosses, and their clients say well tell us what the future looks like, tell us what our strategy would be, tell us which way we should go when it comes to events. And the thing is I can’t tell you the answer, but I don’t think anyone can. But what I want to do is just give you this, as just a lesson during the pandemic.

You’ve got two major Hollywood studios, you’ve got in this case I think this is a marvel which is now Disney, and they’d spent a lot of money producing the latest version of wonder woman, and they want to release that at the cinema because that’s where you make the big bucks at the start but the pandemic dragged on, and they made the decision we’re not going to release it to the cinema or in fact they did show it at the cinema but at exactly the same time they streamed it on television because no one was going to the cinema.

Now on the other hand you’ve got eons productions who made James Bond the latest James Bond. They said, we are going to show this in the cinema, and we’re going to keep moving the show dates and the preview date until we can show it to the cinema made that decision now my point about this is both films were very successful both those companies made a decision, and you could argue that it was the right decision or the wrong decision.

They’re both justifying their decisions, so what I’m saying is that no company should be going the future is definitely online or the future might be hybrid, or the future is this that and the other. All you can do is take a lesson out of James Bond and wonder woman; test does not sort of as we say nail your colors to just one mask but just test. One of my favorite expressions is “There’s no failure, there’s an only feed”. So, it is about trying it, testing it, looking at the results and thinking did that work the way we wanted it to work.

Ankush Gupta: And I think that’s an apt point for especially at this time of the year Richard you come across so many articles and so much content which is filled with predictions this is the future of events for next year this is what is going to happen. But we just don’t know so all we can do is just go with the flow and I think this habit of testing or experimentation learning from moving quickly is very important.

Richard John: I couldn’t agree more, and I said I will repeat my favorite expression “There’s no failure, there’s only feedback”. Things may not work the way you wanted them to work, but you do have to try them, and it’s interesting I was at a live event recently, and I was sitting on this panel and people were talking about “is the future hybrid”? They got to me last, and by which point I was probably a bit bored, and I said the thing is because I’m old. People talk about digital marketing, there’s no such thing as digital marketing, there’s just marketing.

People will talk about alternative medicine, there isn’t medicine there is just medicine and people will talk about hybrid events and there aren’t hybrid events there are just events. What happens is we have to design events that meet the needs of our customers and allow our customers to consume them the way they want to do. I think that’s one of the key things, and we’ll have to do that in different ways, and we can’t always put on an event that meets the needs of all our customers. And that is just how it is but you have this idea of there is only one way, I think it’s crazy.

Ankush Gupta:  I agree.

Richard John: Here we are here’s another lesson I think that’s probably Sylvester Stallone it is usually out of a helicopter or something what’s the point of this well you probably know when we do this binge-watching there are a couple of things one is I don’t know if you’re anything like me. I was watching six or seven different series at a time and one of the important things is if I’m watching Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and then I’m watching something else like homeland. It can all get a bit confusing in my head so at the start of every episode there’s a quick reminder and I go “oh yes now I remember what’s happening here”. And I think how often when we do online events, we have that kind of reminder.

Another lesson is how often when we do events there is a story because when you watch Homeland or Game of Thrones or whatever else it’s. There’s a storyline that goes through it and how often when we do events, we just have one speaker after another who are individually very good. But there is a consistent story that we need to be making sure happens, but ultimately when we do online events, we say we’re going to stop here for a coffee break, or we’re going to stop here for lunch. “How many times do we actually stop with something like this happening”? Ideally what you do is you’d have this poor young lady dangling out of the helicopter, his hand weakening, his grip loosening and cut to commercial.

Ankush Gupta:  Richard, you know this just reminded me I’m just sorry to stop you here but since we started off talking about what we can learn from Bollywood movies. Bollywood’s movies traditionally are very long format movies right they run into two and a half hours at least three hours sometimes and they always in the cinemas they always had what they called an intermission or an interval.

Richard John: Yes.

Ankush Gupta: Right? So, the interval would stop at a point exactly like the one which is on our screens right now with Sylvester’s trying to maybe save somebody from falling off a helicopter or just at which makes you go “hey wait what just happened?” I need to go quickly, grab my popcorn, come back and then finish the rest of this, So I think it’s a very apt point. Go ahead Richard, sorry.

Richard John: Yeah, well it looks, but it’s precise as you say it is creating that kind of tension and how often when we do events there’s someone, we say we finish now, and then it’ll just, and I’ve done a lot of online events we just have something that comes up and says the presentation will continue in 15 minutes.

As opposed to someone coming on and saying we’ve had a really exciting morning but let me tell you what’s coming up this afternoon, and we don’t tend to do that we don’t learn these lessons sometimes maybe we think business is too serious for that, or I think the truth is organizers aren’t telling the clients you need to do this to make sure people come back. We have oh yeah, thanks to these the wonders of all the systems that we’re using we can see how you know there’s the decay rate that people are watching, and then they’re all drifting off at the end.

Ankush Gupta:  Absolutely.

Richard John: Let’s not just go shave, let’s go and tackle it. I’ll go jump on to what’s this lesson 15. I don’t know whether you’ve seen this, I think this works all right. This is real life.

The point is life has been pretty bleak and pretty serious. The pandemic’s been absolutely appalling but throughout all that as people have gone online right there have been episodes like that. Like the juror in that case the lawyer turning up looking like a cat, or we’ve seen people doing interviews and suddenly their children are bursting in.

And one of the reasons I show that is because I think it’s very important that we celebrate those moments of “oh my god, what’s happened here”. And we don’t and just to give you an idea I do mention this in the e-book, in the UK there’s a series they normally show it around Christmastime it’s called “It’ll be alright on the night” and effectively someone famous coming on showing bloopers and misspelled from the movies, and it used to be that in the days when you could buy a DVD of a movie you’d watch all the extras and one of those would be here are all the bloopers, and you’d watch these ridiculously overpaid actors just making a mess of their lines or things going wrong and the point is we loved it.

The reason I mention this is if we’re making these online events, then it’s very likely that we’ve captured bloopers and cock-ups and people making mistakes and things falling over. There’s nothing wrong with putting that in and saying what 10 minutes of making because people love it. And there’s nothing wrong with having some laughter, and it’s not malicious laughter because the truth is we’ve all been there.

 Ankush Gupta: You know Jackie Chan movies I don’t know if you’ve seen or which at the end you always had these outtakes or bloopers as you call them, and it just leaves the audience feeling all warm and saying that you know he’s human after all as they’re walking out of the theater.

Richard John: Exactly, and we often talk about now that good leadership is often, it’s emotional leadership, it’s honest leadership, it’s our leaders who sit forward and say what I’ve made a mistake. I want people to think, there’s a big fear about speaking in public and there’s nothing people saying. Do you know that something terrible could happen? You could dry up or technology could stop working, or you know the lectern could fall over. It doesn’t matter because it’s happened to other people, it’s just the frailty of being human and there is some I think when you introduced me at the start, and I talked about the importance of the role of a jester.

Ankush Gupta:  Yes.

Richard John: I think laughter is very important, but it also serves other purposes and traditionally in history the jester was someone who could actually be very rude about the king or the queen without getting your head chopped off or would when it was often very satirical. And there is a wonderful quote and I can’t remember who said it. There was a lady, and she said, “When the mouth is opened for laughter, it’s possible to drop in a morsel of knowledge”. And you want people to be entertained really, so if your events are entertaining people, we’ll see we’ll stay and watch more of this so why are we almost frightened about having humor and pathos and a bit of disaster in our presentations because again it goes back to this point about being the art of storytelling.

Ankush Gupta:  Absolutely.

Richard John: As I mentioned there are 21 lessons, what I’m going to do is just finish with this one lesson 18 which, and it may be something you may want to leave for dinner we’ll talk about here. You know this idea of you’ve got a plane to catch you get to the airport quick I must go and buy a book you rush in you don’t know any of the authors but what you do is you pick up a book that looks interesting you turn over you look at those testimonials “oh well this the other people they like this I’m going to go and buy this book”.

There is I’ll say so the book if you go to the website people can find all the details, and they can get in contact with me should they wish to, but they can get the e-book and watch the video and I would mention the videos about 20 minutes long and at the end I put all the bloopers and all the mistakes that I made at the end just to practice.

Ankush Gupta:  Hey, that’s great, okay. We are back and it is really entertaining Richard, and I’m thinking maybe we should do another couple of episodes because that was so much fun.

I’m sure people watching right now are going to go and download the e-book for sure it all makes so much sense Richard, and it’s just as they say it’s just common sense but it’s so difficult sometimes when you’re caught up in the Hurley Burley of your jobs and your work to really connect all these dots.

And this is fantastic advice for any event marketer at any time in their career, whether you’re just starting out, whether you think you have a lot of experience. It’s still there are some fantastic little gems to just go and revisit. All right thank you so much Richard for sharing, and I love the last example when you really speak about rushing through the airport finding a book the only way you can decide if you want to buy the book is by looking at the testimonials on the back cover or essentially what is social proof and really that social proof is.

We think it can be one of the most powerful elements in an event marketer’s arsenal, which is why Richard I founded some time back, which is an events review platform. It’s a very simple concept. It’s a little like TripAdvisor or a in the software space and the whole idea that we really wanted to pursue was to get attendees speakers and sponsors to provide us with reviews of their event experiences, whether it’s a virtual event a hybrid event or an in-person event really doesn’t matter. And what we’ve seen we’ve now collected thousands and thousands of reviews we’ve seen that people really want to share, and these reviews are sometimes very opinionated.

So, even if somebody’s sitting in front of a laptop screen and watching a virtual event you know sometimes I’m just surprised at how opinionated the review is And at the on the other side our intention was to help event organizers capture social proof at scale and really 10x their event brand’s event organizers sometimes struggle with capturing social proof we’ve made it easier we also turn that social proof into badges that they can really put up on their landing pages. Because at the end of the day what you want to say is that it’s not just me who’s telling you the attendee that I’ve put on the world’s best show.

It’s our users, it’s our community who’s praising us and this is what we have to show for it. I’ll quickly share my screen, and before we let our users or viewers go, maybe we’ll give them a glimpse of what we’ve been building so far, so that’s our logo Richard we’re the trip advisor for events.

It’s a cheesy line, but it’s just meant to convey the point that we had a review platform for events and the surprising part Richard is that we’re really the first in the world to attempt something like this and one of the problems that we set out to solve was how do attendees discover events today. And it’s very unstructured, it’s a very inefficient process. When you ask people around you, “Hey, do you have a list of the top five, the top 10 events that you want to attend this year”? Nobody really is dependent on their social media feeds. They would see an ad sometimes pop up somewhere or their friends or social circles who might mention an event or two, but nobody really has a structured framework or a system of finding events or great events I would say.

Which consistently over a period of time so we really wanted to help attendees figure out whatever industries they’re interested in these are the top events that you should be attending and how we do that is very simple we allow attendees speakers and sponsors to provide reviews of their event experiences these reviews are then scored algorithmically and then help their events or get ranked for their chosen categories.

So, for any category for any market of any industry at a simple glance you can see the top 10 or the top 20 events, which makes it very easy to say that let me just go try these top three out or the top five out. They might be a great fit for you at the same time we want to help as I said event organizers 10x their event brands by using the power of social proof which is what we’ve been talking about and as you can see here Richard event organizers can pick up these badges put them on the landing pages on their websites And they signal to their prospective attendees their prospective speakers and sponsors that “hey it’s not just us”. Who are saying that we put on a great show? It’s our users, it’s our viewers, it’s our attendees, our speakers and sponsors who really voted us you know as the best for networking the best in our particular category etc. And this can be a very powerful thing at the end of the day.

Some time back I was interviewing Martin Sorrell, the legendary Martin Sorrell, and he described it very simply. He told me that the way I see it is that a review is nothing but what was word of mouth earlier is now an online review and these days we’re living in a review economy.

We go through our day’s zoom reviews, all rating stuff either on Amazon on the food, we buy we would read reviews for and therefore, it makes total sense that your attendees would want to review you rate you rank you on a third-party neutral platform, and you can aggregate on all of what your attendees really feel about you and put it up on your landing pages so all the love that is being showered on you all the praise that you’re getting.

It’s a very easy and simple way to say that this is what our attendees really think about us and if you’ve really done the hard work and put on a great show really you want to get that, you want to get that out, and you can do that very simply with our platform you work with us to source the reviews from your attendees you wait for the magic to happen. You will see the rating badges for your event will get generated, you take them, you put them on your landing pages right, and then you will see the difference that this kind of social proof makes to your marketing and branding efforts over a period of time.

It’s as simple as that Richard for anything else I would request people watching right now just to go and have a look at the site which is if anybody really wants to, they can book a chat with me, I’m happy to spend more time explaining the concepts and doing a deep dive with you. And you can see a bunch of logos I mean this is a little bit of social proof of our own we are really working with a bunch of event companies to source reviews to get them their social proof at scale and a number of other things I mean it is really a very detailed platform it is a labor of love, and we would love to showcase it to all the event organizers who are watching this right now. I hope that that makes sense Richard, I mean do you have any particular thoughts about that.

Richard John: Well I think we’re seeing from the same hymn sheet because you’re right I mean when I go to events I so often will fill in a feedback sheet another thing, but it’s going to go to the organizer who will be more selective about the data they use But you’re right I mean I think about whenever I want to away for a weekend I need to plan it six months in advance because my partner is going to be on trip advisor reviewing every hotel and every restaurant and deciding where I mean it’s exhausting work I’m glad she does it, and you’re right we are driven now by this idea of well what do others think people and also as you rightly say people want to get their voice heard, and you know if I’m thinking about going to an event that I haven’t been to before it would be useful to have a source of information that because obviously know the organizers are going to promise you the world, but it would be good for other people.  

Ankush Gupta: And I think quite simply I think people trust other people, and you really want to see what your peers are doing if I’m a marketer if I’m an HR professional I want to see what folks like me what kind of events they’re attending and this you know and being an open system like that this allows me to see exactly that it allows me to see what events professionals like me are attending how’s that event performing, therefore, should I go to it the next time around, so it’s a very simple equation.

And at the same time, I think Richard you’ve made a lot of great points as well the final thing I would really request for everybody watching is to go download Richard’s e-book I’m sure there’s a tremendous value that you will gain from that connect with both Richard and me on LinkedIn to continue the conversation take a look at our review platform, and thanks a lot for watching today, and we can’t wait to come back with you know at you with another episode of building awesome events. So thanks a lot Richard, thanks a lot for your time and I really hope that we can do another one of these soon.

Richard John: Fingers crossed. Thank you very much for having me.

Ankush Gupta: Thank you!

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