It’s not an everyday occurrence for a person to be voted not just as a successful entrepreneur but also as a people person and an expert in the events industry. Jason Allan Scott, or better known as “The Lord of Events” is a successful eventrepreneur, keynote speaker, best-selling author, event professional, podcaster and a wonderful person who believes in his passion.
Working for a period of 2 decades as an event planner amidst the most influential and knowledgeable people in the industry, Jason Allan Scott managed to build the fastest growing aesthetic company with a global base of 29 locations in a short period of one year! He totally did justice to his title of the topmost event professional!
Success comes in many forms, for some people, it’s like a silver spoon in a plate while for some it’s pure hard work, passion and their love for the industry. His commitment to talking with people, solving their issues and taking out time to address any query is admirable.
We got an opportunity to have a small QnA interview with J.A.S who has been voted in the Top 100 Movers and Shakers in Events in Eventbrite in 2016. Have a look here:
1. You are passionate about the Events Industry. How or rather when did you realize you were out on a passion spree for one of the most widespread industries in the world?
After watching too many films, I escaped Cape Town, South Africa and with a loan of 1500 GBP and a backpack, I started life in London. I was inspired by the idea of a romantic adventure. I was successful as an entrepreneur, radio broadcaster and salesperson and the confidence I got from telephone sales helped me in all my roles.
But it was two young women ( Justine and Jo) who were working at 2 event venues in London who convinced me to try my skills in events. I started by learning the basics with Novus Leisure and then stepped out to start my own company, Corporate Events Management. I learned two valuable lessons, in this time.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger:
I was working 16-hour days, six days a week and it nearly killed me. I had no personal life. But if you want to work in the hospitality industry, it’s vocational, not something you do on the side.
Don’t separate work and play:
You need to integrate your work and personal life. I don’t think it’s practical anymore for people to have this really clean split. You need to develop patterns that work for your family as well as your job. You don’t want to be half on, half off all the time. It’s not a good way to live your life.
Don’t focus on the people, focus on the person.
I’d get through to CEOs by pretending to be my own assistant and creating an illusion that I was successful.
I think who you spend your time with can be more important than what you’re working on, and events have the best community of people I have ever had the privilege to spend time with.
I learned to listen very carefully to clients when I was consulting, which meant that at Hollywood Inc our customer service was highly personal. I even gave my email and mobile number to customers and only when I started doing so many events globally, and people knew of my work did I truly realize just how widespread this industry was.
2. Tell us more about your Empire build with the One Person Empires
The rise of the one-million in revenue, one-person businesses in the past five years is the biggest trend in employment today, offering the widest range of people the most ways to earn a living while having the lifestyles they want.
In the community of One Person Empires, our 6 to 7 figure solo founders outline the pathways to joining this entrepreneurial movement, synthesizing advice from hundreds of business owners who’ve done it.
I teach and explain how to identify, launch, grow, and reinvent the business, showing how a single individual can generate over a 1 million in revenue — something only larger small companies have done in the past.
The goal is to continue to do this in a way that is both inspirational and practical, this movement is about teaching the blueprints, technology and business models that will appeal to all who seek a great work-life and a great lifestyle whether in events or any other industry.
3. What was the Eureka moment which gave us “The Eventrepreneur”. I grew up mindful that I had nothing to fall back on and you never know what’s around the corner. I had to look after myself financially. I had a mid-life crisis at 29 I sold my business, teaching swimming in Thailand and had returned to South Africa to a terrible divorce.
I went back to school at nights and studied Radio Broadcasting. My father taught me never to admit you couldn’t do anything, so I send demos to every radio station pretending to already be a successful radio DJ.
Once that had taken off, I started a Paparatzi company and sold images of celebrities I had interviewed, to a UK newspaper, based on the Pound to Rand conversion I did well before an incident with young pride and the actor Nicholas Cage ( long story).
Later when I started my event company, people who had known me for years and through all my business’s started calling me, “the Eventrepreneur!”
4. How would you define the power of social media when it comes to events?
I’ve been in the top 10% most influential event-related Twitter accounts in the world. My secret is really engaging with my audience. Even when I only had 1,000 followers I was an influencer because I could tell those 1,000 people where to go and who to follow and what to read, I think it’s because I understood the mediums.
We used to be a world of word of mouth, now we live in a word of EYES!
People don’t want to be told. they wanna see. In this digital age, social media is absolutely essential when it comes to promoting events; the two are like popcorn and coke — they just go together.
It’s important to realize that social media goes far beyond solely event promotion — a carefully planned social media campaign doesn’t just show everyone what’s happening but lets them interact with each other and feel part of something much bigger.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are powerful platforms to create anticipation around any event, communicate to people at the event and to those who missed the event.
They allow you to communicate effectively, and in real-time, with those you want to target. Take Note of Tik-Tok as the audience is getting there training wheels in social media and this is a good platform to master and be future proof and is currently one of the fastest growing social networks. Social Media is particularly good for providing behind-the-scenes content to followers, helping to create and engage with a strong following.
The beauty of social media is that it doesn’t just start and stop on the day of the event. Rather, you can start building momentum and generate the following months before, and continue to do so months after, with the right content.
Developing a content plan pre, during and post-event is vital to make sure you cover everything, not to mention the time-saving aspect of a plan — don’t underestimate the time it takes to write a good post!
Like events, Fail to plan and you plan to FAIL!
5. In the journey of becoming an entrepreneur, you must have faced several challenges. What were the major challenges and how did you overcome them?
I was very lucky and successful in all my entrepreneurial efforts, selling several companies on three continents but I would eventually try and start an event tech company, called VenueMe.
VenueMe was not successful — so many things went wrong. In honesty, I knew the problem ( reactive websites was not the right way to work) but I was very inexperienced, and I didn’t really know what I was doing. I realized I had some more growing up to do. I needed more time and to meet more people.
But I also learned some valuable lessons, like:
I had always punched above my weight.
Aged 27, I made 10,000 from selling printed promotional T-shirts (O.P.E -Other Peoples Money) in 10 days. colour-changing nail varnish via Young Enterprise. To seem authoritative to companies, I’d make them wait on the phone, saying, ‘Please hold while I put you through to Mr Scott.’” It had worked before but in technology, you need to learn the basics.
At Corporate Event Management we made a million in 12 months in events using nothing but social media and I thought I was born to be an event producer and that I was a genius. But then, when I set up VenueMe, nothing worked and all my projects fell apart.
It was a valuable lesson in hubris.
I didn’t understand how marketing and advertising were different, so VenueMe helped me articulate a value proposition, keep customers happy and measure customer sentiment.
I also learned the importance of finding a mentor. I found this in the words of Felix Dennis (27 May 1947–22 June 2014) an English publisher, poet, spoken-word performer, and philanthropist. His company, Dennis Publishing, pioneered computer and hobbyist magazine publishing in the United Kingdom.
You can always find a way, even if you don’t know the answer yet. I realized I needed to learn more about the basics of direct result marketing, funnels, and automation. It took six months to convince myself that my next idea, Calisthetics and Calisthetics Games would work.
But we should have launched right away. You think you’re reducing your risk by doing diligence around your idea, but actually the risk of someone else launching your idea increases.
Felix taught me never to compromise for financial reasons. Who cares about your job title? The real question is: who’s your teacher?
The last lesson, sell your company once you don’t love it anymore. If you sell what you love and someone else messes it up, you’re going to feel it.
If you’re enjoying the ride, stay on the horse.
6. The industry now is driven by event technology. The market is full of event tech vendors selling or rather automating and simplifying the tasks of event planners and organizers. What’s your take on event tech?
Events are now quite a tech-driven affair.
Event technology has developed leaps and bounds in the past years. Certain event-tech trends are bound to stay while some technologies will see major updates
Event profs must find creative ways to leverage technology the same as we le for a memorable event experience. How these technologies will play out in the overall event planning and management process in 2019 is a matter of time.
Any favorite event tech if any?
Asemblr, an intuitive, digital platform solution for busy professionals to manage corporate events, conferences, trip incentives and team building all in one place.
7. A piece of advice to our readers and to your fellow event professionals?
Always remember that everyone suffers from a version of the Rashomon effect, a phenomenon where different people have contradictory accounts of the same event.
Every time you remember something, you rewrite it in your brain. If that recollection contains errors, you’ll strengthen those errors until you’re positive they’re correct. That’s why even a memory as extreme as fighting a samurai could be constructed out of thin air with the right kind of suggestion.
So we need to appeal to the emotions. Scientists have zeroed in on an answer to why we remember traumatic events better than the mundane.
In a study of rats, emotionally arousing events triggered activity in the amygdala, an almond-shaped part of the brain known to be involved in emotional learning and memory.
Both extensive psychological research and personal experiences confirm that events that happen during heightened states of emotion such as fear, anger, and joy are far more memorable than less dramatic occurrences.
So focus on giving all who attend your event some form of emotion, preferably, like JOY!