Insights and Tips from the King of AV - Q&A with Will Curran

Juhi Purswani
May 22, 2019

Event Industry has witnessed digital developments not just with the inception of event technology but the equipment like AV which is required in the venue to make the event better.

We got a chance to interview one of the profound people in the event industry, Will Curran — found & Chief Event Einstein of Endless Events, a nationwide AV production company.

Will is an enthusiastic and super cool person. In our brief interaction over the e-mails and his video answers, he was zestful, an admirable person and a hard-working technology lover. Starting a company from a young age can be challenging and full of surprises. Let see how it went for Will. 

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Here are a few questions and insights we got from a very interactive video interview of Will. Let’s have a look at them!

1. You have had quite an amazing journey reaching where you are present i.e. Chief Event Einstein of Endless Events. Would you mind walking us through that?
It’s been a long journey to Endless Events. While in High school, I was into Electronic music and interested in computers as well as building websites. Firstly, I started out an internet radio station for music and failed at it.

Later on, I became a DJ and was approached to Deejay for a middle school dance on the campus, so I eventually started to DJ a lot. Later on, I came across a company in Chicago who did massive high school dances and had enormous AV budget, used gigantic lasers and crazy lights.

Impressed and motivated, I was determined I wanted to do this in my life. I then set a goal to achieve my dreams by the time I graduated and 6 months down the lane I pitched my idea to a high school that were open to it. With a journey of helpful lessons and financial crisis, I educated myself on how to hire an AV production company. That’s how we “Crazy High School Dance” started off as a DJ and AV production company in Arizona.

And eventually, we took over so much of the market as we had a monopoly over the market. Competitors entered, they fought us to the bottom so I got out because I didn’t want to be a part of the race to the bottom. We pivoted and we shut down the Deejay and started focusing on the production part of the company, and on corporate events.

So we eventually started doing AV and production for corporate events. One thing led to another, everything we learned from hiring AV companies was basic to work with AV companies.

Our work spread over time. About 2 years starting into the AV company we realized that basically, the way people buy is different than it used to be and if I want to buy something I don’t want to cold call and say yes buy that; Instead I research things, I look up who’s the best, who are providing the most value, etc. so we realized that we have to start creating content.

Awaiting your podcast on the same!

2. Scaling up a startup can be challenging, what challenges did you face when you started the company?
- First and foremost, I didn’t know what an entrepreneur was, I had no idea what business wad and most of all, I didn’t know how I was going to start a company while I started my DJ company in high school. I learned really fast on how to run a company, taught myself how to market a company. While I was in my college I read numerous business books to teach myself on how to run a business and how to market it.

- Understanding AV: We were amazingly blessed because when we pivoted to the big productions we didn’t understand how to deal with AV or how to do events. We just did it on instincts and how it should be done! This really helped us think creatively. There are various things in our company that exists the way since Day 1 like the process, the ideas, concepts we believe in, the culture and that’s great because we are stuck to our ideology.

Check out more about Endless Events in this video:

- The 3rd major challenge was while we were starting out our AV company was expensive because you have to own all the gear for production. So, we have designed a company that is very unique in a way that it operates. But that was a really tough process. AV world was super deep sea, lots of companies with lots of money and lots of gear. Our big competitors were quite challenging which meant we had to get creative and we did it.

- Another big challenge that we faced was to get our name out there. No one knew who we were when we first started which is scary for some people. When people hear AV they feel really confused and not sure what to do with AV, they don’t want to risk choosing a bad partner. But that’s where inbound marketing and content marketing we did came into play.

Obviously, when I started off this, I was 17 and people were afraid to work with us because they thought we were just a bunch of punk ass kids and had no idea of what we’re doing. But as it turns out I was more professionals than the 90% of suppliers out there. Now I don’t get it as much, the beard really hides my age everybody thinks I am a little older than I really am.

Biggest challenge — starting a company with no cash, no money, figuring this out on your own, having no knowledge of what we are doing, typical business stuff along the way and getting your name out there. I am super-duper blessed now for the name and reputation that we have built, and I think it wasn’t without the fact that we believe in educating our clients without it won’t be possible.

3. How did you come up with the idea of Eventicons?
Eventicons came into existence almost about 3 years ago when there was a platform named Blab. Blab was about Brady Bunch style videos, 4 people on screen at one and they could all talk, people can get kicked out and people could easily drop in, all you need to do is just sign in with your twitter, and there was a chat on the right-hand side and it was like a super casual video.

So we tried it out once really liked it and I was like okay I have to like create something with this and had the idea to interview the people of the events industry because I didn’t know anybody so it was an easy excuse for them to talk to me.

I just had to figure out how to build all the content so I made a decision to do all this weekly live-streamed interview show. And it holds till today!

Eventually Laura Lopez and Sean Holladay, awesome event industry titles, they helped us in managing Eventicons. They co-hosted the show and it kept rolling on.

Now it’s the longest running video podcast in the events industry. It’s absolutely amazing, I love it, we now have 4 co-hosts, and we are on episode 160 which is crazy we have been doing it weekly for like 3–4 years now. It will be our 4 year anniversary this December.

4. What are some of the issues that event planners face with AV?
The biggest challenge around AV is the fear of not knowing i.e the lack of knowing what to do what you have to say, all the things like that. I think it stems into a lot of other issues that event planners face but event planners need to be more educated about AV to feel comfortable.
For example, AV companies currently take advantage of a lot of planners like they take advantage that there is a gap of knowledge, therefore, they use fear tactics to do things like throwing huge bills at them, at the end of the event saying you forgot this and this and this so we added it, costing them thousands of dollars more.

And on the top of it, because the technology is always changing, they have to always a hurdle and understand all about it. For example, the biggest challenge we used to see 6 years ago was the in-house AV restrictions.

Other major issues that people face when it comes to AV are also understating how can you use this technology and spend this money in the right place. You have to have a great AV company to work with back and forth which would fit in your budget.

5. If asked to name one game-changing event tech, what would that be?

My number one game-changing specific technology that I think is Computers getting Faster. Which means it is possible to create high-quality video content edited from your phone if you want it to. But from the event-tech point of view, I think it’s AV because before we used to have boring PowerPoint slides and now people are looking for rich HD, 4k footage and crazy visuals.

Another bonus tech that would be game-changing for the event industry would be Wi-Fi 6. It’s the new standard of Wi-Fi that just got announced a few weeks ago. It allows more people to connect to a single access point and to transfer data faster. So it means people aren’t going to have crappy Wi-Fi anymore.

The standard protocol and the way the Wi-Fi is developed right now it is not designed to cover lots of people in one condensed area which is why Wi-Fi always struggles when there are lots of people. Wi-Fi 6 should change this.

6. You have a vast content base. Any secret recipe for your content marketing?
We talk to our client’s every day and when they ask us questions we share our content and if we don’t have the answers, we make it. That’s one of our biggest secrets for content marketing.

Also, we have realized that blog posts are dead now people don’t want to read a 2000 word article. So we doubled down on our video content last year and we now produce 20–30 videos in a week which is awesome. So we are really focusing on video content right now. We keep our polls on what’s working in the entire world and not just in the events industry.

7. Any tips on how to effectively implement a video marketing strategy?

To start, I have a background in video editing and I love to create videos. I had youtube back when it was non-existent. Back then, I had a crappy camera, and had no idea what I was doing and created a video but that was like my first test video.

Now when people see my videos they are like wow you went from 0 to this. I think you just have to implement and go you can’t always worry about having fancy lights or things like that unless you understand how it works, don’t buy it.

Far too often people focus too much on what gear they have and make sure it’s perfect when in reality they should focus on the content and just get out there and get it and learn on the way. I carry a camera with me wherever I go and I shoot my personal blog content with that but I had to teach myself every feature about that camera before I decided I was going to purchase it.

Also, I think you are doing video too make sure you do captions because 95% of the people who watch the video do it with zero sound.

8. What piece of advice would you give to the event professionals?
Do what you love every single day and not just like I love my job so I had to do it but actually do the task and things that you love like for me its creating content and talking to other planners and educating and finding new technologies. I want to do it every single day and If I am not doing that I have to find a way to fix that and that’s what my recommendation to you is.

If you are not doing exactly what you want to do every day, fix it, delegate the things you don’t like, get a new job; build a new company so in that case, you can focus on what you are doing.

“Do what you do, because of life’s way too short. We especially in the vents industry, we love the events industry but we don’t love everything that we are doing find the exact things that you love to do, focus on those and find people that take care of the things you do need to do but you don’t want to do.”

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Juhi Purswani

Juhi Purswani is a major in Information Technology. Currently a Content Developer in Hubilo, she is a passionate writer and loves to research and explore new and unique topics. Working in an event-tech company, she is getting accustomed to the technological revolutions that are taking place in the event management industry. Fond of Dan Brown books, she is an avid reader of fiction. In her relaxation moments, she pens down her thoughts in the form of poems and quotes. You can follow her on twitter on @19_juhi.

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