Jason Allan Scott is an award-winning event professional, speaker, influencer and entrepreneurial consultant. H&E North caught up with him after his packed out keynote session on day two of International Confex 2017.
Hi Jason! How was International Confex for you?
Amazing! What a crowd – first a little nervous to sit down and then crowding around the barriers of the theatre. While walking around I found there to be great stalls and stands with every part of the industry represented. The day was well spread out with learning opportunities and the layout meant I got to see areas of Confex I might not have previously visited.
You talked about ‘intrepreneurialism’ in your keynote speech. Can you tell us more about this?
It was not until comparatively recently that ‘intrapreneur’ was introduced to the business lexicon. I spoke about what is an ‘intrapreneur’ as someone who uses entrepreneurial skills without incurring the risks associated with those activities. Intrapreneurs seek policies, technologies and applications that will help increase their company’s productivity.
I ended by explaining the six core components of the intrepreneur and tasked companies to look for innovation and create a culture of intrapreneurship inside their organisations: to let their employees know it is OK to spend part of their day jobs tinkering around with new ideas, that it is OK to make mistakes, and that failure will not be punished if things do not go as planned and to hire people that have entrepreneurship wired into their DNA. Most importantly, stop focusing on next quarter’s profits, and start focusing on the next decade’s worth of revenue growth. At the speed in which change is happening in the business world today, big companies that do not embrace innovation and intrapreneurship will fall by the wayside. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
How did it feel to be named as one of the top ‘movers and shakers’ in the industry?
I was humbled. I was also surprised that so many suddenly thought of me as an overnight sensation when I have worked in events for over a decade. I have made many mistakes – for one, trying event catering without a passion for food – and celebrated success, mostly by working with incredible people and working to give my best.
As someone who enjoys 53,000 followers on Twitter, what tips do you have for engaging the events industry on social media?
Find your target audience so you are speaking the same language. Be authentic, as falsehood shows through on social media. Choose your social media channels wisely and know the ‘language’ of that channel.
Do not judge your social media influence based on followers. Review what works often, but don’t be scared to cull those that are only using you. Have a core ‘tribe’ of followers who you value and who value you. Make sure that those that do follow get much more then you ever ask for.
Who has been the most fun or interesting to interview for your podcast?
Wow, what a question. I have had the great fortune of interviewing people with power of mind over the body like Craig Capurso, creative innovators like Shed Simova, great entrepreneurs like Simon Burton, starter entrepreneurs like Alistair Turner, motivators like Emma Mulqueeny OBE, educators like Michelle Ovens OBE, and so many more.
Can you tell us about VenueVerified?
Events and meetings are big-spend items for organisations, and consumers who use professional venue-finders do not receive the same protection. Venue Verified allows real value as it presents costs with absolute clarity, transparency and honesty. As event professionals, Venue Verified puts the price up front, emphasises the service offered and allows the user to genuinely consider the quality and value of the offer from all venues submitting, including independents.
In short Venue Verified enables event organisers to search and review venues based on a simple set of event requirements such as price, location and number of people on the application. Matching results are then surfaced to the user on a map with the option to view specific venues that have subscribed to Venueverified.com. Venues that subscribe to the service have the ability to see and be notified, in real-time when a potential customer is looking for an event space in their vicinity. This insight feature enables venues to contact the potential customer to offer a venue solution.
Fast Forward 15 is a fantastic scheme. What inspired you to take this on?
When Fay Sharpe, founder of Fast Forward 15, explained her initiative I questioned if a man was really needed to help women get a fair shot in the events industry, but in the end I remembered the words of Hillel the Elder, a Jewish leader who lived in the 1st century: “If not us, who? If not now, when?” And since then I have been an advocate and a believer and supporter of the Fast Forward 15 initiative ever since.
What has been a highlight of your career so far?
Working with incredible people, helping to shape memories and create moments. To travel the world helping people achieve their goals, amplify their message, get exposure for their causes and be a part of their legacy. I have walked red carpets, squinted at the glaring lights of paparazzi and been held accountable for my mistakes. I suppose the highlight is being a part of both the entrepreneur and the event professional communities: two tribes of people who believe in moments, memories and the power of a start, middle and an end.