I just realized that this week it will be three years since we published The Face of Digital with my friend and co-author Jay Weintraub. I remember our initial conversations and research for the book in 2015 and our passion for understanding how technology could and should play a key transformational role in the live events industry. I spent the last thirty years of my professional life in the b2b media, tech, and live events industries and started companies on those verticals from scratch to exit. During the last decade since I started Vesuvio Ventures, I spend my days talking with brilliant founders and entrepreneurs who are creating companies fixing many problems on those industries and sophisticated investors (VC’s, PE’s and Corporations) trying to identify ways to collaborate and partner with those startups and accelerate innovation in their respective business. I invested and advised in different events and events technology ventures. Some of those deals are growing nicely and will be very successful, we already sold some of those companies and have had successful exits and some of those deals died or are struggling. In summary, my own results and ROI with Vesuvio Ventures are way better than originally expected and I learned very valuable lessons, particularly (as always) more from my failures than from my successful ventures.
I have to be honest, when we wrote The Face of Digital we were convinced that the live events industry was ready for disruption and innovation and we analyzed different case studies and technologies discussing with industry leaders. But, I never thought that only three years later the changes and challenges and opportunities that the live events industry will be facing would be so dramatic.
I shared my own thoughts in previous articles on my blog and Linkedin about why tech must be live events best friend, and not the enemy and how tech should create additional opportunities for the live events industry augmenting events communities into better and more productive experiences. And many of the technologies and changes that we discussed as part of the book were starting to happen, slowly but steady until Covid-19 show up as the Black Swan event that nobody expected.
I keep saying during these days that we will see decades of innovation and digital transformation happening in just a couple of years ahead of us. Particularly, in the live events industry, we never experienced anything similar to what we are seeing in 2020. This is difficult, sad, and traumatic for many industry stakeholders and millions of jobs are on hold or lost. We will see many companies going out of business simply because they were not ready to change or innovate fast enough in order to provide a sustainable value proposition to their customers and communities. But let’s be honest, many of those companies were ready for disruption years, or decades ago and simply ignore the fact that they needed to reinvent their business and invest in technology and innovation.
Nevertheless, this year is presenting a unique opportunity for rebirth and reset in our industry.
Finally, events stakeholders will realize that they can rethink the way that they interact with each other like never before. This year we are going to learn what needs to be done in person and which things could be easily done through a Zoom call or virtual event. We said (many times) in The Face of Digital that we believe that the face to face experience will not go away. Today, I think that our book thesis is intact and more relevant than ever. And today I also think that change will be accelerated in a positive way creating a new generation of live events digitally ready from day one. Those events will allow buyers and sellers or fans and entertainers and brands to interact in ways that they never imagined before.
I couldn’t be more excited to participate in the rebirth and reset of our industry. I think that in the long run, we will remember these days as a unique and special time in our lives and careers and hopefully a time to rethink the way that we will live and work in the future learning from the past. But now, let’s work hard to rebuild a new and better way to help events stakeholders to maximize future opportunities using our powerful marketing tool to reignite economies, industries, and companies on a global basis.
originally published at www.marcogiberti.com