What you seek is seeking you
Given that they’re both English-speaking countries with active events industries, the UK and UAE were top of our list for an obvious, albeit ambitious, entry into the international events arena. That being said, our global expansion has been one in which a strong impulse to forge ahead into new markets has been backed by an intensive valuation process which resulted in strong numbers that fully support our strategy. The end result of this process has emphasized that as our vision expands, our focus must be on our fundamental raison d’etre, if we are to succeed. For us this has always been to create a well-managed platform that adds value to the community it serves.
Never in history have customers had such an impact on the longevity, scalability and valuation of a business and this is no more applicable than in the case of a platform businesses, where the customer is the most significant value-creator. As explained in the book, “Platform Revolution”*, this is primarily as a result of positive network effects, which refers to the additional value that is created for each user of the platform as more people join it. It is the phenomenon which explains why platform giants such as Uber and Air BnB have disrupted whole industries and achieved growth that no longer fits the mould of traditional valuation methods.
In an effort to simplify the world of events by providing a matching service between event hosts and suppliers, we took the initiative of offering suppliers attractive, accurate and well-written profiles of their business, which we hoped to showcase on our platform. What we didn’t realise at the time was that we were positioning ourselves to take advantage of “two-sided network effects” in which suppliers attract hosts to kick off a virtuous cycle where hosts, in turn, attract suppliers. Once again, this only occurs when more value is created for every member of our community as it grows — and that is what we will keep in mind as our community network of event suppliers and hosts expands internationally.
*by Marshall W. Van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker and Sangeet Paul Choudary
Originally published at www.eventerprise.com on July 27, 2016.