A Startup’s Journey - issue no 1

Rushmans is known for various things to different people depending on their touchpoint to us.

For some we are known for our work with John Caswell and his Structured Visual Thinking. To others for Sports Event Management, Security, Marketing, PR. There have been many specialisms and focusses on our 25 year journey.

One speciality has been Accreditation for events.

Accreditation started for us with the 1991 Rugby World Cup hosted in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France. Rushmans were appointed for Accreditation and Media Management. We learnt very fast for that first Accreditation project.

Approaching 500 events in more than 30 countries later, we are still learning.

Accreditation is a very strange area and not one that many people give a lot of thought to until it goes wrong.

On the face of it it’s quite simple. It is the enabling of those without a public ticket or hospitality invitation to access the event. Usually it is the participants and workers. Competitors, Media, Security, Caterers, Cleaners, Medics all of them and more will need to be given access.

So they apply for a pass, it is printed, given to them and they are good to go. Simple.

Except it’s not. Not even close to simple. And it gets worse. For many, if not most people, it is a real pain in the . . .

It is really important as you can’t get anywhere in an event without that accreditation pass hanging around your neck but the process of getting it can be painful for the accreditee and a lot of work and stress for the Accreditation team.

Late applications, intelligence and security communities delaying clearances, printer problems and the biggest issue — People.

People are late, some just cannot complete a form, they don’t do what they are expected to do. They are just well — human.

But accreditation is a process and processes don’t often allow for humans — until now.

Accreditation is a pain. It’s a pain for all involved. But it just shouldn’t be. We have been working hard for years at the ‘human elements’ of Accreditation. Mostly that has been about planning with empathy for the people who need to be accredited with some, but not enough, thought about the system and process itself. Until now.

For the last several months we have been planning the Accreditation Revolution!

We are working on ‘Transforming the Accreditation Experience for Good’

It started, as everything does, with thinking. Why does everyone find Accreditation such a pain? Why do people never have enough budget for it? Why is it so expensive? Why is it just so damn hard and such a seemingly simple thing so complex?

That thinking coupled with experience from our other fields of work with startups and SMEs as well as large corporations formed the germ of an idea.

We had seen new technology change just about everything. We have seen new tools both hardware and software change how people work and indeed how they think. Mobile devices and the cloud have unchained people from their desks, enabled collaboration and communication and its all a new world and a very exciting one at that!

It was a bit like the ‘Cobblers Shoes’ — consulting to startups about this new world awaiting them and then looking at our own systems and processes (along with everything else in Accreditation) dating from the last century.

So with a deep desire to Transform Accreditation and make the Experience a good one for all and some learnings about new startups we embarked on iAccredit, our very own new startup.

Weeks of deep thinking and actively talking to and consulting with people across the spectrum of events and our own teams gave us a deeper insight into a business in which we have been market leaders for 20 years. Fascinating!

More reading, more thinking, more analysis and solutions start to appear and they are beautiful. We have seen the future of accreditation and it is a wonderful place where everyone actually finds the experience extremely pleasant if not enjoyable! The process becomes useful rather than a chore.

And so our journey has started. It is already changing how we work. It is a huge challenge to develop something that people don’t even know they need until they have it. A bit like Henry Ford deciding to build cars and not try to breed faster horses.

We are working fast and lean and have taken lessons from all the great writings on ‘Lean Startups’, Exponential Organisations, Purple Cows, and our own event experience. Its a heady and powerful cocktail and we are impatient to get our baby out there!

I will keep posting our progress here. We will be live in only a few weeks now. Follow my blog and I will keep you posted on how we are getting on.

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