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It Happened Again

For anyone who is interested in watching disruption occur right before their very eyes and if your organization has an event that is focused on serving a specific industry, it’s time to pay attention.

 

The entrepreneurs who disrupted the financial services event marketplace AND the retail event space are now disrupting the healthcare event landscape.

 

First, a quick step back in time. After launching and then, five years later, selling Money20/20 for $100 million, the founders of this new event launched Shoptalk, a new event that blew up the status quo for retail event organizers.

 

By creating a “platform” for both industry events, the founders of these events reinvented the event model by bringing together new segments of the fintech sector of financial services and the new players in retail in a new way. Then, once they had critical mass, the old guard followed. Now, both of these events are scaling across the globe to even greater success and increased market dominance.

 

The new event industry space they are going to redefine is healthcare, with a new event called HLTH. This new event is launching in May 2018, expecting 2,000 attendees, and has already confirmed over 60 speakers. Most association events don’t have the speaker lineup planned until a few months before the event doors open. HLTH is a brand new event and already has a critical mass of speakers to sell.

 

HLTH received $5 million in venture capital funding based on the success of the two events these entrepreneurs have achieved with Money20/20 and Shoptalk.

 

What makes each of these events tick is that they don’t bring together just the usual suspects: they attract investors, inventors, start-ups, and the old-guard leaders who want to learn and hire the innovators who are just getting started. They attract governments, the media, industry analysts and academia.

 

The formats of the events are not that different: a trade show, general session speakers, breakouts, receptions—overall not mind-blowing innovation in the design and execution—but there are some major differences. Pitch jams, interesting music, ice cream on the show floor, and a few other symbolic elements that create a cooler vibe and overall better energy.

 

The bottom line, however, is that these are events built on a different platform—a new audience, a better understanding of the drivers of the future, no old-fashioned committees determining the programming, true thought leaders who know the industry curating the content and selecting the speakers, and promotional marketing that is unconventional and in your face.

 

The founders of these three events are capitalists, creating new marketplaces, new events and new ways of bringing the right people together to learn, do deals, find talent, shop the competition, identify investment opportunities and have a bit of fun.

 

Your association can learn from these three examples of disruption and begin the work to disrupt your own events before these guys decide your industry is next in their crosshairs.

 

I’ve studied these new models, I’ve been to these events, and I’m confident that, if you are hungry enough or worried enough, there is a clear path to getting a head start on reinventing your industry event.

 

Don’t wait too long.