One Plan

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In times of difficulty and uncertainty, it pays to work together and those working in the event industry need each other now more than ever to find ways to go virtual, rearrange, and regroup. As a result of this, we’re launching a new Industry Expert Series where thought leaders can share ideas and advice. First up is Giles Rhys Jones, CMO of what3words – an important partner of OnePlan.

1. First things first for those who aren’t aware of your company, what do you do?

what3words is an easy way to talk about precise locations. We’ve given every 3m square in the world a unique combination of three words: a what3words address. For example, ///filled.count.soap is the what3words address for the exact entrance to our office in West London. what3words is used by thousands of organisations around the world, across a diverse range of industries including automotive, navigation, logistics, travel, emergency services and events.

2. What made you enter the event industry?

Our founder, Chris Sheldrick, used to work in the music industry organising events around the world. When bands and equipment suppliers kept getting lost trying to find venues and festival locations, he enlisted a friend’s help to come up with a solution. Together, they developed an algorithm that turned accurate GPS coordinates into user-friendly word combinations – and (on the back of an envelope) the idea for what3words was born!

3. What do you think are the biggest challenges currently facing event planners and how would you say they can solve them?

Putting on a festival or event is kind of like creating a small town, from food to housing, sanitation, social spaces, entertainment and signage. However, because events often take place in areas with limited mobile coverage and without street addresses or fixed landmarks, finding and communicating precise locations gets tricky. This makes event planning, setup and management more challenging and time consuming. With what3words, event planners can share specific locations of entrances, delivery points or emergency incidents with equipment suppliers, performers and vendors, using just three words. It means that people working on-site, as well as those attending the event, know exactly where to go without confusion.

5. What advice would you give to anyone starting out in the event industry?

Get good toilets and people will come back 😉

6. What piece of investment did you make in your personal development or your business that was worth every penny? 

Our people. We’re over 100 people spread between our London, San Mateo, Ulaanbaatar and Johannesburg offices.

7. What do you think is the future for event planning? 

 I’d like to think that now most UK emergency services, and more international emergency teams, are using what3words to save precious time and lives everyday, what3words becomes an addressing standard for the events industry. If our free app can improve the safety of events for everyone, that seems like a good thing to be aiming towards.

8. Who is your industry idol?

Michael & Emily Eavis for creating an event brand that is loved by all for maintaining its strong family values and an independent spirit, despite being the global phenomenon that it is. 

Do you have advice or insight you’d like to share or you know someone who would be perfect for our series, please get in touch with us here.

23rd March 2020