Simeon Aldred, creative director & event Industry Investor, Vibration Group talks about the stories beyond the facts and figures.
At Vibration group we actively invest in Event services businesses. By successfully incubating Event IP and venues, this year we’ve tipped over the 50million turnover mark.
Yet someone asked me the other day: Why? Why are we buying our suppliers as well as investing in some of our clients?
Well, our model is different to an aggressive investment firm. We’re not about controlling assets or shares. We’re not motivated by majority shares or traditional control. The truth is, we’re about ensuring a sustainable group creative output and service.
Yet our recent partnership with 5star Crew Co has taught me the most profound reality behind our strategy.
Taking an equity stake in the business last year, we expanded the business by acquiring a Scottish crewing company and opening new offices nationally. But why would we invest in 5Star Crew co in the first place?
One thing- it’s people. Ed, 5Star’s founder, sets a new standard in the supplier industry. When we first met him, he turned up to the job early. Seeing the job was challenging, he mucked in alongside his men, drove crew home afterwards and gave them clean crew clothing. Sounds like a strange set of qualifications for a massive investment, right? Doesn’t everyone treat there crew like this? Well ask yourself when was the last time you knew the names of all your crew? Or are they faceless staff that vanish as if by magic when you’re consumed by event stress?
Pre-meeting Ed, I had a blinkered view of a whole level of industry workers; I sadly took crew, bar staff, porters, lorry drivers, cleaners, clock room staff and security for granted. Yet these suppliers are the hidden driving force behind our whole industry. These people are not just a logo on a black T-shirt, standing in the shadows. Celebrate these individuals. Generously get to know them, protect their rights, ensure they’re well treated. Ed and the five star crew team have-taught me a big lesson. Valuing the people behind your suppliers, will ensure your event and your client’s needs are delivered every time.