Podcast: Aaron Kaufman, president, Fifth Element Group on business in events

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Fifth Element Group is an award-winning live experience company that is recognised throughout the world for creating large-scale galas, events, fundraisers, conferences and activations. On today’s podcast, president, Aaron Kaufman, spoke to our host, James Dickson, on how to keep events “real”.

Speaking from the head offices in Canada, Aaron stated that Fifth Element Group was born from him discovering a “gap in the industry” 16 years ago when clients’ expectations were not being met properly. Aaron wanted to merge the management and design of an event into one firm.

Transparency between event planners and clients regarding fees is critical for a successful relationship. Aaron explained the planner should break down each rental/purchase to the client who then, in turn, appreciates where their money is going. Hiding costs suggests the planner is not confident they are providing good value for money.

Aaron also claimed that healthy competition is ideal within the industry. “Going after” your competitors and their clients is something that should be practised to stir up business for companies. However, he stressed that this needn’t result in bitterness between event professionals.

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“We’re in business to do business.”

He also stated that he uses business practices to obtain his objectives. As an event organiser, he needs to create memorable experiences for his clients, therefore, if “any solution” gives him the opportunity to do that, he will absolutely do it: “That’s business ownership.”

Overall, Aaron believes that organisers should follow solutions that will help them continue to conduct business. Though the event industry is fuelled by creativity, it is fundamentally a business.

If you would like to feature on an episode of the Event Industry News podcast, please email molly@eventindustrynews.com.