“I’m going to make you an offer!” Peter Jones invests in wacky consumer show pitch at London Olympia

NINETEEN EVENTS attend first ever show aimed at bringing together event entrepreneurs and investors in a Dragons’ Den style show.

London, 18 December 2012. Peter Jones, Chief Executive Officer of NINETEEN EVENTS became a dragon for the day at the first ever Dragons’ Den style event at London Olympia, organised by industry journal Exhibition News. The event, held on 13 December, was the first of its kind to bring together people with ideas for events with potential investors. 

The aim of the show was to discover investment opportunities and forge relationships within the events industry. People with an event idea, or groundbreaking product or service, were given the chance to pitch their ideas to a Dragons’ Den style panel of six leading industry visionaries, representing both organisers and suppliers.

NINETEEN EVENTS’ very own Peter Jones was invited to attend the one-day show as a dragon. He was the only panellist to invest, choosing a very unusual idea pitched by Dr Robert McCaffrey.

Robert’s idea was The Resolutions Show: a wide-scale consumer event aimed at helping people stick to their new year’s resolutions. The show would be designed to run in January and feature exhibitors such as health clubs to help people who resolve to get fit; careers advisors to help people who want to get a new job; and holiday planners for those who want to plan a trip away.

Peter explains why he decided to invest in Robert’s idea: “The Resolutions Show is an extremely adventurous idea, but sometimes the best ideas come out of left field. Robert put on an unforgettable pitch that showed me what he was made of, so I decided that I wanted to invest in him, just as much as his show idea. I told him: you’re fantastic, you’re investable, so even if this idea doesn’t work, I want to invest in you.”

Peter invested in a 40% share of The Resolutions Show on behalf of NINETEEN Invest, which was set up to help entrepreneurs like Robert make their ideas a reality. He continues: “Any business is only as good as the people who work there. Over the years, I’ve searched out the best talent, and at NINETEEN EVENTS we’re entrepreneurial and progressive. I believe that there are opportunities for the right people and Robert has the same talent and drive that I look for in my own team.”

Robert is already an experienced event organiser, having set up a retirement show five years ago. The show has been a great success and two years ago was re-branded as ‘The 50+ Show’. Peter recognised that the success of this show was down to Robert’s drive and enthusiasm, and believes they’ll make a strong partnership. Nineteen Events are experts in organising business-to-business events, but Robert’s experience is in consumer events, making it an ideal alliance.

This was the first time the Dragons’ Den style event has been held and NINETEEN EVENTS’ investment has made it a success. The organisers plan to run another Dragons’ Den style event in March and Peter hopes to join them again. He says: “It was a fantastic pilot show with a great turnout, and was very well received. I can’t wait for the next one.”