The chief executive of Nineteen Events Peter Jones took his role at EN’s first Dragons Den event to heart, investing £10,000 in a “wacky” show idea based around life-changing resolutions.
The Exhibition News
Dragon Den took place on 13 December at London Olympia. It was the
first event of its kind to bring people with ideas for exhibitions and
live events together
with potential investors. The debut show gave people with an event
idea, product or service, a platform to pitch their ideas to a Dragons’ Den-style panel of six leading industry figures, representing both organisers and suppliers.
Jones (pictured) was the only one of the dragons to invest, choosing what he conceded was a “very unusual” idea based on resolutions, pitched by Robert McCaffrey. The Resolutions Show is conceived as a wide-scale consumer event and aimed at helping people stick to their New Year’s resolutions, or start the year by engaging in a new pastime.
The show would be 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.
“The Resolutions Show is an extremely adventurous idea, but sometimes the best ideas come out of left-field,” said Jones. “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.”
Jones’ £10,000 investment amounts to a 40 per cent share of The Resolutions Show made on behalf of Nineteen Invest, a subsidiary set up to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality.
McCaffrey set up a retirement show five years ago, eventually re-branded as The 50+ Show. But despite his previous experience in consumer events, rather than Nineteen Events' trade leanings, Jones said McCaffrey’s experience in consumer events makes it an ideal alliance.
“Any business is only as good as the people who work there,” said Jones. “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.”
Commenting on the inaugural Exhibition News Dragons Den, Jones said: “It was a fantastic pilot show with a great turnout, and was very well received. I can’t wait for the next one.”
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