Nathan Reed knew from an early age that he’d be suited to a life of encouraging other people to have fun. He tells The Entrepreneur Network some of the ways in which he turned that passion into a business.
BY ELISSA ROSE
So tell us about MEGA Events, where did you get the idea for it?
I knew I wanted to run events from my mid-teens and I knew that I wanted to do things on a large scale. MEGA seemed like a name that matched my ambitions.
What came first, the parties themselves or Bright Young Things, your artist management brand and recording studios?
The artist management came much later and was really just a result of being in close proximity to some really interesting DJs and producers who are also my good friends. We built the first set of recording studios in 2014 and the two projects marry together really well.
You started the business very young, was this daunting?
It was actually very natural. My first shows were at my school and my village hall. It wasn’t a commercial venture to begin with but as soon as I could get into clubs I started booking venues.
What crowd are you typically looking to target for your events?
We create events for specific demographics of people so it varies from event to event. Our crowd for our gin festivals is different to our crowds for our Freshers’ Tour, and our Freshers’ Tour is different from our Festival of the Dead show.
What are the specific challenges of starting a company in this industry?
I would say the biggest thing for someone new to running events for the general public is not narrowing yourself down to your own interests. You have to think about what the market wants.
How do you go about marketing your events and generating interest?
You need a well-rounded strategy; a mix of social media, reps, physical media, email databases and marketing knowhow. We also have a knack for creating viral interest in our shows, with some of them reaching fifty thousand-plus attendees on our Facebook events – it’s a weird science.
What method do you find to be the most effective?
Getting your event brand to go viral is the dream – you get huge reach completely for free. Sometimes achieving the same results of viral marketing through paid advertising would cost tens of thousands of pounds to replicate.
In your industry, how much importance do you attach to networking?
Event organisers are fairly independent. If you’re good at what you do lots of doors open fairly quickly. Similarly the opposite is also true. I don’t go out of my way to network, it’s much more about keeping up your reputation for performing.
“You can’t get bogged down in the small things. Exciting business is based around great ideas…”
Have you ever sought out a mentor?
Yes! I’ve had a mentor for the last six years and we meet every month or so! Aside from the advice of family and friends I think it’s really important to have someone that can be brutally honest and completely unbiased with you. I’m fortunate that mine is a bit of a guru and has the benefit of decades of managing people and growing large businesses.
What are the biggest pressures of running your own company?
You can’t get bogged down in the small things. Exciting business is based around great ideas and great execution and I think that it’s far too easy to deal with stuff which stifles you from actually leading your company.
What do you wish you had known from the start about creating a business?
It’s actually easier to think big to create and sell dream concepts rather than stay at halfway houses. Everyone has the urge to be cautious and dip their toe in, but you end up with a product that doesn’t really deliver.
What advice would you give someone looking to start an events business?
Make sure there is a genuine demand for what you’re doing, or you’re in for a tough ride.