Uber and GPJ discuss data at Morning Premiere

Simon Reynolds, business development manager at Uber London, and entrepreneur Shed Simove formed the line-up for experiential agency George P Johnson's (GPJ) latest Morning Premiere networking event.

Uber London's Simon Reynolds speaks at GPJ Morning Premiere
Uber London's Simon Reynolds speaks at GPJ Morning Premiere

The event, which took place this morning (27 November) in the private screening room at Covent Garden Hotel in London, began with a talk from Kevin Jackson, EMEA vice-president of sales and marketing at GPJ, who discussed the importance of data-driven events.

"Data-driven events know how to listen. It’s how you listen to what’s being said by consumers and then how you interpret that moving forward that makes it successful," Jackson explained. "Now we can market more one-to-one."

He added by looking at social media and analysing what people are saying allows brands and agencies to build a richer experience. "Get them involved in decisions on content, food and even the bag they are going to carry around at the event. That way you can have a community bound by a live experience."

Jackson also highlighted the agency’s digital identity mapping strategy, highlighted in an example from this year’s Cisco Live! event and based on 300 Facebook profiles of attendees. GPJ looked at the ages and demographics of guests, and explored what they like to read, where they ate and what they talked about and how that could allow them to understand the event’s audience. "It allows us to pinpoint our content and message, meaning that it really is a listening event," he added.

Reynolds from Uber London highlighted the company’s journey since it launched in San Francisco in 2010, and explained how the brand has grown to have a presence in 50 countries, six continents and 200-plus cities. "Initially it was only available to the co-founders’ friends and family, but the concept soon spread and they realised that it wasn’t just a bit of fun, but a viable business idea," he said. 

To highlight Uber London’s commitment to live experiences, Reynolds pinpointed a number of activations the brand had executed in the past year, including its #KeepLondonMoving campaign, which was a response to the London Tube strike. "We created on-demand stunts where we gave consumers a 50% reduction when their fare was split with a friend," he explained.

Uber London also formed a partnership with Bacardi for a concept whereby members of the public could get free cocktails - dubbed Uberlibres - on a Friday afternoon in celebration of the Cuban revolution.

The brand also activated its international and annual Uber Ice Cream event in the capital during the peak summer season this year, in which branded ice cream vans were serving up cool treats to Londoners. "It’s important that we do these global events in a local way, so for example in Bangkok we delivered ice creams on tuk tuks," Reynolds said.  

Simove rounded off proceedings with an entertaining presentation on ways event professionals can unlock creativity. He pinpointed that the industry should twist existing ideas and concepts to create their own experiences, as well as go the extra mile with every little detail. "Humour and details can really bond you to people," he explained.

He highlighted the power of visuals and how they can help bring ideas to life: "By using film-like storyboards or visuals in a similar way a new building would be illustrated, you can bring to life concepts and test them on a small scale to prove it works."

Simove ended his presentation by saying that event professionals should look to other industries to see how their ideas can be translated within their own work. "Take an idea from another industry and apply it to your own business. A good way to be inspired is to go to trade shows. Having all that passion and expertise under one roof is important."

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