Q&A: Harris Meitanis, The Event Ecosystem

Meitanis shares how his new tech is fixing the "severely broken" talent booking industry.

With more than 20 years of experience working within the entertainment and event industries as a talent solicitor and manager, an agent (through his entertainment agency Apples & Pears Entertainment) and as an event producer (A.P.E Events), Harris Meitanis has identified firsthand the real need to improve how event professionals source talent for events. 

And so, The Event Ecosystem was born. Meitanis says the patented technology invented by him and his team is part of “an inevitable digital shift for the industry and a move towards a more transparent way of operating”.

“As an industry I think we’re very much set in our ways and a lot of event professionals and talent representatives have accepted a status quo,” he says. “However, talent procurement is severely broken, globally.”

Meitanis says with Google now at our fingertips, and easily compromised by SEO, talent can be sourced through a simple search. “The question is however, who are you actually sourcing through?” he says.

“With 90 per cent of representatives found online unauthorised and/or unregulated, this contributes to both friction and significant mark-ups. Especially regarding celebrity talent, the most important knowledge you can have is who actually represents the talent.”

In November 2018, Meitanis launched the Event Ecosystem’s first instalment, Associated Celebrity Talent Booking App (A.C.T.A), designed to place event professionals in direct contact with true representatives of celebrity talent.

Meitanis says the platform already has event professionals such as Caleb Bush, Megan Peters and Paul Kenny singing its praises. “After all, our platforms are professional tools built specifically for the event professional,” he says.

A.C.T.A’s features include a direct and transparent line of communication from client to talent; secure contract exchange facilitated by the platform; payment from client directly to talent with no money held in escrow by the platform; and a fixed 10 per cent platform fee, which is capped at $5000.

It also features an instant messaging and notification system between the client and talent, while the patented Content Management System stores all event information, travel logistics and documents in the one place.

The Event Ecosystem expands 

Fast forward three months and off the back of A.C.T.A’s early success, Meitanis and his team are now gearing up to launch their next platform, Global Event Talent (G.E.T) at The Event Ecosystem at AIME, taking place in Melbourne in February.

Built on A.C.T.A’s patented technology, G.E.T directly connects event professionals with all types of unrepresented (noncelebrity) entertainers such as speakers, cover bands, dancers, aerialists and magicians.

“G.E.T has been created for clients to gain direct access to talent who don’t have representation,” says Meitanis.

“The platform acts as a manager or agent, which is a service that comes absolutely free of charge to the talent. It does everything the A.C.T.A platform does, and just like A.C.T.A, G.E.T also handles everything from contracting to event documentation and invoicing for both parties.”

Digital shift

The positive response A.C.T.A has received since launch is proof that a shift towards digitisation is what the industry needs.

“Our industry is very time poor, so to hear event professionals say A.C.T.A saves them 80-90 per cent of their time during the proposal stage alone, was when I truly felt excited about what we’ve created for the industry,” says Meitanis.

“It’s revolutionary and we’re proud to be delivering it for our industry.”

The Event Ecosystem is set to launch further platforms in Q1 of 2020, so stay tuned.

This article originally appeared in the February issue of Spice Magazine. Subscribe here.

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