The Events Investment Group (EIG), an investment and strategic council created by former Reed Exhibitions chairman Mike Rusbridge and former Reed Exhibitions’ commercial director Nick Forster, has confirmed the names of the members taking its business forward.
Key attendees at the group’s formative meeting who have agreed to become members include Sandy Angus, chairman of Angus Montgomery; Håkan Gershagen, former Reed Exhibitions Europe director, Mack Brooks and Easyfairs board member; Hugh Keeble, founder of Imago Communications and chairman of data science consultancy Marionete; Denzil Rankine, executive chairman of digital, management and events consultancy AMR International; Marco Giberti, another Reed Exhibitions alumni-turned-angel investor, and founder of Vesuvio; Richard Mead, managing director of M&A specialist JEGI; and David Wood, former MD of sustainable building exhibition Ecobuild UK.
The group has also amended its official title from the previously reported Events Investment Club.
According to Rusbridge, the group has had “a tremendous response” through social media since announcing its formation last month, and is currently in the evaluation stage on three potential projects.
“We are being approached by many companies asking us what we think of their ideas, and all of them are telling us they like the idea of smart funding. They are really interested in the mentoring and support they can get by working alongside the entrepreneur with relevant experience, but with access to all the others,” he said.
“In addition, the idea that we are not a bank, not a corporate looking to take over, holds great appeal. Clearly, the industry sees a real need for such a group, and I think what has resonated most is the skill and expertise aligned with the potential for investment, i.e. they are clearly looking for smart money.”
Rusbridge is currently events industry board member at the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, chairman of Global Business Intelligence, a conference company that runs events for chief information and technology officers in both the UK and America.
He conceived the EIG with Forster in order to help entrepreneurs and fledgling businesses in the exhibition industry by providing funds, strategic advice and industry matchmaking for companies eager to fast-track the expansion of their businesses. Whether their aims are to be achieved through strategic guidance specific to trade or consumer events, technological expansion or overseas business development, in the EIG they will be able to seek assistance from the people who have made their names – and fortunes – doing precisely that.
“Perhaps they are looking for overseas expansion, perhaps they are looking to take their business to the next level here. Either way, in us they have a bunch of people who can provide unparalleled experience in that place, who can step in and say right: we’ll sit alongside you and actually help you do it.”