Celebrating Mainstream’s 25th Anniversary with AV1’s long-term client The Eventful Group

At the right time and in the right place, a freebie really works. Just ask our Managing Director Keith Wootton and founder of The Eventful Group Lisa Irving.

Twenty-six years ago, in 1995, with just $3,000 in the bank, Lisa had just started The Eventful Group out of a co-working space in Five Ways, Paddington. She was looking to launch a new conference about computerised maintenance management systems, primarily for industrial sectors like mining, manufacturing and process plants. Back then, Keith was working for a different AV company (his pre-AV1 stomping ground) which had just mailed out an offer in the hope of drumming up some fresh business. 

“It was like a dream,” says Lisa, who received the offer and knew she needed an AV company to pull off the conference. “I contacted Keith and it was just an instant connection of like minded people.” 

Keith worked on that first conference, called Mainstream, setting up AV while Lisa’s mother did the flowers. Seventy-six people attended that first Mainstream event.

In May 2021, Mainstream celebrated its 25th anniversary. This time the event was run fully virtual, for the first time.

“Twenty-five years later, we’ve only ever used Keith and AV1 on every single event,” says Lisa. 

“We’ve just got this very aligned way of working together. It’s just a lovely relationship, with a lot of understanding and a lot that’s happened in 25 years.”

There have been great adventures between AV1 and The Eventful Group over this time. We’ve travelled together to every corner of Australia to run multiple conferences each year, often heading overseas as well to the likes of Singapore, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.

“It’s been a really great relationship”, Keith says. “They’ve been loyal to us and we’ve equally worked with them during the ebbs and flows. They’re the producers, so they own their own events, it’s their risk, and we’ve helped them with the risk over the years.”

Lisa says AV1 provides a premium service compared to other options. 

“The technology, yes, is the same, but it’s the people and the delivery and the trust.

“The thing about AV1 is they value how much we truly are passionate about customer service. They are an extension of Eventful at our events, so they genuinely represent us, not AV1, at events, although they’re wearing the AV1 gear,” she says, adding the AV1 team is fully briefed on all speakers they will come into contact with. 

“We give them all this information that they actually absorb and will humanise the experience for our stakeholders.”

“That’s what we love about AV1: their warmth and the way they deal with us, our customers and our speakers. They’re an extension of us and we’re proud of that. That’s very important to us.”

“With a long term client like Lisa and the Eventful team, when they need you to jump, you’ll jump high for them,” says Keith. 

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