We speak to Steve Squires, the founder and managing director of Connektd - an online platform connecting companies with freelancers in the events industry.

Steve Squires Connektd

Connektd is a community platform for companies and freelancers working in events, exhibitions and brand experience.

As Create Insurance recently partnered with Connektd to offer insurance help and advice to freelancers in the event industry, we thought we’d ask the platform’s founder and managing director Steve Squires a few questions about Connektd and the events industry in general.

Tell us a little about yourself…

My name is Steve Squires and I founded Connektd in 2017. I have worked in the events industry for 25 years as a freelancer, in senior management roles in creative and event agencies, and also in corporate client roles. I have an in-depth understanding of the ecosystem that surrounds the event industry, and I understand what is needed to make it work better.

Why did you set up Connektd?

I set up Connektd to develop and formalise the relationship between companies and freelancers working in the events, exhibitions and brand experience sector.

The industry has always worked on the basis of personal relationships and connections in the real world and I wanted to replicate that community online with a global outlook.

How many members/companies are currently signed up?

We currently have a large number of freelance and company members in the UK and have recently expanded to include members in Hong Kong, Singapore, India, China, Dubai and Australia.

What are the main benefits freelancers can expect from joining your platform?

The benefits for freelancers in being a member of Connektd are; the opportunity to raise their profile and build stronger relationships with the agencies they work with, to give them more visibility to a global agency client base in order to find more work, and to take advantage of the valuable, very relevant information that is shared by our partners, such as Create Insurance.

What are the main benefits for event companies joining your platform?

Companies can build their own private community of freelancers unique to the profile of events and projects they deliver and build stronger, longer-term relationships with those in their community and beyond.

Connektd allows the company to own and administer its own freelancer data and therefore it is not owned by anyone individual within it. As a result, the relationships and the historical information held in the platform will allow for business continuity and growth of the talent pool.

Companies are able to post roles and manage applications through Connektd, enabling them to find the freelancers they need when they need them. They can use Connektd not only to manage those they know, but to find new freelancers who meet their requirements, and to find out more about those who want to work with them.

Also, in a post-Covid world where flying to far-flung places becomes less appealing or even viable, being able to find the best freelancers and skills in the markets where you need to deliver projects will be a huge advantage.

Why did you choose to partner with Create Insurance?

We have chosen partners that can offer unique insights, information and training materials specific to the needs of companies and freelancers in the industry. Insurance is an area that is critical to freelancers working in events, exhibitions and brand experience. Create Insurance is focussed on freelancers in the creative industries, so it was a perfect match.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the events industry?

I believe the biggest challenge facing the industry right now is to find a way to continue delivering events with the restrictions that are in place around social distancing. This is likely to result in a focus on the number of guests and how they are managed, and a huge increase in the involvement of virtual/ remote technologies in real-world events.

We are in uncertain times so companies and freelancers also need to learn fast the issues of risk management and the ability to protect themselves from the external challenges facing them.

And what do you think is the biggest opportunity?

The opportunities are equally uncertain as the challenges brought on with Covid-19 are affecting all aspects of society, economies, clients and the supply chain. That said the true benefactors will be those who are willing to change and adapt with new working practices and with a new business model.

How can Connektd help freelancers and small businesses during the coronavirus crisis?

Connektd gives freelancers the opportunity to build their client network, and companies to build a community of the best freelancers so they are ready for when the world gets back to work and the jobs start coming back.

What words of advice do you have for all freelancers currently struggling due to the pandemic?

Use the opportunity to keep in touch with your clients but equally important to build your profile in order to be visible to the widest client base, beyond the network you know. I believe the events industry will be much more remote and digitally focussed once this is over, and if you are able to learn new skills in that area, then you are likely to be more in demand.

Finally, what is the first thing you plan to do when the ‘lockdown’ is lifted?

Go to the pub for a pint of Guinness with my clients and freelancer friends!

Insurance for event freelancers

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