Case study: Event Workforce Group
In 2010, Geelong entrepreneurs and cousins, Bennet Merriman and Shannan Gove identified a major gap in Australia's A$19 billion temporary employment industry while undertaking a Bachelor of Commerce at Deakin University specialising in Sport Management.
Their market research revealed that Australia's major sporting and entertainment event holders were struggling to source dedicated workers, while students were struggling to find work experience opportunities. So the cousins developed a system to connect the two, and Event Workforce Group (EWG) – formerly known as Rosterfy – was born.
As their business evolved, they developed a digital workforce management platform that provided a fully integrated rostering, training and accreditation system to help manage their 20,000 strong database and growing portfolio of over 1000 events per year.
Fast forward to 2016 when EWG were selected for the Australian Government's Landing Pad initiative which enables IT start-ups to rapidly fine-tune their pitch, commercialise their offering, identify partners, customers and investors and access global markets.
Bennet took advantage of EWG's success by traveling to the US to set up business in San Francisco's RocketSpace – the same creative communal space where Uberand Spotify were born. Bennett acknowledged the assistance he received from the San Francisco Victorian Government Business Office played a crucial role helping him to "hit the ground running and make the most of the opportunity". And in just three months, Bennet managed to secure multi-year contracts with major event organisers, growing the business revenue forecast by 300 per cent on previous years.
EWG continue to take the sporting and major event world by storm securing major lucrative deals including delivering the largest ever volunteer workforce for Super Bowl that's been hailed as the best co-ordinated workforce program in Super Bowl history, the 2017 Alpine Skiing Cup in Aspen, the 2017 Rugby World Cup in Australia, and locking in their first US based employee, Tyler MacFarland– the Director of Business Development for the US today.
If EWG's past success is any indication of what lies ahead for this creative Geelong-born duo, then there's little doubt the cousins aspirations to become the "world's most comprehensive event workforce solution business" is well within their reach.