Keep on dancing - lessons in entrepreneurial grit from the events industry

“The biggest thing I thought I needed to worry about was the weather, pandemic was an alien word to me”

2020 was crazy for everyone, but if you were the owner of a festival, event space, bar or restaurant you probably saw your doors shut and trade dry up completely.

What do you do in that situation? Put your head in your hands, give up, and close down?

Or do you think on your feet, adapt, and power on through.

That’s what our latest guest, Roger ‘Dodge’ Woodall, did. Roger is the owner of Bournemouth 7’s, the UK’s biggest sport and music festival.

When the pandemic hit he pivoted his business and through, grit, determination, and entrepreneurial spirit came out the other side of 2020 stronger.

We can all learn a lot from Rogers experiences, whether you’re an online coach, personal trainer, or restaurant owner. The hurdles Roger faced in 2020 have been faced across all industries and in businesses of all sizes.

If you need advice on overcoming setbacks, staying positive in the face of adversity, and deciding when you need to pivot your offering then this show has your answers.

Enjoy.  

Roger Woodall Guest Profile

Roger has over 20 years experience in the events sector. He cut his teeth in the industry back in the 90s running student parties across the UK. Roger is now the founder of Bournemouth 7’s known as the sporting Glastonbury. The festival will be celebrating its 14th birthday this year.

When Roger isn’t in the field he’s hosting his own podcast The Eventful Entrepreneur and running his own events accelerator course The Events Crowd.

Listen to Roger's podcast over on the Eventfulentrepreneur.com.

Transcribed highlights from the show

Dan: Can you talk us through the emotions you felt when you had to cancel Bournemouth 7’s and what you did to keep positive and grow during 2020?

Roger: Here come June and July, Glastonbury went, Reading went, Boomtown went, Lost Village went. Every festival had to cancel and I thought ‘Oh my god, here we go. It looks like we’re going to have to cancel’.

I went from postponing to canceling. For me, you know, I’ve worked 4000 days on this, it's my baby, we’re a tight knit business and it’s my baby so, you know, it was hard for me to announce, it took me about 5 days to announce it to the UK public.

I also knew, I’ve been here before. We launched the festival in the last recession in 2008, I saw an amazing opportunity. I launched my sportswear brand in the last recession too because I saw a huge opportunity.  

And when the UK government, last year, announced all festivals were cancelled, I again, saw a huge opportunity. I’m an entrepreneur, this is the perfect time to build, I’m made for this.

And listen, we lost a lot of money, we still lost a lot of money, we had our overheads to pay for the whole year and those bills still need to be paid. So, it was tough, but I was excited, excited for the challenge. It’s allowed me to create 3 new businesses.