Thursday 2 May 2024

Event Seat Filler - Jack’s Curated Business Idea - Jack Lookman #empoweringandinspiringgenerations #EmpowermentandInspiration #Irekabiti

 Hello! Greetings to one and all. This is Jack Lookman welcoming you to our series: 

Jack’s Curated Business Ideas  

Today's topic is 

Event Seat Fillers

Endeavor to take notes as you journey through the content. You should also capture any light bulb moments that it may present.

1. What's the idea? 

It’s basically about sending seat fillers to fill free spaces or seats at events. This could be physical events or digital events. 

2. Is it a new concept? 

It's probably not a new concept, but the application in some countries may be novel. In my opinion it has great monetization potential. The capital and running costs are not too great; the return on investment could be high and the business could be run on autopilot or almost autopilot.

3. The Inspiration

One of my friends and colleagues organized a great event. This was probably recorded live on social media by individuals and also by their own organization and might have got some TV coverage. Now, the event was held during office hours; about 80 to 90% of the seats were empty, food went to waste and the sight of the recording was embarrassing; hence it might not carry as much leverage as one would have hoped.

4. What Problem Are You Solving?


  • Poor corporate image; The example given above could easily be broadcast on social media, TV etc.  
  • The first impression by a viewer could be negative.
  • If the event is important there should have been a high turnout.
  • The business could also help massage egos of event planners.

5. How will the business work?

  • Freelance seat fillers shall be recruited; this could be remotely or physically
  • You shall put legalities in place as well as checks and balances
  • You shall do your marketing
  • You shall have an automated or semi-automated responsive website
  • You shall build your client-list
  • You should have a database of clients and freelance seed fillers
  • You should have your price plan; this shall depend on:
    • the notice given by the client 
    • the location
    • the event
    • the caliber of seat fillers required 
    • regular or new client
    • etc.
  • Your website shall have different payment gateways and options and shall be automated
  • The system shall alert your seat fillers with the relevant requirements and specifications
  • The seat fillers shall indicate their availability; and the clients shall be automatically notified
  • You might also have an app to complement your website
  • Clients may need to register on your app or website; this shall be for free or have the option for a premium membership
  • Clients shall be notified accordingly; expectations shall be managed and a digital deal is signed 

6. Will you require staff? 

You don't require full-time staff; your bank of freelancers are your staff.

7. Will you require an office?

  • You could use your home as your office
  • You could work remotely or you could have an office. It's up to you but to reduce cost you could start with your home as your office.  
  • I want you to be aware that the main assets of your business are yourself, your digital devices, your digital content, your website, automation, your reputation and trust. 
  • The business shall be more of an online business. 

8. What are the requirements for the business?

  • Business Registration
  • Bank of freelance seat fillers for different occasions.
  • Digital devices such as tablets, laptop, smart phone, computer, etc. 
  • A website and maybe an app
  • Digital training for your seat fillers
  • Checks and balances
  • Systems and structures
  • Booking system 
  • Price Plan 
  • Payment gateways, which clients can use for purposes of payment. You need to put it on autopilot to make it automated.
  • Bank account 
  • Pricing strategy 
  • Etc. 

9. What are the pros and cons of the business?

  • It could actually be deceptive
  • It could improve your corporate image
  • It creates job opportunities
  • It creates wealth
  • It creates networking opportunities
  • It avoids event embarrassment
  • It prevents wasted food and drink
  • It optimizes the use of the venue of the event
  • It adds value to the seat fillers and maybe to the event planners

10. Case Studies

Assuming you are having a book launch for example, and you invited 100 people but only 20 people showed up; meanwhile you are recording the event for purposes of publicity and posterity. 

Another case study:  Assume you are having an online business event and you invited 500 people, maybe that's the capacity but only 250 showed up.

Another example: Imagine you are having a wedding and you invited 300 people but  only about 90 showed up. You may wish to share the video with your grandchildren. 

And the list could go on. 

11. Monetization Plan

  • Sale of  service
  • Creating an email list
  • Marketing and re-marketing products and services to your email list
  • You could collaborate with event planners 
  • You could create and monetize your app 
  • You could create a course around the business model or  business idea
  • You may also create a sales funnel which shall have a lead magnet. 
  • In addition to your own product and service you may have other products and services which you can actually upsell or down sell to your website visitors
  • You could have event planning service as part of the sales funnel 
  • You could also explore other business pursuits within and outside your niche.

12. Who does this business model suit?

  • Event planners
  • Event professionals
  • Entrepreneurs
  • People who are social 
  • Individuals
  • Entrepreneurial Minds 
  • Business collaborators
  • Graduates 
  • Entrepreneurial academics
  • Etc


13. Money Matters 

Give some thoughts to the under-listed:

  • Price plans
  • Capital costs
  • Running cost
  • Monetization 
  • Automation 
  • Tools for the trade
  • Budget 
  • Discounts
  • Tax 
  • Refundable and non-refundable deposits, both by the seat fillers and the clients
  • Digital payment gateways
  • Profit and loss
  • Cash flow 
  • Business Investors
  • Insurance
  • Costing and Pricing
  • Etc.

14. How could I raise money for the business?

Generally, this is not a very high budget business; but if you need to raise money you could explore:

  • Crowdfunding
  • Angel investors
  • Family and friends
  • Loans
  • Collaborators 
  • Etc
  • You could also leverage the Profit Sharing Formula App  for measured, effective, and ethical profit and loss sharing 

15. Will this be a full hustle or side hustle? 

It's good practice to start the business as a side hustle; if the business thrives, you could consider making it a full hustle; and as you go along, you could get staff to run the business while you work on scaling the business.

16. Is there a need to collaborate? 

It all depends on you; collaborations come with pros and cons. 

  • You could leverage collaborators. 
  • You could combine resources and brainstorm together. 

  • On the other hand:
  • There could be conflict and disagreements
  • There could be resentment; especially if one party feels the other party is not putting in enough effort or resources
  • There could be play of politics. 
  • So,  choose the option which best suits you and which best works for you. 

17. Is this service for everyone? 

The answer is no. It's for the high-end market. 

  • Event planners
  • Politicians
  • Corporate events
  • Social events 
  • And personal events. 

18. What opportunities are presented?

  • Monetization opportunities
  • Networking opportunities
  • Upselling opportunities
  • Job creation opportunities
  • Wealth creation opportunities
  • Crime reduction
  • Collaboration opportunities
  • It also gives you the opportunity to create your mailing list 
  • Etc. 

19. Could this service be offered on credit?

Yes, it could be offered on credit. However, to reduce or avoid unnecessary complications, I suggest that it should be ‘pay before service.’

You should ensure that payments are securely made before the process is started. 

It's however your judgment call, if family, friends or trusted associates are involved. 

20. Legalities

  • Consider the under-listed:
    • Disclaimers and indemnification
    • Contracts and agreements:
      • Between business to business
      • business to seats fillers
      • business to individuals 
      • Etc.
    • Terms and conditions for all concerned parties

  • Refund and cancellation policy 
  • Insurance
  • Consider carrying out due diligence
  • Fraud prevention
  • Consider health and safety issues
  • Consider having renewal contracts with your Freelancers; this might be after X weeks, where X may be four, five, six or more.
  • The contract will be a rolling contract and this could be upgraded or downgraded as necessary 

21. Could an office and pictures actually add credibility to what you do?

The simple answer is yes; These will most likely help to build trust. It gives concerned parties more peace of mind. Incase situations go pear-shaped, they know where to go. They also get to know who they are dealing with.

22. How could this business be scaled?

  • If the business is successful, you could replicate it in other geographical locations
  • You could extend your reach to digital events
  • You could have a franchise
  • You could explore niched and other related business opportunities 
  • You could diversify
  • You could create digital or physical courses explaining the business model to interested parties 

23. Marketing Plan 

  • You could do this digitally. It is apparently more cost effective than traditional marketing platforms
  • You could create adverts on social media
  • You could leverage digital influencers
  • You could place adverts (ads) on Bing or Google 
  • You could leverage podcasts
  • You could leverage bloggers
  • You could monitor best performing ads and platforms and then  increase such budgets and multiply those efforts.
  • You need to monitor your return on investment as well as your return on ad spend
  • You could also leverage WhatsApp marketing 
  • You may decide to do the marketing yourself or outsource it to freelancers and professionals 

24. Quality Control

  • You need to have feedback mechanisms in place
  • Reviews could be made on your website:
    • for the seat fillers
    • for the ease of using your website
    • for time management of seat fillers
    • and experience of using your service
  • Feedback could be given by clients and also by seat fillers
  • You however need to mitigate against competitors or haters
    • they could give negative or fake feedback. 

25. How could you build a reputation?

  • You need to meet expectations which were created.
  • You need to deliver on your promises
  • The seat fillers need to be at the venues on time as practicable and as feasible. 
  • The seat fillers also need to be of good conduct
  • The seat fillers need to act professionally
  • Wherever there's conflict you need to manage this effectively, fairly and professionally
  • You need to maintain integrity

26. Branding And Business Matters

Here are some thoughts to consider:

  • The business plan 
  • The business name 
  • Business registration
  • Business legal entity
  • Business colours
  • Business logo
  • Marketing plan 
  • Monetization plan
  • Tax 
  • Etc. 

27. Are seat fillers only for physical events?

The simple answer is no. The concept could also be applied to digital events. They could sign into digital events and add value by making positive and constructive contributions. They shall also act professionally and be of very good conduct.

28. Logistics 

Here are some considerations: 

  • Carry out online video or in-person, interviews with prospective seat fillers
  • The contracts shall be renewable after X months or weeks as necessary. X shall be determined by you.
  • ID cards shall be issued as necessary
  • Adequate checks and balances shall be in place
  • You need to verify their identity
  • You could leverage social media platforms or the internet
  • You need to profile them accordingly
  • Bookings for events shall be in advance
  • Emergency bookings shall attract higher prices
  • Systems and structures shall be put in place to mitigate different eventualities. 
  • These shall be updated periodically or as necessary
  • Regular research and development shall be carried out to continually improve your value proposition
  • Remunerations to the seat fillers may be the same, or varied
  • You shall decide on the minimum period, to book in advance; for example clients might need to book at least two, three, or four days in advance 
  • You may request the dress code for the event or occasion so that your event seat fillers dress accordingly
  • You may request the calibre of seat fillers, for example:  professionals, students, artisans, entrepreneurs, etc.
  • You may have profiles for your seat fillers on file
  • Ditto for clients
  • You may also invest in information technology to make the process more effective 

29. Costing and Pricing 

Here are some considerations: 

  • Individual transportation to and from the event of seat fillers
  • Dressing or wardrobe allowance 
  • Training for grooming
  • You also need to consider your profit margin and overhead costs
  • You need to consider insurance cost
  • Cost of Information Technology 
  • You also need to consider Training & Development costs
    • these may be significantly reduced if they are digital 
  • You need to consider legalities
    • you could either put in legal frameworks yourself or outsource it to lawyers to do for you
  • You need to factor-in emergency client bookings:
    • consider multiplying your price by 1.5, 2 or 3 to accommodate these.


30. Resources required for the Business 

  • Freelancers (the event seat fillers)
  • Digital devices
  • Relevant software 
  • Website and app
  • Internet connection
  • Customer service (freelancers) 
  • Marketers (Freelancers) 
  • Business registration
  • Capital 
  • Cash flow
  • You need clients
  • A database both for your clients, your freelancers and  third parties
  • You shall also need someone to do administrative work; this could also be done by a freelancer or a virtual assistant

31. Events Seat Filler (freelancer) application

Under-listed are some considerations for the application form:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Income
  • Vehicles owned
  • You need to know whether they are single or married
  • You also need to know their interests, for example e.g.   sociable, extrovert, introvert, academic and niched interests, etc
  • How far they are able to travel for an event; e.g.  5, 10  or more kilometers? 
  • Are they interested in having a profit share with the company? 
  • What are your minimum acceptable remunerative rates?
    • hourly and daily
  • You could also introduce the concept of affiliate marketing. You could give them a commissions for introducing family and friends as clients and, or seat fillers
  • You need to ensure that the process is not abused. 
  • They shall not introduce friends who have passed through the system already (Only new applicants)
  • You need to have systems and structures in place
  • Terms and conditions shall apply
  • You need to get references
  • They also need to provide email address, phone number, and social media links. 

32. Client Application 

Some of the considerations are:

  • The name of the event
  • The type of event 
  • Client / business / individual name
  • Event date 
  • The event location 
  • The number of seat fillers required
  • You might include a list and tick boxes 
  • Also the clients need to provide references. You need that for legal reasons and to safeguard yourself and the seat fillers
  • You also need to have payment methods; it's usually preferable that they pay by debit card, and of course they have to pay at least certain number of hours or days before the event.
  • You also need to have the contact person's name and details. 
  • You may also ask if they’ve used your service before

33. What skills are required for this business? 

  • You need people management skills 
  • Customer services skills
  • Information Technology skills
  • Marketing skills
  • Training and development skills 
  • Research and development skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Entrepreneurial skills
  • Troubleshooting skills
  • Legal skills
  • Accounting skills 
  • Administrative skills 
  • Recruitment skills 
  • Etc 

34. Disclaimer for the business 

  • You need to protect yourself legally. This is in case of loss of life, injury, conflict, etc
  • You also need to indemnify yourself against such eventualities. 

35. Our Disclaimer

This content is an academic exercise. Though it presents opportunities, business and financial success are not  guaranteed. 

You need to carry out your due diligence and adjust the idea to suit your business needs. You need to seek adequate counsel, and endeavor to perfect the idea. 

Business success demands more than just an idea; 

This content is just an idea that requires perfection. 

36. What should be the business legal entity? 

  • Should it be a sole trader? 
  • Should it be a limited company?
  • Research the pros and cons of each of these and then register your business accordingly
  • It may be good practice to start as a sole trader and then graduate to become a limited liability company. Carry out your due diligence and contact a lawyer or suitable  professional as necessary.

37. Business name 

  • You need to give thought to this, and to leverage best practice in the naming of your of your business
  • The name should:
    • relate to what you do
    • it could be memorable
    • it could be concise
    • it could be relatable
    • it may, or may not be in English
    • It may be a word or more

  • Some suggestions for the website are:
  • (Yoruba)
  • (Yoruba) 

38. Are there opportunities for seat fillers to invest in the business?

This is very possible; and in a very cost-effective and ethical manner to the seat fillers and company. You could leverage  the Profit Sharing Formula App and share profits or loss as necessary. You could invest in the range of monetary investments on offer by the business. The profit or loss shall be shared as agreed. Terms and conditions shall apply. Investments in the business could be in cash or kind. 

39. Freelancer recruitment

  • You need to advertise as necessary:
    • this could be online or offline or both
  • You need to carry out the interview process via video or in-person 
  • You need to share the list of requirements as necessary 
  • You need to manage expectations
  • You need to follow up with references
  • You need to share terms and conditions 
  • Etc
  • You could carry out the process yourself or outsource it to third parties or professionals 
  • You may also use Jaaloo Puzzles as a means of streamlining the candidates 

40. Payment to Freelancers

  • This shall be made as soon as possible following positive feedback from the client; usually within one to two working days after the event. 
  • Payment shall not be unnecessarily delayed
  • Freelancers shall be responsible for paying their tax
  • Money is paid directly into the bank account registered on the system or via other suitable platforms like paypal, stripe, etc.

41. Who pays for transportation to the venue? 

  • It depends on your business strategy; you could foot the transport bill as necessary
  • You could recover the cost via a deposit which you would have collected during the registration of the Freelancers
  • You'll need to brainstorm on what works best for you 
  • It is however good practice to pay interested Freelancers as they go about the business, that way you'll minimize disappointment due to non-availability of transportation money
  • You could also work out ways and means of retrieving the cost
    • An additional option is that you could charge the client upfront for this and later reconcile accounts as necessary

42. Exit Strategy

Give some thought to the exit strategy; 

  • between yourself and Freelancers
  • between yourself and clients
  • between yourself and third parties. 
  • These are possible eventualities that need to be planned for. 

Like is said: ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’ 

  • You may wish to end the business or sell it 
  • There may be sickness, death or conflict
  • You need to have an exit strategy in place. 

43. Performance Appraisals 

  • There shall be appraisals for the client, event, venue, seat fillers, etc
  • You could have a basic scoring metric, for example: 
    • Red for poor 
    • Amber for average
    • Green for great
    • Blue for excellent
  • These metrics shall be filled by relevant parties 
  • You could hold on to money or deposits until this is filled. This helps with quality control. 

44. Health and Safety 

Below is some food for thought

  • You need to carry out due diligence
  • You need to ensure safety of Freelancers
  • You need to put legalities in place
  • You need to put disclaimers and indemnifications in place
  • You need to support the Freelancers
  • You need to manage risks effectively
  • You need to have an insurance policy in place 
  • You need to have a code of conduct
  • You need to have your terms and conditions
  • You need to have training and development for your staff or Freelancers 
  • You need to have checks on the events, the clients, and the venue
  • You need to have a compensation plan for the freelancers, as necessary

45. Could the business model be automated? 

  • Yes. Part of it could be automated. 
  • Registration of clients and Freelancers could be semi-automated
  • Booking of Freelancers could be semi-automated
  • Accepting of bookings by Freelancers could be semi-automated
  • Payments by clients could be semi-automated
  • Information on your value proposition could be on your website - semi-automated
  • Feedback could be semi-automated

  • There however needs to be human elements in some parts of the business. For example:
    • attendance of the Freelancers at physical and  digital events
    • transportation to venues
    • participation at events 
    • etc. 

46. Payment Matters

  • You need to research and use payment gateways that resonate with your clients and Freelancers
  • Some examples of the payment gateways are Stripe, PayPal,  Payoneer, Flutterwave, etc

  • For the payment options, clients could pay once, or   spread the payment
  • All payments shall reach you at least 3 to 4 days before the event

47. Risk management

  • The business model presents different risks; there could be be food poisoning via the event
  • There could be violence or physical assault
  • There could be accidents at the event 
  • There could be issues with the integrity of the event planner and their audience 
  • There could be insufficient monetary balance in the client account hence payment reversals
  • There could be litigation
  • Your seat fillers may be involved in misbehavior 
  • There may be travel accidents to or from the event 
  • There could be fraud issues with concerned parties
  • There could be technical problems with your systems
  • There could be cash flow problems
  • There could be impactful problems from third parties 
  • There could be technical problems with your Freelancers’ phones
  • Your Freelancers could have insufficient phone credits hence you might be unable to communicate with them
  • Etc.

48. Conclusion 

This business model could be novel in different countries; it relies heavily on technology and of course Human Resources. You could enjoy a monopoly for a while.  There are however no guarantees for financial success. It may take some time and effort for people to key into the business model.

Like they say, change is a very big hurdle to cross. With the right mindset, effective marketing, and willpower, this business model could be accomplished. And once it gains traction, the journey becomes easier and smoother. 

The capital outlay may be comparably low. You could raise business capital from the sources mentioned earlier.  Generally, in business there are no guarantees. You could however carry out due diligence to mitigate any challenges, as as well as to optimize business gains, and to cut cost. 

You might involve collaborators; these could include the seat  fillers. You could have a Profit Sharing Formula and leverage the Profit Sharing Formula App. 

Like they say, the beginning of the journey is sometimes the most difficult. As you get to know your way, the journey could be easier.

49. Value?

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This is Jack Lookman signing off. 

Ire o (I wish you blessings) 

Ire kabiti (I wish you loads of blessings) 

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