Paul MacDonald launches Unity53 with focus on digital communities

Seasoned event professional Paul MacDonald has launched Unity53, a consultancy striving to enhance the digital component in building the communities that the meetings and events industry serve.

Unity53 offers clients the tools and resources to build, support and engage their digital community.

“Event organisers and trade associations desperately need to do more than the one thing they are currently doing to serve that community and to be a truly sustainable business,” MacDonald told M&IT.

MacDonald explained that the current shake-up that the meetings and events industry is facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has forced the industry to reevaluate its future.

“If you had a blank piece of paper right now, you wouldn’t go and launch a two- or three-day annual exhibition. You would build a digital community where that community engages around buying, selling, learning and helping one another. And then, of course, they would meet virtually and in person.”

However, the secondary aim of Unity53 is to ensure that when the live interactions and events take place, they become more valuable than they were before, because of the enhanced digital community which would have been developed while face-to-face meetings weren’t an option.

“The pandemic has exposed the exhibition industry as being very one dimensional, if meeting in person is taken away from you, you don’t have any other connectivity with your community, and therefore it’s really important to help the community engage throughout the year in lots of different ways.”

The benefit to event organisers, publishers and trade associations, in the short-term, MacDonald added, is that it helps them to better serve their communities while generating new profit and revenue streams.

Macdonald added: “We shouldn’t just be trying to go back to normal, there’s an opportunity to create a better normal.”

Phase one of the Unity53 launch is underway and MacDonald is in discussion with a number of partners from the event, publishing and trade association sectors. For more information, visit the website.