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against the grainas part of EN's ongoing efforts to recognise pioneering spirit across the industry and the changing nature of events, we look at five inspiring organisers finding success by doing things differently FEATURE34 MULTIPLE ROADSHOWS EvEnt: REnEwablEs RoadshowFoundER and Md: dan CaEsaRCoMPanY: REnEwablEs Roadshow ltdlaunChEd: sEPtEMbER 2011Renewables Roadshow founder Dan Caesar entered magazine publishing 12 years ago before switching to the national Gas Safety Watchdog. He claimed the unusual move gave him a unique opportunity to launch a national exhibition and awards. "With a blank canvas it was great fun to be able to create successful shows for four or five years before the inevitable interest and ultimately interference from others," Caesar said. His latest venture is the Renewables Roadshow, a series of six exhibitions launched in 2011 that take the latest green technologies to construction professionals. Caesar said each event has about 100 exhibitor stands, making the shows small but very focused. Exhibitors are typically distributors or manufacturers of emergent green technologies such as solar panels and heat pumps. "We do all six exhibitions in quick succession, travelling from Glasgow to Exeter in the process, so we only have the energy to run the roadshow once a year," he explained. As a result of this approach, the show is within two hours of 95 per cent of the UK population. Against the logistical complexity of running six shows in quick succession, Renewables opted to set several ground rules: The shows were sold and marketed simultaneously; exhibitors had to sign-up to all six events; and content was specified by the organiser into five key themes for quality control. The show exceeded its first-year targets with 4,679 high-quality visitors (up from an estimated 3,000), "The other thing you get is trade shows camouflaged as conferences, but often it's paid-for editorial and again, focused on what's happening today. "Our event comes from a global community of people passionate about transformation and reform of the global education system. It's not just education plus technology, but utilising technology to transform education."One of the potential challenges of running such a disruptive programme is attracting commercial sponsors. Brown-Martin said the key is finding brands comfortable in their own skin who want to back a strategic transformation but who appreciate they "can't buy the speaking slot". Learning Without Frontiers has excelled on this front, attracting the likes of Apple, Pearson, Nintendo, GSMA, Lego and the BBC as sponsors.Its speakers programme is also enviable, ranging from celebrity philosopher Noam Chomsky and UK Astronomer Royal Martin Rees to Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren.Brown-Martin doesn't have an exhibition background but like many in our industry he is an entrepreneur and pioneer, launching and selling multimedia technology companies in his 20s before working in the entertainment and music industries. As well as running Learning Without Frontiers, he is an activist for radical change in education using technology and social media and is a regular speaker on the subject globally. "We're more akin to a theatrical production or concert," Brown-Martin said of Learning Without Frontiers. All sessions for example, are filmed in high-definition and uploaded online immediately, attracting thousands of online viewers and ensuring the event's dialogue continues long after the three-day physical conference and networking event is over. Learning Without Frontiers was acquired by CloserStill Media last July and continues to look for ways to push the envelope. For Brown-Martin, it's imperative that it retains its disruptive edge. "What we have is authenticity and a profile of leading from the front," he added. "We have a unique personality. I often compare our events programme to what DJs do - we're taking people on a journey."A fLAIR fOR EDUcATIOnEvEnt: lEaRning without FRontiERsFoundER and Md: gRahaM bRown-MaRtin CoMPanY: ClosERstill MEdialaunChEd: 2004There's only one way to describe Graham Brown-Martin: He's not like any other exhibition organiser you'll ever meet. But his unique blend of entertainment nous, activist tendencies, passion for improving education and knack for understanding technology's social influence has earnt him success nonetheless. Brown-Martin is the founder of Learning Without Frontiers, a high-level conference that focuses on transformational change of global education systems through technology and new ways of thinking. The event attracts up to 1,000 delegates annually, each paying about £1,000 to attend, and prides itself on driving the agenda. Brown-Martin said the conference emerged from an online community committed to structural change in education. "Traditional trade shows are reactive - they are reporting on what is happening and the agenda that has already been set," he explained. "They're also about bringing buyers and sellers together and the ones that do that well are successful. There are far too many shows in each sector, many of which just muddy the waters. I would be looking to foster a small business entrepreneurialism