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Wow 2013, you’ve been awesome for eXpertLocal!

2013 truly has been an amazing year. From building eXpertLocal through to the end of the year, we’ve done some pretty amazing things. We think a recap and a few thank you hugs are due.

In no particular order, here are the things that have made 2013 really awesome!

  1. We started our soft launch phase at the beginning of the year and picked up everything from walking tours to wonderful wine experiences.
  2. After seeing the growing number of fantastic ideas coming from entrepreneurs who were trying to help Sydney creative and small business scene through pop up experiences, plus also the changing nature of small business in our fair city, we began reaching out to these groups for experiences.
  3. We launched free experiences to help promote the wonderful activities done by all kinds of activists and groups, including the Sydney Feminists.
  4. We began our commitment to changing the Sydney live music scene, especially for the rock and heavier bands, through the Sydney live music tours, and actively promoting band gigs via our monthly “what’s on” blogs.
  5. We launched to an amazingly packed house at Hustle and Flow in Redfern with guest speakers, graffiti artist Amuze, and local legend St Peters Brewery. You can see the fun in the photos!
  6. We launched our eXpertLocal meetup group and regular gatherings to help our hosts find out what they needed, and also meet face to face.
  7. Our founder Jervis was featured on Sky News, and we saw local press happening for our commitment to the artistic community plus some of our tours featured in the local papers for the Inner West and Eastern Suburbs (with more to come!). And we gained some love from the wellness community by being named an ethical Christmas choice in the Yoga Reach Christmas Gifts blog for 2013.
  8. Our marketing & content manager Rebekah spoke at Social Media Women, representing eXpertLocal and experienced based collaborative consumption alongside Lisa Fox from Open Shed.
  9. We met our amazing PR person Sharon, who also introduced us to the wonderful world of Creatives Uncovered.
  10. We’ve almost hosted 100 activities in the Sydney region, and are looking to do more of the same in 2014.

As we turn the page on 2013, we’ve also learnt a lot of things.

a)      Collaborative consumption is a beautiful idea, but it does require a lot of work. Encouraging 2 people to meet with a platform in the middle for the good of the people and the community needs more support than simply being there. We’ve learned from this, and hope that offering tailored help with writing descriptions, being more hands on with the experiences with helping our hosts find venues and participants, plus also providing marketing and social media advice will help with this process.

b)      Getting people to come to events requires a wee bit of prodding. Sydney is a funny town. 50% of people won’t turn up for a gig if it rains. We’re all a little too busy to remember everything so RSVPs need 3 or 4 (or maybe 5) reminders. And we can talk ourselves out of them…a lot, only to find once we go that it’s really quite wonderful. The hardest part of getting people to an event is not the event itself; it’s the conversation that goes on in a person’s head. That’s why we’ve established a meetup group to help our hosts meet and gain confidence, plus will be including regular events in 2014. Watch this space for details.

c)       People are pretty clever, but they are shy. We already have all kinds of tours on eXpertLocal that show culture, food and fun, and from the conversations we’ve been having with people now, we’ve got another bunch of ideas to come that will blow your socks off. The funny thing is, many of these truly awesome ideas came from people who were worried about whether it was “good enough”, or if “anyone would do this?” Experience has taught us if you’re feeling nervous about your tour, you’re onto a damn good idea. That’s why we offer assistance with shaping your idea, answering deeper questions you may have, and working with you to get rid of the nerves.


These are all great lessons to have learnt as they will make us stronger for the next year.

We’d like to extend sincere thanks to every single one of our hosts, past and present (and the future ones, too!) You are what creates a journey that is worthwhile.

We also wouldn’t be anywhere without our participants, who have come from across Sydney to explore other suburbs, battled rain to see music, jumped on board with the Freelance Jungle, walked many a trail through the fair city of Sydney, and are curious locals looking for discovery of bicycle trails, food and fun.

You guys rock.

McCallam, Unashamedly Creative, Chic Petite Events and Second Storey Productions, we’d also like to thank you for your continued service and assistance in the business of startup and being eXpertLocal.

AND we’d like to thank everyone for the support on social media, via email and around town. We look to have a great 2014! 

eXpertLocal wants to help entrepreneurs, adventurers and self starters

As members of the Sydney startup scene, the team at eXpertLocal know firsthand how hard it can be when you first start out.
And we also know from the events we attend, the time we spend on the internet and the sheer amount of new and interesting things popping up in this beautiful city of ours, that there is a lot of super brilliant ideas that simply aren’t gaining the coverage they should.
So we want to change that.

Not just a platform to book things on
As a platform designed for events and activities, eXpertLocal gives any of you a unique way of testing out your idea before making huge financial investments in your own website, storefront or venue outlay. You can test your idea with an audience and see if it can gain traction.
As we’ve mentioned previously, we think this is a problem worth solving.
We’re trying to change big gaps in window fronts in Oxford street as much as we are attempting to excite Sydney siders about what is new. We want to aid in the discovery of Artisan craftspeople and small business owners trying to differentiate what they offer with unique ideas. We want to support people doing their own events through to market holders wondering if they should take the leap to retail, to change makers and creatively minded people looking for new ways to reach their audience.
At eXpertLocal, we’ve seen quite a few people trying to do their own thing. And we’re also living this as well as a startup. And so, we’ve decided if we’re going to be able to help you, and ourselves, we need to do things a little differently.

More support for you, your dream and the Sydney scene
We’ve always offered ourselves as a booking platform calling ourselves an experience marketplace, but we have come to realise this is not enough. As a team, we’ve pulled together and racked our brain (and scribbled on an awful lot of butcher’s paper in the process!) to identify what the best value and best possible support eXpertLocal can offer.
So we’re taking the bull by the horns, and becoming an experience marketplace in as many senses as our small team can offer. This includes:

  • Personally workshopping and writing your experiences for you
  • Providing marketing support and content advice to help you promote your experience (and your idea)
  • Including PR in the mix- and promoting you along with us
  • Holding events on a monthly basis so you can not only find out what it’s like to be a host, but also meet other hosts (current and potential) in the process
  • Bringing together all the kinds of wonderful and interesting events we find so more people can discover them

One hell of an awesome freebie
If you look at it this way, our team will be personally helping you to discover if your idea works, helping you market and promote it, providing you coverage in specialist and mainstream media- and removing headaches like building your own site or only pushing it through channels you know. All of which is covered in the 15% we charge on successfully booked tickets. Meaning if things don’t work out, you’ve received a lot of support, assistance, coverage and the ability to test your idea without spending any money.
And if it does work, it’s a fee well worth it (and still a lot cheaper than what you would pay independently).
We understand the pain of starting a dream, working on a new idea and trying to reach an entire audience. Don’t go through the motions yourself, learn with us and get a leg up towards a successful journey to the finish line.
We’ve now got a dedicated PR person working with a dedicated marketing and customer relations person looking to give you a super leg up- so drop us a line via
Join our MeetUp group and join us to find out how to become a host.
Or book an experience workshop direct with Rebekah
What have you got to lose? Get serious about seeing if your idea works and get on today!


The trouble with collaborative consumption is…


Collaborative Consumption

Our intrepid Marketing Manager, Bek, was invited to speak at the August gathering of Social Media Women down at the amazing Chapel Bar at Bar 100 by the Rocks. You can read the first half of her run down on eXpertLocal at Social Media Women here.
In the second half of the discussion at Social Media Women, Bek tackled collaborative consumption and social media, as well as the current barriers to consumer adoption of collaborative consumption ideas.
Why are collaborative consumption and social media suited?
Both collaborative consumption and social media share that common underpinning of requiring community conversation to make them work. When someone produces content on the internet, whether it’s a blog, a fan page on Facebook or even tweets a joke, it needs to move beyond simply being content for contents sake and garner the interest, approval and interaction of other people. For it really to be social media, it needs to move from broadcast to inviting social interaction.
The same is true of collaborative consumption. You need to bring a minimum of two people together on a platform in order for it to work. One person has the idea; the other person needs to participate. You can’t have one without the other; otherwise it’s simply an idea with no execution.
That is part of the biggest challenge in either case because getting one person to act is hard enough, let alone two. Both social media and collaborative consumption will have an investment of time, labour and ideas that is met with silence. It’s working out how to turn that silence to conversation and then into action that is the key.
Social media and collaborative consumption face the same challenges
Social media without likes, shares, comments, follows, fans and so on isn’t really social media. However as anyone who’s ever started a blog or had an idea for a page would know you will spend a lot of time in the first instance putting content out onto the internet with little or no interaction. Or you’ll put a heap of stuff out there and find people respond to it weeks and months later.
Collaborative consumption is a beautiful theory. The idea that we’ll all come together to share an amazing time over a meal, through a drill, via a walk around the beach or through grabbing a lift with someone else is exquisite. It taps into that feeling that we love being a part of a community. Collaborative consumption relies on the idea that we are these wonderful caring, sharing creatures who want to help people, the planet and our community to connect and create a shared bond- if only someone was there to give us a little push in the right direction.
But the issue is more complex than that. We’re hard wired to think that because we align our values with something, because we share a piece of information or say we’re a part of something that it’s actually true. But the truth is just like pinning a photo of a handbag to your Pinterest board that you never intend to buy is nothing more than wishful thinking, saying you are keen on sharing with other people and then not taking the opportunity to move that statement into action means the theory of collaborative consumption remains, but the required usage simply isn’t there.
Humans are irrational, full of fear, a little bit crazy, egocentric, loving, loopy, and lazy and a whole lot of other things that don’t always lend themselves well to theoretical concepts.
Thankfully, if enough people help us get used to a concept or approve of our interaction with an idea, we will adopt it into our way of life if we truly do believe in it. However, this is a process that takes time, education, gentle prodding and a lot of coaxing.
Changing our attitudes is the only way either thing works
Talking about yourself on your blog, Twitter, Facebook or whatever chosen social media channel you use is not “social” media, its media creation. There’s a fine line between telling everyone everything all the time and educating people to your thoughts- and that line is firmly drawn at the difference between one sided broadcasting and being able to create connection. You want social media, you have to make room for participation.
With collaborative consumption, if you want people to collaborate and share, they need to feel in charge. Participants need to feel as though you have their back. And they need to be given the information they can use to meet other people’s objections, justify their own time and energy, and feel like they are doing something for themselves as part of that process. And that sense of doing it for themselves has to come from more than “aren’t you lovely being a part of this wonderful movement and helping the environment and community”.
Liking something doesn’t mean it works
We already know through studies about the green food and products movement that people support it in the language they use more than they do or are able with their wallet. Same with buying local or supporting Australian made things.
Things that appeal to us on a social responsibility level that we wear as badges of honour may not get the physical action they need to be practical or even sustainable. Like 6 out of 10 people saying they like the ABC, but TV ratings consistently demonstrating its more like 4 out of 10 that will tune in. Or people sharing something on social media because they believe in a cause and yet not taking the next step to sign their name to a petition to make the change or financially support the bodies that are on the ground doing the work.
In that respect, the love of the idea of collaborative consumption far outstrips usage of it on a practical level.
It’s all about perspective
People, Australians, are very cynical. They are worried about breakages and thefts in item, house or car sharing, axe murderers running tours or providing lifts. Being ripped off, bamboozled or put in a bad situation are the common objections people put up when you suggest the idea of collaborative consumption.
The ‘fear of the bad man’ is the same problem eBay or Gumtree faced. Actually, it’s the same problem any business should face because you don’t know if the bus driver will end up being an axe murder or the dude who makes your lunchtime sandwich is on the level. You don’t know if that tenant you get for your rental will pay on time or look after your place. You don’t know if that tour guide you’re following on holidays really knows what they are doing or is ripping you off.
Yet we trust anyway. We’ve been conditioned to trust a place because they have a uniform, a shop and a sign on the door. These are the things collaborative consumption lacks.
This lack of formalised business is consumer freedom
If anything, collaborative consumption removes the layers we don’t need. By dealing with a person and renting that drill or hiring that tour directly, you aren’t dealing with a company and therefore aren’t paying their rent, for their marketing team or their overheads. You aren’t getting the watered down committee version of an experience designed by 7 people instead of the one person who really does know what they are on about. And you aren’t paying a margin to shareholders, a balance sheet or for a projected annual profit. There aren’t several layers of businesses all trying to get their margin viewing the exercise from a perspective of pure profitability.
We’ve been conditioned to think dealing with a company that usually doesn’t give a damn about us is safer than dealing with one person who is genuinely interested in sharing, helping and being connected to another human being. These same companies that encourage us to buy things we don’t need, spend money through credit we don’t have and isolate ourselves from each other in competitions to outdo the neighbours, the guy at work or whoever we think we’re in competition with.
The trouble with collaborative consumption is…
The concept is really new and we aren’t sure how to deal with it properly. It asks us on some level to change the way we think about ownership, how we’re meant to relate to other human beings and give up a lot of things that have kept us quite comfortable for a while.
It asks us to trust people. To move away from governments and corporations as big bodies in the sky who must be accountable for everything they do (and generally aren’t), who represent our best interests (and generally don’t), and stop viewing other people as a potential threat, or an idiot, or a scammer or whatever.
Collaborative consumption doesn’t want to rank you by the things you own or the expensive things you do. And for a lot of us, this is a completely alien concept.
For collaborative consumption (or the sharing economy as it is otherwise known) to work, we need to have a little more faith in our fellow human beings. We need to move away from shooting down an idea after 5 minutes and try it out, see if it works for ourselves.
And sometimes I wonder if we’re brave enough to do that.
I certainly hope so.

eXpertLocal at Social Media Women

Social Media Women

Our Marketing Manager Bek was asked to speak at the August Social Media Women gathering.
While Open Shed’s amazing co-founder Lisa Fox took her years of experience with collaborative consumption and distilled the scene before launching into how Open Shed works for people, Bek focussed on the parallel between social media and collaborative consumption.
This is based on Bek’s notes (so may be a little more details than her talk), but you’ll get the idea!
This is the first half of the proceedings where Bek went through the finer points on eXpertLocal.
Why is there a space for eXpertLocal?
eXpertLocal has a space in the market through its ability to help individuals and businesses make sideline projects and efforts more effective. By bringing people together to share their version of a city or experience, and placing a platform behind it so people can easily find everything in one place, you create the ability for people to experiment with offering things they think may work without making a massive investment. Businesses and individuals can take their ideas for events, tours or experiences from the “will this work?” to practical trial stage via the platform.
In my previous job, I spent time flying in and out of different cities, often spending over night in places I didn’t know. After a while, it becomes a bit of a drag to sit in the hotel night after night, or to eat by yourself in a restaurant, or try and find things to do in a city going on the ads in the street press or local paper. There were so many times where I would have simply loved to go see a band or find a small bar that suited my mood. Or found something to eat that wasn’t at the hotel but wasn’t very pricey- or simply not eat alone. Or even take a walk in the entertainment district without looking or feeling like a tourist, or vulnerable and without someone to share it with.
That’s why something like eXpertLocal makes sense because I have been that person who was new, stuck for something to do, and tired of my own company in a different city.
eXpertLocal is not simply about tourism
Think about how big a city the size of Sydney is and how many things are on offer at any given time. Think about too, how nice it would be to catch a wave with someone who’s right into their surfing and who’ll show you the local side. Or to find that off the beaten track cafe that won’t get a write up in the paper that all the locals love.
eXpertLocal gives people the ability to try something different in terms of venue, experience or food without leaving the city or area you know, or paying top dollar for it. It gives you the chance to fall in love with your own city all over again.
And you get that added bonus of hearing the story behind why someone else goes back to that surf break, chooses that cafe or enjoys that experience.
Why does Sydney need eXpertLocal?
As I came here tonight from Bronte on the bus, I went past so many empty shops with for sale or for lease signs on Oxford street and in the city, it was heartbreaking. You see something like that and start wondering “what if that cafe could have offered a cooking class on Monday nights to offset the slow part of the week?” or “would things be different if someone ran a shopping tour?”
My partner has been an active musician in the Sydney live music scene since the mid 90′s. While he and the bands he plays in and on the bill with are of high quality, there is the sad fact people want the live music scene more in theory than they are willing to participate. But the barriers to taking a punt on a venue or a band are more about “how will I know I will have a good time?” or “How do I know the bands are any good or something I’d like?” – These are questions other music lovers could easily answer. They could use their knowledge of the local scene to inspire others to take that leap.
The other reason is even I, who regularly catches buses and admires the city in which I live, had no idea this very venue existed. That it was this beautiful. And seeing the bridge at night is something I often don’t seek out, yet it takes my breath away each time I see it. So I need someone to provide me an excuse to see that bridge more often!
Business needs eXpertLocal too
Being the same old business simply doesn’t cut it anymore with so much competition, online and off. But what if you could find something that people talked about that made you unique? What if instead of simply serving customers your wares you gave them the chance to find out how they were made or meet the staff or participate in some way?
It’s these moments, whether they are community or commercially based ventures that create something your customers will remember and walk away talking about.
Not only that but instead of investing a lot of effort behind self promotion, marketing, adding new features to your existing website or taking time out from other activities to take bookings on the phone or via email, eXpertLocal is already set up to book that event for you- plus promote it through our network of fans and followers. And we’re happy to give you marketing advice and assistance because the more successful your booking with us, the more likely you are to use eXpertLocal again.
eXpertLocal is personal recommendation in action
We’ve all got that friend who knows when all the sales are on, where to find the best Sunday roast at a pub, the best plays to see in a season or takes those photos of the most amazing views and moments- so why not use that knowledge to its best advantage? But it’s more than sharing these passions and that knowledge, too.
When we started the eXpertLocal journey, we knew that there were people that were doing it a little tougher than others for a whole variety of reasons. From international students struggling with a new culture to people living in social housing trying to figure out how they could stretch their dollars. To community groups offering services to people but without even a basic budget to market what they offered. And small businesses sitting precariously on a lot of outgoings, hoping that the trade would become more consist than a booked out Saturday morning and no traffic any other time.
These groups plus people wanting to test the waters for their new idea of walking tours, bar crawls, suburb discovery or simply to meet like minded people who shared the same interests without it being a high pressure situation all have a need for eXpertLocal.
We just need to find inspire and help them to succeed.

Rebekah’s talk continues in the next blog “The trouble with collaborative consumption is…”
To join Social Media Women, follow the official Social Media Women blog.
To find out more about eXpertLocal, or to workshop your idea for a tour with Bek, email


eXpertLocal: What are we trying to do?


The amount of creative artists, small business owners, soloists looking for inventive ways to fund their lifestyle, locals who want to preserve their lifestyle and students trying to make ends meet as they fall under the crush of Sydney’s high rent is phenomenal.
On the other side of the coin, there are people who love discovering new things in their city, want to be able to go out without it costing an arm and a leg, who have friends who aren’t always willing to be adventurous and try new things, who are looking to see live music based on recommendation, and want to genuinely love this city of ours.

So why is getting both sides of the fence so difficult?
We’ve heard a lot of nervous whispers from people about how collaborative consumption is a lovely theory but doesn’t work well in practice. We’ve also faced off with the high profile closures of a few other sites in the same arena that were gaining more traction. This plus our own insecurities and worries, it’s a wonder we’re still here. But we are. And the reason why is very, very simple.

This is a problem worth solving
Anyone who has walked down Oxford street recently will see what happens if we don’t support local businesses. Things fall away. Every single gap toothed window with a For Lease or For Sale sign was someone’s dream and livelihood- from the building owner to person with the idea for the shop and their staff- has lost out because for whatever reason, it wasn’t sustainable.
Dreamers like the eXpertLocal team wonder:
“What would have happened if there was a giant online marketplace where you could go to discover those shops?”
“What would happen if someone ran eating, drinking or shopping tours through Darlinghurst or Paddington?”
“What if each business had the opportunity to create different events and experiences that separated them from the competition?”
“What would happen if the audiences for those businesses felt like taking a risk on the area, safe in the knowledge they had a local’s knowledge?”
The truth of the matter is, whether you are talking about the shops or the dining on Oxford street, or you’re talking about the small bars that are popping up in Redfern, Surry Hills and Newtown, Sydney’s live music scene, bringing people to suburbs they don’t know or promoting community events that benefit locals, the situation is pretty much the same.
eXpertLocal is a big online marketplace designed to attract people who want to try something different. For free or paid, food or fun, it doesn’t really matter.

We work with you
eXpertLocal is a new business and we’re learning as we go along, too. As such, we will work with you to craft events and activities that work for you. If you need help, ask. It’s what we’re here for.
The basic premise behind eXpertLocal is Jervis was inspired to see the amazing cuisine around the world and wonder where that discovery comes from, how the more authentic travel experience can be fostered, and how we can learn a little about each other through experiencing what each of us holds dear.
Bek was attracted to that idea because she knew just how much things can change when you give a community something to attach to, believe in and interact with through her own project, My Redfern Rocks. She’s also got a vested interest in fostering a creative scene for Sydney that is lively and strong, considering she’s a writer, artist and music lover.
Scott is a bit of an entrepreneur, and believes eXpertlocal is an opportunity for those with a hidden talent and passion waiting to be explored. Being a living example with Art Crawl, he wants to give the next person an opportunity to live their dream and make money from it. Scott’s out consistently hustling and finding the next person, maybe it could be you.

We can’t do this without you
The success of eXpertLocal depends on YOU supporting us. How can you do that?

♦ Attend an experience

♦ Host an experience of your own
♦ Share the experiences we have with your friends
♦ Read, share and comment on our blog
♦ Join the conversation via Facebook and Twitter
♦ Suggest tours you’d like to see via
♦ Introduce us to people you think would make great hosts via
♦ Give us feedback so we know what works and what doesn’t via

Because at the end of the day, this is about you shaping the eXpertLocal you want to see. So anything you offer that aids in the process is OK by us!

Up close and personal with eXpertLocal

Why does eXpertLocal exist?

eXpertLocal wants to change the way tourism, small business and the creative scene are approached by putting the power back in the hands of the locals.

Take for example a Newtown cafe, they face steep competition. eXpertLocal gives them the opportunity to offer an extra layer to their business- whether that’s cooking classes, after hours poetry and coffee nights, or special dining events- and deliver them to an audience that is seeking a different take on their local area.

Or take the Sydney music scene. We know there are great bands out there and punters who want to see those bands. But bands don’t have money to self market and punters may not have friends who are willing to risk on an unknown band. So the two don’t often find each other because it’s a bit of a risk to take, spending your weekly entertainment budget only to find the gig you are seeing isn’t so great after all.

If we can provide a tour that brings them together, eXpertLocal can disrupt that cycle of venue closure, or at least encourage positive steps towards a brighter future.

What kind of people would use eXpertLocal?

The simple answer to that is someone who likes doing more than just the same old thing all the time.

eXpertLocal provides an experience you wouldn’t get from a standard tour operator because we encourage our guides to be original, promote what they are passionate about, and welcome community groups and free activities, too.

There is more focus on the Host, too. eXpertLocal gives customers the ability to research the Host based on feedback, their profile and establish contact (and a rapport) before booking. This presents a strong feeling of authenticity for the experiences offered and a high level of trust for the customer.

What problem does eXpertLocal solve?

It is difficult to find tailored and specialised activities unless you spend hours doing research on Google. eXpertLocal aims to give customer’s tools that cut down research time. For customers, it’s about moving beyond the boring, everyday and seeking authentic experiences.

It’s also a way to meet new people through like minded interest. Having to establish friendship groups when you move to a new city or even as you transition to a new stage of life can be quite daunting. So using the service to find people who care about the same sorts of creative pursuits, sports or interests can work wonders in bridging that gap and taking the pressure off finding new people to share time with.

Finally, eXpertLocal provides everyday people with the ability to earn money through your knowledge or passion. It turns those magic knowledge bases we all have into something tangible we can share and even make a little pocket money from.

And this is not a daydream either. Consider how many travel, food and fashion bloggers make money from their passions and ideas. If you really want to make a go of starting your own journey to self employment through tours and experiences, we’re more than happy to help!

Why did you start eXpertLocal?

After 12 years in the corporate world I was ready to do something that would actually bring me the most excitement. While watching the series “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations”, it always intrigued me how Tony always had hosts treating him to the local culture and cuisine.

The question that kept coming to mind was… “How did he find these people?”

They always took him to the best places to sample the authentic local cuisine. I realised if I wanted to uncover who actually made the best deconstructed lamington or where local surfers chose to go to in order to avoid the crowds, I wouldn’t have a clue.
So the theme became discovering exciting experiences with the right people. Discover things that make us feel alive, excited!

By showing people that getting out and being social, experiencing something through another person’s eyes in real life, is more fun than in front of a screen.

What does eXpertLocal need from people?

In order to carry out this mission, we need people to put their best foot forward and share what they love. Run a tour, think of a quirky event, promote your community activities, set up a tour group for your gig- try it out!

With both free and paid experiences, it really doesn’t hurt anything to give your imagination a little free reign and dream up something you’d love to share with another person.

Why collaborative consumption?

Collaborative consumption (or the sharing economy as it is also sometimes known) is a movement born out of growing concerns for the environment and the increasingly worrying financial situation brought on by the GFC.

The idea behind it is to share what we own with other people in the community, whether that is a drill, the housecleaning, a room of our house or in eXpertLocal‘s case, knowledge and experience.

Of course this is not a new concept. Borrowing things off friends, housemates sharing chores or kipping on someone else’s couch are nothing special. Nor is barter, getting someone else in to clean your gutters, bringing people together to prepare batch meals or having a mate show you around when you arrive in town.

But collaborative consumption is significantly different to these grass roots actions. Here’s why:

  1. It’s a shift in thinking away from simply just thinking about what we need at a particular time and either spending money on it or missing out. We know there are too many ‘things’ in the world we don’t use to the best advantage, and so growing number of people are finding special ways to reduce the impact of our wasteful ways through sharing.
  2. The Business Model is stronger. We grew up with second hand stores and hand me downs, pitching in at our various community groups and schools and so on, but with collaborative consumption, we’re taking those commercial elements and mixing it with charitable thinking and declaring it’s OK for the two to meet. We’ve come to understand that the best way to create something sustainable and have it for the long term is for it to be self funding as opposed to asking for donations. And it’s working.
  3. It’s seen as socially acceptable behaviour. Wearing the 2nd hand uniform at school was not a point of pride 20 years ago. Negative words and nicknames like “tightarse” were used to talk about anyone who didn’t want to splash their cash about. Now being a status orientated, conspicuous consumer is really, really uncool. We see evidence of the harm we’ve done to the planet with our greed. So making the most out of things, whether that’s through sharing, recycling, upcycling or reducing what we consume, is not only smarter, it’s cooler too.
  4. Community is more important than ever. We’ve realised looking after each other and having people in our lives (rather than things or money) is much more fulfilling. We know it helps our health and wellbeing overall. So collaborative consumption is another way of bringing people together.

eXpertLocal fits these criteria and more.

The main motivation behind eXpertLocal is to bring people together and remove the sense of alienation we feel by connecting us for all kinds of experiences.

We want to empower our members to create the kinds of activities they enjoy doing and make friends through sharing them with someone new. Of course we want to cover our labour costs and have money in the kitty to expand, but this isn’t the sole driver of what we do. We’re also still playing with where the revenue will come from because we’re keen to run free activities too.

eXpertLocal creates a vibe where any one of us can be an ‘expert’. If you speak several languages fluently, you can be a tour guide to show newcomers to Australia (whether they are tourist or International student) around the place. If you love food and fine dining, you can show other people your favourite places to grab a meal. If you’re a dojo that offers trials to new members or special events, you are more than welcome to promote your offerings on eXpertLocal. We’re all good or passionate about something, so why not share it?

While collaborative consumption might have been born out of problematic times where money was tight, the environment looked in trouble and jobs were on the line, the lessons it brings are true no matter what the circumstances. Making change, being sustainable, acting smarter and connecting are all wonderful things.

So why not join us?

To find out more about collaborative consumption in Australia, check out the A to Z of Australian Collaborative Consumption.

To find out more about eXpertLocal and what we offer, check out our latest experiences.

A to Z of Hosting Ideas

After spending a little time in a hammock in Hawaii and being up close and personal with a few too much cheese and cider, the team of eXpertLocal have come up with an A to Z of suggested tours you could host!

A is for art gallery tours. With a huge number of small, pop up and interesting art installations in Sydney, a locals guide to all things art is totally a must!

B is for beer tasting. Between the Red Oak Brewery, the Mac and several awesome craft beers on tap around the place, someone would make a big splash if they showed the best places to get your beer tasting on!

C is for community gardens. Bringing the locals together for food security, fun and just plain food, running a community garden tour or showing people how to create their own would be an awesome idea, don’t you think?

D is for driving. If you have a passion for motoring and motor cycles, what’s topping you from getting people together who feel the same way for some motoring enthusiast days of exploring Sydney and surrounds?

E is for education and learning. There are plenty of cool talks, drinks and generally inspiring talks throughout Sydney on a variety of topics. If you know the places to go to make your brain sparkle on a regular basis, why not ask others to join you?

F is for fishing. A great way to spend some time in contemplation and conversation, a simple fishing tour to your favourite spots could be a real hit with Sydney newcomers and lifers alike!

G is for gigs. We’re in a live music revival for sure, but sometimes it’s really hard to know which bands and venues are the better ones for the kind of music we like. So why not take the pot luck out of finding gigs in Sydney and become the resident Gig Pig for eXpertLocal?

H is for horse riding. From Centennial Park to the trails in our National Parks, if you love horses and want to share your favourite rides, why not try hosting a tour?

I is for In the Know. If you are a trendsetter who is always a head of the curve on restaurants, cafes, clubs and more, why not put that special knowledge to good use and make a little moolah on the side?

J is for jokes and comedy. Sharing the best places in Sydney to get your laugh on both professional and amateur level is sorely needed. Could you be the tour guide of 1000 smiles?

K is for kite flying. Can you imagine the simplicity and joy you could discover with kite flying tours in Sydney? Over the beaches? Cliffs? The parks? Awesome!

L is for lunch, dinner and all things in between. From the best sandwich to the best value degustation, if food is your thing we need you!

M is for movies and films. Be your own ‘David and Margaret’ gang and explore the latest cinema releases. Nothing could be cooler than checking out a film and hitting a nearby coffee shop to talk film with your 10 new friends, right?

N is for news and politics. Driving everyone nuts with your passionate political debates and news commentary on Facebook? Why not take it to a whole new audience and organise a newshounds night and talk about it with people who are as passionate as you are?

O is for opening up the local area you love to new people. If you are sick of myths about your suburb or want to show what it’s truly like to live in your suburb, why not show what it has to offer through your eyes? You can run a suburb or town tour- walking, cycling and more!

P is for personal training and exercise. If your deal is to run the sea walk from Bronte to Clovelly or take on Heartbreak Hill on a regular basis, imagine how much inspiration you could gain from finding friends who enjoy doing the same.

Q is for quick stops at small bars. A drink and a walk around Newtown, Darlinghurst or Redfern could be very cool, very quickly, don’t you think?

R is for riding your bicycle with other enthusiastic people who are looking to keep their wheels spinning around this beautiful city of ours and meeting others who feel the same.

S is for street art, skateboarding and slumming’ it. Bring back the counter culture and invent your very own Dogtown in Sydney by knowing the places to go for the best bowls and graffiti.

T is for train spotting. Wouldn’t it be cool to share that with someone else?

U is for underbelly arts and a variety of other cool festivals and amazing things on the local calendar. Having a gang to go to for Underbelly, Peats Ridge, Flickerfest and more throughout the year is much better than bending the will of disinterested friends, right?

V is for vino. Because knowing the cool places to go and taste it is a much underrated skill.

W is for water sports. From skiing to sailing, surfing to swimming, Sydney needs someone willing to spread their water wings and show the awesome places to go.

X is for the spot you’ll mark on local culture, no matter the tour you choose to run.

Y is for your guide to gay Sydney, Goth Sydney, girl’s Sydney and everything in between. Subculture tours are often the coolest.

Z is for zazzy fashion tours. Be your own fashionista and show the rest of us the way with your very own personal shopping tours.


So there you have our magic wish list. Care to add something?



Make new friends, meet interesting people and uncover the things that make a place special with eXpertLocal! Join in the fun of existing tours or host your own today.

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