Welcome to the tales from the Underground!

Get all the news, views and happening stuff about the life and times of eXpertLocal and our community.

What’s on in Sydney in December with eXpertLocal

2013 certainly has flown by, hasn’t it? You can really feel the sea calling out to say hi, the beaches singing their siren song, and of course the sounding of wine and food flowing as we hit the festive season.

Here are our picks for December. Let’s get social!


Music for your ears

Kylie Minogue’s “Confide in Me” gains a beautiful new outlook in the hands of Jep and Dep. You can take in this lovely experience and purchase the single for yourself at the Jep and Dep single launch Brighton Up Bar, December 5th.

After 8 years of playing the traps, Found at Sea say goodbye to their drummer, Tim. Check out this last look at the original Found at Sea line up with special guests The Model School and Suzy Connelly at FBi Social, December 7th.

When the likes of the Thieves, the Mountains and the Civilians are on the same bill for only $10, you know you don’t need to ask twice whether you’ve got a good excuse to party on a Thursday. Catch them at the Brighton Up Bar, December 12th.

Friday the 13th of December sees the amazing Hollow Bones strip paint off the walls with their jangled rock that is bound to impress. Take your dancing shoes and make sure you hair is set for gale force blowing away-ness. Head to Spectrum, thank us later.

Prog rock never sounded so good with a bill including Solkyri as headline, pirate, Koranic and Melbourne’s Kalacoma all set to rock the walls right off FBi Social. If you like your music brave, experimental, loud and technically awesome, you have to be there Saturday 14th.

Head to Chinese Laundry for the diggin’est deck the halls from DJ decks around on December 21st. The Christmas Garden Party kicks off at midday and includes all kinds of musical happiness. Get your beat on at Christmas while also raising money for the Bushfire Appeal. Nice one.


Make your brain sparkle

How does sampling lots of different food trucks, a pop up bar and live entertainment sound? Like a fun Friday? It’s happening people- check out Food Trucks United on Friday December 6th.

Check out what you can do at the Arthouse Hotel when you join Doctor Sketchy’s art class. You can choose from BYO art supplies right through to a cool arty setup and dinner.

End the year on equality in IT note when you get your Geek Girl on with the Geek Girl Panel at Atlassian on December 10th.

You can ponder if letter writing and memes really do make a difference at the Amnesty International Panel Debate on ‘A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words’ on December 10th.  

Want to make more out of your Christmas without the guilt associate with food waste? Check out this nifty workshop Pocket, Plate and Planet run by Parramatta City Council on December 13th.

Need a little deep thinking over dinner and some business to boot? Hub Sydney’s Deep Dinner sounds like it’s perfect for you. See you there every third Tuesday of the month.

Embrace your inner Spock and check out the latest in short film sci-fi goodness at the WD Project Sci-Fi Awards on December 19th.


Shopping for the good gifts

Soak in the indie art and design that is the Finders Keepers Market at Eveleigh on the eve of Friday 6th and all day Saturday 7th of December.

Take a joyride to the beautiful Avoca Beach and enjoy the Avoca Christmas Fair on December 8th.

Summer is here and now it’s time for the Hornsby Twilight Markets, a perfect place to find a gift for someone special!

Visit the foodie heaven that is a Simon Johnson Pop Up Shop all the way through til December 27th.

Mosey on over to the Entertainment Quarter for their EQ markets every Saturday.


Christmas Day, your way

Looking to party?

Why not join the Collaborative Christmas party?

Get your word nerd on with the Copywriter’s Yuletide Fest.

Celebrate co-working and end of year hubberation at Hub Sydney.

Let your Entrepreneurship shine at The Entrepreneur’s and Self Employed Christmas Party


If you are having a solo Christmas, there are several wonderful places you can go and make new friends.

They include:
Bondi’s Chapel by the Sea as a guest or volunteer

The Christmas Day Picnic for orphans, singles, workers and more.

The Wayside Chapel’s Christmas Day Street Party.


Plus you can also Cole, take a glorious walk around the Rocks Pubs, experience Chinatown at Night, discover beautiful Bronte, or play guitars by the sea.

For all these and more fun activities, head to www.expertlocal.com

November things to do by eXpertLocal

The last month of spring has arrived- you can almost smell the summer loading around the corner!

November is a mix of music, festivals, food of the mind and dangerous ideas. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Things to make you think

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas is on again at the Opera House with a series of scintillating and thought provoking events. Take on inequality, gender, politics, war and more in a tightly packed couple of days. Challenge your ideas and enjoy the thought provoking fun of FODI. November 2nd to 4th

Change Makers Festival takes off November 1st and runs til November 10th. Over 120 events nationally on all different topics, Sydney looks ripe and plump with all kinds of activities. You can enjoy everything from hacking the meaning of true happiness, perfect your social innovation pitch, find out how to crowdfund your social change ideas, be bold and artistic, and connect with other change makers.

Join in all the hands on fun of the Sydney Mini Makers Faire at the Powerhouse Museum. Check out stalls and get your maker on with this first ever event to showcase homegrown, handmade and personally produced items and products. Sunday 24th of November is the date- buy your tickets from the PHM website.

3 girls, one agenda- to help people with their blogging for business needs. Join SEO copywriter Kate Toon, social change and health marketer Brook McCarthy and eXpertLocal’s marketing chick Rebekah Lambert for a one day Blogging for Business event to help freelancers, soloists, startups and micro business owners shine on Thursday 28th November.


Get creative

Bored to death with teenie bopper tee shirts and a general lack of creativity in the tee shirt market are RKart. Bringing fashionable threads with an ethical making to people is what they are all about. Join them for the RKart launch party at the Gasoline Pony in Marrickville, Friday November 8th.

Kids, drawing and architecture combine at the ArchiKidz in the City- Draw My City workshop. Kids of all ages are invited to come along and dream up their vision of a liveable city and put pen to paper. A pay what you think it’s worth event, head to Martin Place on Saturday 9th November to participate.

Patonga Blues Across the Bay is held each year on the glorious Patonga Bay, Central Coast. Totally worth the trip in the car, on the train or on the ferry from Palm Beach, the Blues Across the Bay festival is a great family day out of music, picnicking and dancing in the sun. It’s BYO and worth it for the ferry trip to the site of the day’s festival alone. 16th November.

The art of spring in the yearly Prima Vera exhibition at the MCA is about to come to an end. Don’t miss the breath taking beauty of spring captured on canvas. It closes November 17th.

The eXpertLocal sponsored Creatives Uncovered is set to bring creative people of all kinds together for advice, mentoring and mingling. Come prepared to find inspiration, a new person to help you on your projects and to talk all things creative Wednesday 27th November.



Markets and Foodie fun

Pop bao into your mouth and don’t ever look back at Bao Town pop up in Sydney city, November 2nd.

Taste the wonder of all things organic at the Double Bay Organic Food Market on November 6th.

Support the people who need it the most when you hunt for a bargain at the stalls of food, recycled good and more at the Wesley Fair 2013 on Thursday 7th November.

Join the gang from sensationally tasty liqueur Mr Back Spirits for their opening night. Not just any old booze, this is Australian made, coffee liqueur that is hand crafted and paid for by Pozible crowdfunding (well, the first batch anyway). Check out this awesome handmade wonder that is Mr Black at the launch party Friday 8th November.  

The most wonderful day of music, stalls, food, happiness and Inner West wonderment is always there for the taking at the Newtown Festival on Sunday 10th November.

Discover a bar with a difference when you enjoy the pop up fun of the Gumtree Garden, a space created entirely from sourcing items off Gumtree. Gumtree Garden opens Thursday 14th of November and runs til November 16th at the Rocks.

Eat, drink and be merry about the fact you are helping vets and vet nurses provide quality care to animal friends to the homeless and disadvantaged via the fundraising Gala Dinner for Pets in the Park on Thursday November 14th.

Do you like music, great coffee, awesome artisan alcohol, yummy food, strolling around the markets and doing the creative thing in a different way? Take in a great view and raise the roof at the Quadrangle Rooftop market in Surry Hills on November 23rd.


Things you should book now for December so you don’t miss out:

The Collaborative Christmas party- for freelancers, soloists and micro business owners to enjoy a proper Christmas party.

Copywriters Yuletide Fest- for word nerds of all kinds to fest and make silly puns.


Plus we have plenty of eXpertLocal tours for you to choose from featuring music, food, bar crawls, art and more. Check out our range of eXpertLocal tours now.

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 support@expertlocal.com
Join our MeetUp group and join us to find out how to become a host.
Or book an experience workshop direct with Rebekah rebekah@expertlocal.com
What have you got to lose? Get serious about seeing if your idea works and get on www.expertlocal.com today!


What’s on in Sydney in October

Fetching Dogs Trivia - photo credit to Ruthless Photos http://www.ruthlessphotos.com

Fetching Dogs Trivia – photo credit to Ruthless Photos http://www.ruthlessphotos.com

The weather is glorious, the smiles are wide, and October is bringing us fun, frivolity and a seemingly endless parade of amazing things!
Let’s get into it, shall we?

Food Glorious Food
Would you like some bagels, beers and beats? Head on down to the Helm Bar October 5th.
Have a marvellous excuse to drink wine on the Monday of the long weekend and enjoy a love affair with Pinot at Pinotpalooza at Carriageworks on October 7th.
Talk about the future of food and discover some awesome foodies and food events in the process when Think Act Change presents ‘The Future of Food’ on October 8th.
And Good Food Month is on in Sydney and it is absolutely unreal. Choose form chef events, family friendly, classes and a whole lot more. It has to be the best way to taste your way around Sydney in spring.

Unmissable creativity
The genius of the Siren Theatre Company is distilled in the amazing tale of Penelope by Enda Walsh. Held at the Tapp Gallery in Darlinghurst, this work by director Kate Gaul gained rave reviews from both fans of theatre and the very hard to impress theatre making public. It’s in its last week. Go now before you miss out.
Climb inside the atmosphere of Sydney post rockers Marosi di Buriana as they draw you into a world made for the darkest cinema of the mind. This 4 piece outfit has an amazing following for the little curious kittens in online worlds such as Stereomood for their haunted dreamscapes, inky violet sounds with over 2000 fans in Europe and USA. Join them for a rare show at the Agincourt Hotel, Broadway, October 23rd.
Love music? Remember sneaking a few drinks in the 90′s? Relive the sound you grew up with when you see Screamfeeder, Smudge and the BREEDERS(!) at the Annandale Hotel! Yep- the bands that everyone had a crush on are back playing with The Majestic Horses and Sounds Like Sunset. We’ve got our gym boots on and ironed our flannies, have you?
Oh, and for creative bar happiness, head to Newtown and check out the Japanese themed Tokyo Sing Song. It’s designed to make you feel like your turning Japanese. Opens mid October on King st.
You can see photo exhibition Boys with Guns at Gallery 2010 and ponder why so much of young male play is tied up in one of the scariest tools in the world.
And if you are a maker, why not register to be in the first ever Sydney Mini Makers Faire in November? Applications close October 18th.

Get your clever clogs on
Need some events and happenings to make your brain sparkle?
Join the gang from the Sustainability Drinks on October 16th for a night of green conversation.
Be inspired by TedX Macquarie Uni on October 19th.
Celebrate, participate and feel great at Australia’s first Better Block kicks off another day of happiness at the Clovelly Better Block event on October 27th.
Lunch and Learn with the gang from Hub Sydney every Tuesday.
Or check out an entire month’s worth of learning, workshops and conversations about living green presented by Sydney Sustainable Markets.

Trick and Trivia
Put your best paw forward and your thinking cap on as Fetching Dogs puts together a night of trivia and fun with Halloween themed ‘Trick and Trivia’ on October 26th in Concord. Fetching Dogs is a not for profit that re-homes and fosters dogs and puppies. Get spooky for a great four paw cause when you book via the main Fetching Dogs site.

eXpertLocal presents:
Our fine range of activities is growing, including a coffee tasting any Wednesday in October with Caffe Migliore, shopping tours in Surry Hills, sampling Asian cuisine with Wee Lynn, touring the pubs in the Historic Rocks district 3 times a week, photographing the beauty of Circular Quay with Time Cole, and fresh air and sunshine as you sing and strum by the sea.
We also have a whole range of fitness, pub crawl and dining experiences waiting for you at eXpertLocal.

Upcoming eXpertLocal events to put in your diary
In November, we’re also running an info night for anyone wanting to find out how to be an eXpertLocal host. You can join the official group and RSVP via the eXpertLocal Meetup. Find out how you can make a little side cash over the summer with us!
And we’re sponsoring the amazing Creatives Uncovered event in November. You can meet other creative people for your projects and ideas in a very cool and friendly environment. We suggest you RSVP ASAP to avoid missing out on your spot.
Ah Spring, you sure are fun, aren’t you!


Come get your Meet Up On!

NSW State Library Collection

One thing we’ve found when talking to people about collaborative consumption and eXpertLocal is that being able to put a face to the name is super important. Being able to trust someone in your local neighbourhood to shore you around the highlights and things to do becomes that much easier if you have the chance to get to know someone.
That’s why we’re introducing a series of info nights and seminars to help you get to know other members of the eXpertLocal community.
The first one is a straight up information night at the White Horse Hotel, Surry Hills. Anyone who is interested in eXpertLocal, whether that’s someone who would like to host their own tours, help us host some of our tour ideas, or someone looking to go on a tour who hasn’t taken the plunge yet.
We’ll be giving you information about what eXpertLocal is, how you can use it to promote your own ideas, the opportunities available in terms of side income, what we are trying to do and so on. Any questions you may have will also be answered on the night.
So make sure you keep the night of Tuesday 24th September free and meet us for a drink and a chat.
You can also add yourself to the official eXpertLocal meetup group and stay in the loop regarding any other events that may be happening that interest you.
If you have any further questions, feel free to drop us a line via support@expertlocal.com – or we’ll see you on the night!

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 rebekah@expertlocal.com


What’s On- August edition

Brett Winterford

Brett Winterford

Looking for something super fun to do this August? The gang from eXpertLocal have you covered!

Inspiration and Creativity:

Looking for some design inspiration and a bunch of free and cheap talks? Look no further than Sydney Design 2013.

Check out the first ever Live Design Night held at Salt, Meats, Cheese in Alexandria on the 1st of August.

Spring into some inspiring ideas with Trampoline Sydney on August 3rd.

Maybe find a new place to co-work with the various open house times at Hub Sydney.

Social Media WomenCatch up with collaborative consumption and hear from eXpertLocal’s own marketing manager Rebekah Lambert at Social Media Women on August 13th.

Get your collaborative consumption on at the Green Villages ‘Share Sydney’ event, August 24th.


Treats for the ears:

Story telling song goodness

Ex-peregrine frontman Brett Winterford is known for his story telling lyrics. Enjoy the magic of a very tall man singing very delightful songs at Lizottes Dee Why on August 3rd or a secret show courtesy of Sofar Sounds on August 4th.

Sam Buckingham sings like a bird

Sam BuckinghamShe’s melted hearts, captured their tears and woven the songs a girl armed with a guitar who wanders the world should. Now she’s bringing her “I’m a Bird” tour all around the country. You can catch Sam Buckingham at the very intimate surrounds of warehouse Hibernian House. Book, else miss out for this 3rd of August show.

Jamtastic jamming festival in Marrickville

The Jamgrass Music Festival “On the Road” is at the Red Rattler in Marrickville on August 3rd. You should pack your dancing shoes, a funny grin and be prepared to hear 8 spunky little bands do their thing. Our pick is the Green Mohair Suits, but whoever you’re going to see, you’re bound to have a great time.

Comedy, original music and jamming

Through a Glass DarkLooking for a mix of music, a lot of joy, a few laughs and a bunch of different kinds of music? Hit the Town Hall hotel in Newtown for a night of music and mayhem as Through a Glass Darkly launches their album.  It’ll be a night to remember!

Get your dance on

Put on your blue suede shoes August 16th as retro dance party Twist and Shout pays tribute to Elvis. This cheap and very cheerful event happens once a month, usually at the Brighton Up Bar in Darlinghurst.

Musically, the hardest part of August may very well be who to see August 3rd!


Food and Drink Picks:

Whisky Live

Love your whisky? Then you need to hit Paddington 2nd and 3rd of August for the Whisky Live festival. Various venues for various little tipples, oh yeah!

Beer Baron

The Dove and Olive is doing some very wonderful things with beer, including a 4 course degustation based on beer matching August 9th and a Craft Beer Fight Club the first Wednesday of every month. Brewtastic!

Coffee @ Peace

peace love coffeeSutherland is hosting a lovely little community coffee festival in Peace Park, August 25th called “Coffee @ Peace” and sample coffee, food and entertainment with the whole family.


Plus we’ve got a bunch of exciting eXpertLocal activities including:

Aug 2nd taking a coastal walking tour

Aug 5th trying same sex swing dancing

Aug 6th Your own personal chef for Interactive Dining

Aug 7th tasting the wonder of Blue Ducks with the Bronte Diners Club

Aug 7th eating your way through Chinatown

Aug 8th uncovering the Redfern Small Bar Scene

Aug 10th kicking off our search for Sydney’s best watering hole in Newtown

Aug 14th continuing the search for the best iced coffee in Clovelly

Aug 17th searching for the best beer watering hole in Surry Hills

Aug 17th having some puppy time with the Doggy Park Playdate in Waverley

Aug 24th discovering new arty places and exhibitions with The Art Crawl

Aug 24th exploring the seaside village of Bronte

Aug 31st shopping til you drop at the Newtown Shop-a-thon


Is that enough for you? What else would you like to see at eXpertLocal?

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.

or use a traditional method