Insight: Issue 128 | Wed 22 March
Dishing out the dispatch
Looking for your industry goss fix? Lucky for you, edge-of-your-seat event based anecdotes are our thang. And this week, we got the goods.
So what’s the sitch week: ICCA UK & Ireland brings its Annual Conference to Glasgow; A numbers game; NEC’s Event Week Live 2023 hailed ‘most successful yet’; ExCeL London appoints new chief operating officer; EPS in Focus: and watch Industry Leaders Tackle Key Pain Points.
ICCA UK & Ireland brings its Annual Conference to Glasgow
Yass – the ICCA UK & Ireland is taking their annual conference G-town way!
Kicking off on the 29th of March at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC), the ‘Meet The Future’ themed event brings together industry leaders and associations for talks, interactive sessions and cross panel discussions. The three day conference’s main objective is to generate discussion around diversity, sustainability, talent and legacy.
ICCA UK and Ireland Chapter Chair, Suzanne Singleton, hails Glasgow as the prime spot for the event,
“Glasgow is a leading destination for association events, making it the perfect location for our annual conference,”
“We want to deliver an event this year that doesn’t just talk about sustainability but lives and breathe it through content, logistics, activities and measurement. The SEC is a global leader in sustainable events making it the perfect partner for the 2023 conference.”
A numbers game
In a recent article by Conference News, head of MIA (Meetings Industry Association) Kerrin MacPhie hits us up with the latest findings from its sector surveillance and the role it plays in directing future support from the government.
So what does the association do? Kerrin states that the MIA objective is to support their members while championing the sector to strengthen business and drive standards. However, in an ongoing business climate of risk and uncertainty – the association is doing a whole lot more.
Since MacPhie’s appointment as CEO of MIA in 2021, she has sought to keep a consistent dialogue with government bodies – namely the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Driving these discussions is the data collected by the associations regular insight surveys.
Jan 2023’s findings highlight the impact that industrial strikes, rising costs and recruitment challenges (amongst others) have had on the industry. We’ll pick out a few of the key findings:
– More than three quarters of event venues and suppliers are having to increase their prices to mitigate the 13% increase in energy costs in the last 6 months
– 94% of the participating organisations stated that they were affected by recent rail strikes – meaning for postponements and cancellations
– Nine in 10 (91%) organisations listed sustainability as a key part of its organisation’s business strategy
– Total estimated value of cancelled business due to rail strikes an est. £4,529,810
The info collected by the MIA’s report is an incredibly useful tool in understanding the sector’s needs and priorities, and is vital in supporting their discussions with the UK Gov and developing the association’s member benefits.
NEC’s Event Week Live 2023 hailed ‘most successful yet’
Big up the Brummies – the NEC just had its most successful Event Week Live yet.
Bringing together 28 event management students from Birmingham City University and Coventry University, the Birmingham venue played host to a week of talks, advice and guidance on the live events game.
Coinciding with National Careers Week as well as, you guessed it, Crufts, the NEC gave the students an insight into the back of house as well as trips to sister venues Resorts World Arena and Vox Conference Venue.
Michelle Baldwin, head of events at the venue (as well as spearheading the initiative all the way back in 2011) comments:
“With each year that we run Event Week Live, the more we have been able to enhance and adapt the content further. Designed to give an immersive week-long look into our industry, our aim is to inspire the next generation of talent, and what better way to do this than with one of our flagship and world-renowned events, Crufts.”
“Our vision for the programme is to make the Midlands the region of excellence for live events talent. It doesn’t just end after the week’s work experience – following the week, we then gift selected Elite students with a 12-month Group mentorship to help guide them in their career pathways.”
ExCeL London appoints new chief operating officer
A warm welcome to Roger Hooker – the new chief operating officer at the helm of ExCeL London!
Hooker has been in the events biz for over 25 years, and with leadership roles at Ascot Racecourse, the former Wembley Stadium Ltd and the Baku European Games under his belt, it’s safe to say the venue is in a safe pair of hands.
The new COO has most recently been part of the all-electric motorsport series Formula E, where as event delivery director he was responsible for the successful running of over 70 of the championship’s races. Vroom, vroom.
EPS in Focus: Watch Industry Leaders Tackle Key Pain Points
Taking to the main stage at the Access All Areas conference at this year’s Event Production Show, head honchos from Parklife Festival, Boomtown Fair, Artichoke and LIVE came together to discuss the challenges facing the industry in 2023 that need to be addressed.
We’ll pick out a few talking points:
Speaking on the widespread shortage of staff in the sector, Parklife Fest and Warehouse Project’s co-founder Sacha Lord comments,
“The first Parklife after the pandemic, with just three weeks to go, we nearly had to pull the event because we didn’t have enough security. We’ve always taken it from Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool but we were busing them in from all over the UK, and as far away as Cornwall.”
Artichoke CEO Helen Marriage agrees, and argues that attracting people back to working in the industry is top priority,
“Getting a new generation of people interested in training in our industry; production managers, riggers, lighting technicians – there’s a generation missing. The old guys are all going at the top and where are the new people coming in?”
LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) CEO Jon Collins urges the UK Gov to put VAT on tickets back to the pre-pandemic level of 5% – something he argues would greatly benefit local economies,
“You talk to agents and promoters about tour programming and event programming and with VAT at 5% they would do extra [regional] arena shows , they would do Aberdeen, they would do Leeds as well as Manchester and do an extra night in London.”
“The National Arenas Association worked out that for every 10,000 people that go to an arena show £1 million goes into the local economy. That’s about £100 per head spent in that local economy.”
Boomtown Fair head of operations Judy Bec talks about how the COVID-19 pandemic has seen changes in audience behaviour,
“Behaviour when they arrive is also changing, we’ve got a very different audience now. [At last year’s event] our audience was already two years older than they were when they bought their tickets. In many cases, they hadn’t had the experience of going to events for two years, so we were having to retrain people in how to behave.”
That’s your lot for this week guys and gals.
Join us next week for more tantalising industry tell-alls yeah?