ESSA’s drive for change and sector excellence sees boom in member numbers

Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) celebrated success at this year’s AGM reporting substantial growth in membership numbers which have significantly surpassed the previous pre-pandemic benchmark level.

The past 12 months has seen ESSA drive purposeful focus on sector change and excellence which is being achieved through innovation, collaboration and professionalism amongst event suppliers and service providers. In tandem with this, ESSA has also proactively challenged the sector to improve as a collective by investing in and building on the spirit of unity and cooperation amongst members and the broader industry.

ESSA’s leadership and representation on topics that mean most to members has resulted in a significant shift in how ESSA operates today, and the corresponding increase in memberships is testament to the value ESSA offers as the collective voice of the supply chain.

ESSA initiatives during the past 12 months include:

  • Significant investment in Public Affairs and government lobbying which includes launching a manifesto at the Houses of Parliament in partnership with the AEO and AEV with the underlying aim of demonstrating and driving the UK as the World’s Meeting Place.
  • Revising and improving ESSA Accredited – the most robust accreditation framework created specifically for the supplier and services sector
  • Working with venues regarding contractor access, security and parking, the provision of electrics, communication and transparency
  • Creating guidance notes and support for the Sustainability Accreditation
  • Launch of nationwide face-to-face sustainability training sessions
  • Expansion of health & safety and sustainability online training which is free to members
  • Development of Working Groups to encourage participation and maximum impact
  • Engagement of retained expertise in sustainability and D&I
  • Recruitment of a dedicated business development manager
  • Significant expansion of the ESSA Awards
  • Provision of new legal, HR, Tax and H&S support lines

One of the most significant bodies of work to have come out of the past 12 months is ‘ESSA Asks’. First started in 2016 and re-focussed post covid, it forms the backbone of how ESSA will support driving the sector and its members into a new, improved and more equitable future. As the sector continues to recover workforces, train people, invest and reorganise businesses on all manner of fronts, ESSA Asks will help prompt a catalyst for change and shape the future of events in a positive and impactful way.

ESSA director, Andrew Harrison, said: “We are at a significant point in the history of ESSA and our membership. We are leading and representing on more topics than ever before. We are holding the sector to account, when appropriate, more than ever before. ESSA is more focused with a clarity of vision for its members’ future and is set to continue the delivery of incredible outputs in the coming months and beyond to represent suppliers’ best interests.”

Concluding the AGM was the appointment of new ESSA board members which saw Alexandra Bailey, Managing Director, Creative8 Ltd, Martin Cairns, Managing Director, Beechwood Events and John Robson, Managing Director, Aztec Event Services, re-elected for a further term. In addition, there were three newly elected board members: Andrew Hickinbotham, Sales Director, Human Built, Oliver Smart, Managing Director, Jonas Event Technology and Kane Thomas, Commercial Director, Full Circle Events & Exhibitions Ltd.


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