Event Sustainability Live Thrives

The best way to start the first Event Sustainability Live (ESL) was to turn up and tune in to co-founder Adam Parry interviewed by Anna Abdelnoor, founder/CEO of show partner isla.

Succinctly, ‘Is there a better way?’ a question he asked 20 years ago, working on a festival-focused trade mag, is still the foundation of any Parry project.

“I’m open to criticism, and addressing it,” he laughs when Abdelnoor asks him about being in the spotlight with a show like this one. “But I’m also open to changing my opinion.”

Event Sustainability Live and Event Tech Live (ETL) have plenty in common of course, not least the way technology drives both. But the engagement organiser EIN has shown, with sponsors, suppliers, exhibitors and visitors, across the 10 years of Event Tech Live is a distinct benefit to start-up ESL.

Speakers at ‘A Greener Future: The carbon footprint of festivals and events, and what you can do about it’ – first session on ESL’s Main Stage – is a real Who’s Who of names and brands, Claire O’Neill, CEO at A Greener Festival, Sam Booth, director of sustainability at AEG Europe and Vikki Chapman, head of sustainability for Live Nation among them.

Powerful Thinking, is here too, Tim Benson, chair of the ‘think-do’ tank hosting Jenny Samuels, grid specialist at Festival Republic, Jules Laver from PlusZero and Robert Long, Zenobe Energy’s director of business development, in another Main Stage discussion, ‘What constitutes a sustainably powered event?’

Benson bucks the trend of chair trend of putting a single question out and getting each panellist to comment focusing instead on their specialisms in-depth, one by one. In the order above, that’s hydrogen, mains power, and battery – and what each can bring to the party/the event.

Tim Benson knows his green onions, his panel is relaxed and his questions are qualified, which serves to make feedback from each participant genuinely enlightening.

It’s hard to tell who knows what to begin with of course, but the capacity crowd – and that’s a big tell for a year one event – walks away from the session switched on to how green hydrogen’s prohibitive price will be competitive by 2025 via a government subsidy programme.

Having detailed the savings, Jenny Samuels highlights the journey to mains installation, pointing out how many greenfield sites, and venues, are already hooked up to the grid and Robert Long amplifies the event battery story – and how they can bring the best, efficient performance out of generators. A whole lot of learning potential there, and great delivery from all involved.

Event Sustainability Live is a learning experience for all concerned, top to bottom. It’s people coming together to explore the means to do event things more efficiently rather than meting out that, ‘You don’t want to be doing it like that’ mantra. And it’s back at ExCel London tomorrow, Thursday 16th November, with sessions including ‘Getting rid of problematic single-use plastic’, ‘The Better Stands Programme – Uniting & encouraging exhibitors along with their appointed contractors to move away from single-use disposable stands at events’ and ‘Vision:2025 – What is good when talking green?’