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Event Production Show returns at full scale

Live events industry conference and exhibition, the Event Production Show (EPS) is set to return to its usual venue and at full-scale on 8-9 March 2022 at ExCel London, having successfully run with substantial Covid-19 mitigations measures in place in May 2021.

Produced in partnership with Access All Areas (AAA), the EPS conference will feature some of the most senior decision makers in the industry, including London Marathon Events director Hugh Brasher, Ed Sheeran promoter Steve Tilley, Wimbledon Championships operations director Michele Dite and Notting Hill Carnival director Matthew Phillip.

Among the topics to be tackled at the conference will be the future of events, supply chain challenges, diversity, female safety at events, insurance, security, and two sessions focusing on sustainability that will be delivered in partnership with environmental action group Vision: 2025.

Unique in the UK events industry in combining a two-day conference with a dedicated live events industry exhibition, EPS will showcase cutting-edge event production services and products. EPS owner Mash Media said 115 major event supplier companies will exhibit their services and products at the event.

Among the new additions to EPS will be The Fanzone. Aimed at organisers of large scale sporting events; The FanZone will showcase activations, products and services that can be brought to life within fan zone areas at events. The area will also be used as a networking hub during EPS.

“We knew to be able to stand side-by-side with you, we had to deliver a live event”

The event, which is free to attend for industry professionals, will be the first full scale EPS since the pandemic struct. During the height of lockdown, EPS and AAA partnered to deliver a series of 10 webinars supporting and educating more than 5,000 of the event production community.

EPS director Duncan Siegle said that while the webinars proved popular and informative, there was always a determination to deliver a live event in whatever way possible under Covid-safe guidelines.

“We knew to be able to stand side-by-side with you, we had to deliver a live event,” he said. “We had seven date moves, two venue changes, a move from outside to indoors, but regardless we put on the show, in-person, for the industry.

“We’ve spent the last six months getting ready to deliver the best edition of the EPS yet. As events professionals from across the sector prepare for what is shaping up to be an events season like no other, EPS is a knowledge gathering and networking opportunity not to be missed.’’

Registration for the show is now open, free tickets are available here. There are a few stands available, and any companies wanting to participate with the event is encouraged to contact event manager Joanne Knowles at [email protected]

 


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Scotland unveils £65m aid for culture and events

The Scottish government has earmarked £65 million (€77.8m) in financial aid for culture and events, amid Covid-19 restrictions.

The events sector is set to receive £19.8m (€23.6m) while venues, along with cultural businesses, organisations and independent cinemas, will receive £31.5m (€37.6).

National performing companies that suffered losses over the Christmas period will obtain £2m (€2.3m) while museums, galleries and heritage trusts will secure £1.7m (€2m) in funding. Freelancers in impacted creative sectors will also be bolstered by a £10m (€11.9m).

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon originally announced that £20m would be offered in support for culture and events on 14 December, with the extra £27m in funding for culture and £17m for events being announced last week.

The additional £1m underspend from the existing events budget boosts the total funding package to £65m.

“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is once again causing disruption and uncertainty in the culture and events sector”

The financial aid comes after the Scottish government implemented further restrictions on large-scale events and public spaces from 26 December.

Indoor events where attendees are standing are limited to 100 people, seated events are limited to 200 and outdoor events will be limited to 500 people. The new rules will be reviewed on 11 January.

“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is once again causing disruption and uncertainty in the culture and events sector, who have already been hit so hard by its impact,” says culture secretary, Angus Robertson.

“We have been engaging with the sector about the impact of the Omicron variant and we are fully committed to supporting culture and events while they recover from the impact of the Covid – and we are aware of just how important they are to Scotland, and indeed the wider recovery from this pandemic.

“These additional funds will help protect the livelihoods of the people working in the sector – and allow us to give further support to freelancers, culture organisations, venues and our national performing companies.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the Scottish government has provided £175m to the culture, heritage and events sector.

 


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72% of Colombians to wait months before attending a concert

A recent survey carried out by communications agency BCW has found that almost three quarters of Colombians are planning on waiting months before returning to live events and other busy public spaces.

According to Colombian financial magazine Dinero, just over 72% of respondents said the fear of infection would put them off attending an event in the near future, with only 13.8% stating they would be happy to return to events within a matter of weeks.

The results come after large crowds of people gathered in some of Colombia’s cities for the first of three VAT-free days (días sin IVA) last month. The last of the VAT-free days, which allow the public to shop duty free across a range of products in a bid to restart the country’s economy, has been postponed in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions.

Events have been banned in COlombia since mid-March. It is estimated that more than 1.8 million workers have been affected by cancellations in the country.

“Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the events industry as it was the first sector to close down and the only one that the government has not taken into account when establishing public policy on reopening”

According to Satori Sochandamandou, president of the Colombian Association of Event Professionals (Asociación Colombiana de Profesionales en Eventos – Asocolwep), the sector generates COP 15 billion (€3.6m) a year, constituting 2.7% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the events industry as it was the first sector to close down and the only one that the government has not taken into account when establishing public policy on reopening,” Sochandamandou tells El Espectador.

“At the moment, we are not allowed to carry out any kind of social, cultural, private or public event at home or anywhere else.”

Asocolwep has drawn up a biosecurity protocol to help get events back up and running, based on a staggered reopening of venues, which would see those of 50-capacity or less opening up first and then starting to open bigger venues, with a gradual increase in capacity over the course of six months.

“We are sending a clear message,” says Sochandamandou. “We are in the preparatory stage, briefing all the suppliers on biosecurity issues in a responsible way, so that when things do reopen it can be done in accordance with the regulations, assuring not only the safety of our clients and guests, but also that of everyone who works day to day in this industry.”

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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David Walley creates events biz Star Live

David Walley-owned events businesses Mobile Promotions, Star Events, Bluepeg and Beautiful Minds have merged to become Star Live, a full-service live event and brand experience company.

All business were acquired by Walley, chief executive of corporate event organiser Mobile Promotions, in the last 18 months. The founders of the four businesses will form part of the Star Live senior management team.

Star Live offer a wide range of event services, including staging, crewing, creative sponsorship management, event production and brand activation.

UK-based stage and event structure supplier Star Events was the latest addition to the Walley portfolio, acquired last week.

“We have brought together four companies with a clear vision: to be the full-service live event and brand experience partner for all our clients”

Walley bought up Bluepeg, a brand partnership agency working predominantly with music festivals, in October 2018, along with staffing company Beautiful Minds.

“This is a logical and exciting step for us,” says Walley. “We have brought together four market-leading companies with a clear vision: to be the full-service live event and brand experience partner for all our clients.

“Our new brand identity reflects our heritage combined with a contemporary mindset, fully focussed on creating world-class experiences for our clients and their audiences.”

The new name and brand identity will be adopted by all businesses with immediate effect.

 


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Report: UK festivals use 380m litres of diesel a year

A recent report has revealed the public health impact of the UK festival and events industry, detailing the level of diesel emissions and carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) produced by events each year.

Environmental sustainability management company Hope Solutions and power management specialists ZAP Concepts worked together with event industry professionals to produce the report in the run up to this year’s air pollution-focused World Environment Day on 5 June.

“Our findings show event sites in green spaces have worse air quality than inner-city areas, indicating a huge hidden contributor to the growing public health epidemic from air pollution,” says Hope Solutions director Luke Howell.

“We are releasing this report to open up the conversation with the industry to effect positive and practical change without diminishing customer experience. For the organisers, every litre of diesel not used is saving money and contributing to the fight against climate change.”

The emissions from the 380m litres of diesels used to power events release 1.2m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, the unit used to express the impact of each greenhouse gas in relation to CO2. This is approximately the same level of emissions as the European island country of Malta releases per year.

The environmental impact of the diesel emissions is equivalent to adding 220,000 additional cars to the roads every day.

“The show must go on but it could go on in a far more sustainable manner, without risking people’s health and without risking the planet”

The report suggests that diesel consumption could be reduced by up to 40% on average at each event, with some being able to avoid diesel use altogether through renewables and hybrid battery technologies.

Using mains or grid power can also negate the need for generators but, states the report, is often overlooked and under utilised, especially in urban areas.

The use of more efficient generators would also help to reduce emissions. Monitoring shows that diesel generators are often running well under full capacity, with efficiency ratings of between 10 and 20%.

ZAP Concepts UK head of operations, Rob Scully, says that events could reduce consumption “without risking any loss of power, any blackouts or any detrimental effect on the quality of the events.”

Scully states that “Venue managers and event managers should take professional advice in order to properly direct their power contractor and ensure that available power is matched to actual demand and where possible introduce renewables and other alternatives.

“The show must go on but it could go on in a far more sustainable manner, without risking people’s health and without risking the planet.”

The report draws on data collected by A Greener Festival, Julie’s Bicycle and Powerful Thinking, as well as 20 million data points of electronic monitoring, analysed by ZAP. The full report is available to read online here.

 


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Goldsmith launches Nvisible: “an agency for agencies”

Veteran concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith has announced the launch of a new specialist events agency, Nvisible, in a bid to create an expert service to help agencies seeking live events success.

Goldsmith heads a team of specialists in his role as chairman at Nvisible, offering creative, design, production and project management services to agencies within the live events and experiential marketing industries.

Nvisible aims to be the “unseen partner” behind popular live experiences, lending an expert hand to event agencies in need of extra help. The agency specialises in live music, sport and entertainment events.

“I am confident Nvisible will be the unseen partner behind some of the most successful events in 2019 and beyond”

Mark Bustard helps lead the team as managing director, building on experience accrued as creative producer for U2. The team’s creative director is Grant Campbell, who has extensive experience in advertising and in the creation of live sport and entertainment experiences. Production director Jim Baggott, project director Luke Carr and technical director Tim Spears complete the executive team.

“Collectively and individually, this team has worked on myriad world-class and iconic live experiences,” says Goldsmith. “I’ve brought them together to create a ‘best in class’ service for agencies wanting to achieve success through live events.”

Goldsmith launches Nvisible with over 50 years of industry experience under his belt: “It feels like the perfect time for Nvisible; I am confident we’ll be the unseen partner behind some of the most successful events in 2019 and beyond.”

 


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Goldsmith backs venue terror training

British security firm Templewood has launched a training course, believed to be the first of its kind, to educate event staff on how to properly respond to a terrorist attack.

Designed for first-response staff working in venues that cater for large public gatherings, such as concert venues, stadia, shopping centres, office complexes and airports, the Emergency Response Officer Level 3 qualification was developed in response to “terrorist attacks in major cities, such as those in Brussels, London, Munich, Nairobi, Nice, Orlando and Paris”, says Templewood, encompasses all classes of emergency, including facility failures and building collapse.

The qualification is backed by veteran concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith, who comments: “Having promoted and managed some of the world’s most popular music events, I know how important good security can be to any event of mass attendance. Any training that can enhance the capabilities of both security and event staff alike can only be a positive.”

“It is no longer reasonable to assume that all emergencies can be prevented or handled by security services and police”

Templewood’s Dick Andrews adds: “Any mass congregation puts people at risk, and it is no longer reasonable to assume that all emergencies can be prevented or handled by security services and police. This accredited qualification will be invaluable for first-response staff, enabling them to assist the emergency services and provide lifesaving assistance in the vital 60 minutes immediately after an incident.”

Interested venues should email [email protected] or call +44 (0)333 939 9959 for more information.


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Huge increase in disabled concertgoers in 2015

The number of disabled and deaf fans attending concerts and festivals in the UK rose 26% in 2015.

Compiling sales from British festivals and venues signed up to its Charter of Best Practice, Attitude is Everything found that almost 144,000 disabled tickets were sold last year, compared to 114,000 in 2014.

The charity, which advocates for disabled music fans, estimates the direct economic impact of those sales (including spending on food and drink, and spending by personal assistants) to be £7.5 million.

Ground Control’s Jon Draper, an Attitude is Everything patron, says he saw dramatic increases in disabled ticket sales at Festival №6 (up 107%), the Parklife weekender (up 55%) and Kendal Calling (up 30%) in 2015.

“Ground Control is extremely proud of our long association with Attitude is Everything and the fact that Parklife, Kendal Calling and Festival №6 have all reached Silver Status on the Charter of Best Practice,” he says. “Suzanne [Bull, CEO] and her team take a very pragmatic approach to their work, enabling us to tailor access facilities around each individual event and make improvements and innovations each year.

89 Charter venues and festivals increased their combined disabled audience by 19,000 (13%) in 2015, generating an extra £1.5m

“The success of this approach is born out by today’s figures, which also highlight the growing demand for deaf and disabled fans to attend live music events.”

As a whole, the 89 venues and festivals signed up to the Charter of Best Practice increased their combined disabled audience by 19,000 (13%) in 2015, generating an extra £1.5m.

Bull adds: “The Charter of Best Practice is at the core of Attitude is Everything’s activities. Each year we accredit a wide range of venues and festivals, from the biggest in the country to the smallest, and see them make a commitment to improving their access provision. Meanwhile, existing sign-ups improve what they do and move up to silver or gold status.

“As well as encouraging innovation and best practice, this practical and straightforward process sends out an important message of inclusivity to deaf and disabled fans across the UK, who are attending live music events in ever increasing numbers. With 14 new sign-ups in 2015, ticket sales across 103 of our Charter venues and festivals contributed more than £7.5m to the UK’s music economy. Which, for those live businesses not partnering with us, begs one simple question: what are you waiting for?”

 


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Mojo Barriers’ home treble

Mojo Barriers has reported one of its busiest periods ever on its home soil, with three consecutive weekends of major projects in the Netherlands from April to early May.

 

The first was King’s Day (Koningsdag), the Dutch national holiday in honour of the reigning king (currently William-Alexander). Mojo Barriers crowd-safety products were deployed at 16 events in seven cities – Zwolle, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Alkmaar, Groningen and ‘s-Hertogenbosch – with the most popular being capital Amsterdam, where 750,000 visitors joined 822,000+ for the world’s largest street party.

In total Mojo Barriers deployed 1,800m of barriers, 91 Line Up gates, 780 Bar Barriers and eight Gatekeeper turnstiles.

The following weekend was Liberation Day, celebrating the Netherlands’ liberation from Germany in World War II. Mojo Barriers supplied Liberation Day festivals with 1,000 barriers, 26 Gatekeepers and 90 Line Up gates across seven cities: Harlem, Zwolle, Groningen, Wageningen, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague.

Finally, in anticipation of football club Ajax’s expected victory in the Eredivisie, Mojo Barriers loaded in loaded 900 barriers and specials for the 8 May celebrations. However, in their final match PSV Eindhoven leapfrogged Ajax to retain the title and a 16-person Mojo team were dispatched to move the barriers to a new location for Eindhoven’s victory celebrations.

“This was a logistically challenging run of projects,” says Mojo Barriers director Alex Borger. “Beginning with King’s Day, covering multiple urban event sites, we were always working to tight deadlines to minimise disruption to normal city life. We have worked with the King’s Day organisers for many years, and that experience is valuable for everyone involved. But this year our whole team, led by Erwin Sprengers, Stanley Jilesen, account managers, Rik Beulink and Gijs de Snoo, deserve huge credit, as we went straight into the Liberation Day and then onto PSV’s football championship celebrations.

“All of this coincides with supplying barriers to AC/DC and Bruce Springsteen’s European tours, leading into an unbelievably busy summer of festivals.”