ESSA demands action over NEC Plug and Play
25-Mar-10by Annie Byrne
The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged the Birmingham NEC to have independently monitored trials to definitively prove the full cost of using the venue’s new ‘Plug and Play’ electrical system.ESSA director Chris Skeith and chairman Steve Barratt told Exhibition News the move has received “100 per cent backing from every member” at its annual general meeting yesterday."After three years of dialogue with the NEC, ESSA feels it has reached the end of the road for discussions and action is needed," Barratt told EN. "We have 20 questions that have gone unanswered by the NEC and we hope that this challenge will go some way to getting them answered." He added that the issuing of a two tier electrical tariff by the NEC last month has confused the market, with many organisers turning to their contractors to try and understand its benefits.ESSA members Melville, Showlite, Early Action Group, Stanco Exhibitions and Joe Manby will offer their time and expertise for free to monitor and establish trials on a number of shows at the venue. "The results of the trials would be made public and can provide clarity to everyone," said Barratt. "We welcome the opportunity of further trials of individual shows. ESSA’s support and contribution has been invaluable to us," MD of the NEC, Kathryn James, tells EN. “But we are continually investing in new technologies and I hope that, in the future, new ways of working such as this will be embraced by the industry as standard."