10 years in the making

Supplier and ContractorsEvents and ShowsOrganisersVenues+-
Dog-Badge-NEW-resized.jpg

As the association has gone from strength to strength over the last 10 years, Andrew Harrison, ESSA director talks achievements, expertise and knowledge.

 

It’s tempting, at the start of our 10th anniversary year, to look back and regale you with a big long list of our achievements since 2007. It would be a long list, certainly, but it wouldn’t convey what we’ve really achieved in our first decade.


More than anything, I want our 10th anniversary to be the year we acknowledge how far we’ve come since the merger of BECA and AEC, and to use the anniversary as an opportunity to direct our collective gaze forwards, to how we approach the next decade and what it will bring to our industry.


2007 was the year that it became apparent that the world was on the brink of a financial and banking crisis, and it didn’t seem like the most auspicious moment to start a new trade association in the UK. The brakes were being put on growth, lending dried up and many businesses up and down the country found they had hit the buffers.
We were very fortunate in the commitment we received from former AEC and BECA staff and board members in that crucial first year, and it’s thanks to them that we found our feet so quickly. By the end of the first year we had managed to make the front page of Exhibition News, and we had hammered out our key objectives and ambitions for the association and its 200+ members.


Our primary aim was, and still is, to achieve parity of voice, a kitemark for the industry and to support our members’ growth and the growth of the industry. The last decade has seen us gradually getting a seat at more and more tables, incrementally raising our influence in the places where it matters. Whether it’s through our international links with associations like IFES, proactively pursuing representation at legislative and regulatory levels, or our members’ membership of groups, panels and forums, we’ve climbed a mountain since 2007, but there is still plenty of climbing to do.


The benefits from our gains in representation are difficult to quantify exactly, but we’re increasingly being asked for our view, instead of clamouring to be heard, by government, quangos, the media, other associations and allied industries.


The Use an ESSA Member (UAEM) campaign has also gone from strength to strength over the years, and is now finding its way independently into the minds of exhibitors and event organisers alike. Of course, we’ve campaigned hard for this and it now has the momentum to go beyond our immediate target audience.


From the outset, the association wanted to be a kitemark for events and exhibitions, and building this perception in the minds of all of our members’ clients has been achieved through support for organisations like FaceTime and a constant reiteration of the safeguards and guarantees that come with using an ESSA member. Again, it’s a mountain to climb and we’re not at the top yet, but looking back at the past decade, we have come so far that it’s hard not to indulge in some self-congratulation.


As we start our 10th year, I’m mindful of the challenges ahead as much as I am looking forward to what we have planned for the future. Our campaigns and initiatives need to be strengthened and extended and we’ll be taking a close look at the changing needs of our members to provide them with the tools and member benefits that are relevant and useful to them.


We’ve started investing in e-learning resources for our members and we’re focusing on introducing a new generation of event and exhibition professionals into the industry through support for apprenticeship schemes, agreements with colleges and universities and virtual learning opportunities.


With 11 AGMs, nine golf days, nearly 100 working group meetings, nine annual conferences and many roadshows under our belt, the last decade has seen us go from a standing start to a mature, well-established and respected trade association with the ear of the industry where it matters.


And of course, we are nothing without you and all our members who volunteer their time, expertise and knowledge to create an industry that is better for everyone.

Andrew Harrison
Posted by Andrew Harrison
PopularComments
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Events and publishing group Ascential plc has had a ’a good year with strong organic growth’, driven by the launch of new products.

Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Global roadshow specialist Event Marketing Solutions (EMS) has announced a record-breaking financial year, with profits reaching £1.04m for the year ending December 2016.

VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain has announced the launch of a one-day event, to promote Britain as a business events destination to international buyers.

Others on EN

Good practice with data

Good practice with data

Simon Clayton, chief ideas officer at RefTech, on being open, transparent, and accurate about what you are doing with the data you handle.
Beware of the punter

Beware of the punter

Trevor Punt, managing director of TBG Group, on the rise of the stereotypical punter and the need for nerves of steel.
Peer to peer

Peer to peer

Will Broadfoot, director of Footfall Events & Marketing on unlocking exhibitor potential and improving participation.

WATCH THE EN AWARDS 2016 HIGHLIGHTS


silverstream.tv

Most Read Stories

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry, director of Easyfairs UK addresses the science behind operations and the profile of our audiences.
Steve Monnington: The Dealmaker in March

Steve Monnington: The Dealmaker in March

Steve Monnington of Mayfield Media Strategies, runs the rule over the latest global exhibition deals.
Helen Lowe: Marketing déjà vu

Helen Lowe: Marketing déjà vu

Helen Lowe, events and marketing manager at Europa International, talks about the importance of keeping up with the creativity amidst the chaos.

Latest News

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Events and publishing group Ascential plc has had a ’a good year with strong organic growth’, driven by the launch of new products.
Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Global roadshow specialist Event Marketing Solutions (EMS) has announced a record-breaking financial year, with profits reaching £1.04m for the year ending December 2016.
VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain has announced the launch of a one-day event, to promote Britain as a business events destination to international buyers.

Latest Features

Come to Confex and be inspired

Come to Confex and be inspired

The exhibition and events industry is all about the power of face-to-face, the art of exhibiting and networking with old friends and new, which is why EN would like to personally invite you to attend International Confex to learn more.
When is the right time?

When is the right time?

It’s all very well having a successful show, but how do UK exhibition organisers replicate their success across the country and overseas? Three event profs share their experiences
Stand and deliver

Stand and deliver

When it comes to exhibition stands, the only limits are the exhibitor’s imagination (and floor space and budget), three stand building firms tell EN.

Latest Galleries

100% Optical 2017

100% Optical 2017

More than 8,000 visitors arrived at ExCeL London on 4-6 February for the fourth edition of 100% Optical. The show featured more than 175,000 frames, catwalk performances and a comprehensive education programme.
Cumbria Flood Expo 2017

Cumbria Flood Expo 2017

The inaugural Cumbria Flood Expo, organised by flood emergency response charity CERT UK, took place on 2-3 February at Carlisle Racecourse.
Mexia Communications at 10

Mexia Communications at 10

PR and content marketing agency Mexia Communications celebrated its 10th anniversary with a Mexican Fiesta at the Royal College of Physicians on 26 January.