Leo Speck: Meeting Expectations

Team-people-NEW-resized.jpg

Leo Speck, Aztec Event Services sales director, reflects on the growth of ESSA’s membership through its AGM and events.

 

I’ve been attending the ESSA AGM every year since its inception, and to begin with it was a pretty subdued affair, fulfilling the bureaucratic necessities of the association along with some networking and catching up with industry colleagues.


In many ways, attending the AGM can be a bit of a hard sell, and ESSA members might still be under the impression that it’s a dry affair with little to interest them. While that might have been true five or six years ago, today it’s quite a different story.


Today’s AGMs are managing to pack more content in, along with the chance to meet and catch up with peers, competitors and even clients. Of course my MD, John Robson, is currently the association treasurer and former chairman, Aztec always offers to provide the AV support and so I can’t claim my attendance is purely motivated by my love for the association, but all other things being equal, I would still make the time to attend.


For me, there are two main things that make the AGM an unmissable event. Firstly, it’s really essential to find out where the members’ money has gone! ESSA delivers a surprising number of member benefits for its annual fee, from helplines and legal services to the ESSA bond, and often the first announcement of any new scheme or benefit will be made at the AGM. Resources ESSA has expended on behalf of its members are accounted for at the meeting, and the various board members responsible bring us up to date on ESSA initiatives and investments.


Through the AGM, and the G50+ Conference as well, ESSA helps us to define the strategic direction of the industry, bringing together the voices of its members to bear on fundamental strategic issues like changes to legislation and new regulatory frameworks, as well as keeping abreast of the trends and over-the-horizon developments that affect the event industry.


What I have noticed is that, over the years, ESSA’s membership has broadened from being mostly traditional suppliers like stand builders and graphics and a couple of technical services companies like Aztec, to now including independent ops teams and other facilitator businesses. This has led to an increase in the recognition of ESSA in the wider events industry and reinforcing it as a mark of quality and reliability.


ESSA members who only attend one association event a year tend to focus on the G50+ Conference because it promises a whole day full of engaging content but one that’s light on the admin.


The networking and discussion at the AGM is always more tightly focused than the G50, due in part to the time pressure, but also because of the content, being orientated much more around ESSA itself.


The strength of the G50+ is its mission to broaden debate and engagement with more diverse topics.


This year’s AGM even attracted some of ESSA’s international members, which I think demonstrates just how important it is, and how influential it is seen to be from outside the UK event community.


Speaking as an ordinary member of the association, I would really like to see more members attending the AGM, and I’m convinced that we’d see a significant uplift in the number of members taking advantage of the considerable member benefits on offer.


ESSA tries hard to communicate these benefits, but like so many members fighting their inboxes, these messages can get lost in maelstrom.
But coming to the AGM and listening to other members extolling the virtues of discounted member benefits or capitalising upon the ESSA helplines, really drives that message home.

Leo Speck
Posted by Leo Speck
PopularComments
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

WRG 'creatively engaging communications' with new partnership

Experiential agency WRG has announced a partnership with digital, content and production company The Moment.

TRO helps launch UK’S first experiential marketing degree at Sheffield Hallam

Members of the experiential event agency TRO team visited Sheffield Hallam University earlier this week to officially launch the UK’s first experiential marketing degree.

Reed launches SUMS alongside All-Energy 2017

The inaugural Smart Urban Mobility Solutions (SUMS) exhibition and conference will co-locate with All-Energy 2017, organiser Reed Exhibitions has announced.

Others on EN

Paul Byrom: Opportunity knocks

Paul Byrom: Opportunity knocks

Paul Byrom, AEO chairman and MD at Upper Street Events on the formation and goals of the new AEO Development Board
The height of safe practice

The height of safe practice

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director on continuing to build a robust, safety-first, working culture in events and exhibitions.
All part of the plan

All part of the plan

Kevin Horler, project director of Vividfish Ltd, on the importance of creating an inbound marketing strategy for your next exhibition.

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

Tarsus Group acquires Connect Meetings

Tarsus Group acquires Connect Meetings

B2B media group Tarsus Group has acquired 80 per cent of the share capital of US business travel and meetings event organiser Connect Meetings.
AEO launches Development Board

AEO launches Development Board

The Association of Event Organisers (AEO) has announced the formation of a Development Board, with the aim of ensuring that the AEO delivers value to all members.
F3 secures Watford FC contract

F3 secures Watford FC contract

F3, the joint venture between One Event Management and Legends of the US, has won a 10-year contract with Watford Football Club.

Latest Features

The big picture

The big picture

Imagine you could find all the photos taken at your event...well now you can, says Gaggletag founder Gideon Summerfield.
The talent of a nation

The talent of a nation

Following the launch of Connect16 this year, EN catches up with founder Nicola McGrane on experiencing the essence of Ireland.
EN30/30 Breakfast Club in November

EN30/30 Breakfast Club in November

Tasting the delicacies of ExCeL London’s River Cottage, members of the EN30 gather to discuss recruitment, working from home and the potential death of email.

Latest Galleries

ESSA 2016 Conference of Things

ESSA 2016 Conference of Things

This year’s ESSA Conference achieved a record attendance of delegates from across the events supplier industry, representing over 100 companies at Ricoh Arena, on 24 November.
The Prosthetics Event 2016

The Prosthetics Event 2016

Exhibition, education and shopping show The Prosthetics Event, returned to Conference Aston in Birmingham for the third consecutive year on 19 November.
World Travel Market London 2016

World Travel Market London 2016

World Travel Market (WTM) London 2016, which took place on 7-9 November at ExCeL London, celebrated its most successful show yet with a joint record attendance of 51,500.