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

AEV publishes Size and Scale Index of Events

The Size and Scale Index of Events (SASiE) has published its latest report analysing the data collected over 2015 from the participating venues and organisers.

SMG Europe appointed operator of AECC

Aberdeen City Council has appointed venue operator SMG Europe to manage the existing Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) ahead of the move to its new purpose-built home in 2019.

QEII adds £100m to economy, finds report

The QEII Centre generated £218m of gross UK expenditure in 2015/16, creating a GVA (Gross Value Added) of £100m, according to a new economic impact study.

Others on EN

Show or tell?

Show or tell?

Roopi Woodall, marketing manager at the QEII Centre, asks if the art of conversation on social media is dead – and how to engage with audiences if that’s the case.
You get what you ask for

You get what you ask for

Sue Berry, managing director at TimelessTime Ltd, discusses the importance of people metrics and measurable objectives.
The Anti Cyber Attack Checklist

The Anti Cyber Attack Checklist

Following the global cyber attack on 12 May, event tech supplier RefTech has compiled a checklist for individuals and companies to follow to help them reduce the risk of future attacks.

EN Awards Highlights

silverstream.tv

Most Read Stories

Fit for the 21st century

Fit for the 21st century

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director, says we should always fight to bring talent into the industry and encourage an appetite for success.
I'm a believer

I'm a believer

Sam Cande, group commercial director at Centaur Media, says no secret sales technique can compete with belief in a product.
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.

Latest News

Entry is open for EN30/30 2017!

Entry is open for EN30/30 2017!

Nominations for this year’s EN Thirty Under 30 are now open, as EN looks to recognise the most talented individuals involved in the exhibition industry aged under 30.
GES to tackle charity bike race

GES to tackle charity bike race

Over the bank holiday weekend nine GES employees will be attempting to cycle the 350 miles from Amsterdam to Coventry in aid of the Help Harry Help Others charity.
Thorns secures Boat Show contract

Thorns secures Boat Show contract

Nationwide events and exhibitions hire contractor Thorns has secured a new three-year contract with Britain’s biggest boating festival, Southampton Boat Show.

Latest Features

Students: Pests or guests?

Students: Pests or guests?

It’s a question all organisers have to address – what should my show’s relationship with students look like?
Flying the nest

Flying the nest

Ever thought about going freelance? Do you have what it takes to go solo? Three event professionals tell EN their stories of building their own businesses.
Spreading the word

Spreading the word

With Global Exhibitions Day just a couple of months away, EN asks what three global exhibition associations are doing to celebrate this year.

Latest Galleries

drp's Interactive Expo

drp's Interactive Expo

drp worked with The British Army in Education to produce an interactive exhibition stand at the national Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair on 15-18 March 2017 at the NEC.
Grand Designs Live 2017

Grand Designs Live 2017

The 13th edition of Media 10’s Grand Designs Live returned to ExCeL London from 29 April to 7 May, featuring more than 500 exhibitors across six key sections. Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud one again hosted the nine-day exhibition.
Insomnia60

Insomnia60

Over 50,000 video game fans from across the country descended on Birmingham’s NEC on 14-17 April for Insomnia60, the UK’s largest gaming festival.