Andrew Harrison has been director of ESSA since 2014 (originally joined in 2011) and has been instrumental in growing the trade association’s membership as well as helping to give it a voice inside and outside of the business events industry.

Here we find out a little more about Andrew and his vision for ESSA.

How did you come to join ESSA?

My background was in marketing and membership services and I was looking for a new challenge. I’d been in my previous role for three-and-a-half-years and was still relatively young so relished the opportunity to get into the exhibitions world. It was a little step into the unknown but an exciting one.

What do you love about your role?

What I enjoy is helping people and companies, whether that’s helping them find new ways of doing business, upskilling, or finding new ways of differentiating our membership.

The supply chain is full of solutions and amazing people and the last two years have taught us that there is potentially a new dawn of leadership from the supply chain. We’ve worked really hard in trying to upskill our members and prepare them for a new industry and creating products and services for our members which is going to futureproof them.

To represent 250 companies is a real privilege and I get to work with a lot of amazing people. It’s an honour.

Tell us about some of the highlights from your time at ESSA:

We’ve been held back by Covid, but I’m very proud of the association getting the accreditation online and moving that on. I genuinely feel that in years to come we’ll look back on it as having made a real impact on the sector.

I also have a huge amount of pride in the development of our sustainability module and getting our online training academy kicked off. We’ve received positive feedback and I’m proud of the fact we have been an early mover in this area.

Above all, I’m most proud of how resilient the supply chain has been in maintaining its position in the market. We faced complete obliteration and I take my hat off to those who survived. They were hammered by the lack of government support, false starts and the lack of information from government about when we’d restart. Nobody else can hold a torch to the supply chain in terms of resilience during what was an impossible journey.

What’s your vision for ESSA?

ESSA’s got to be stronger and bigger. We don’t want to take over the world, but we know that our members want us to lead and represent them on the big issues and to do that we have to represent more companies in the industry. 

We’ve always had ambitions for growth and we are continuing with that. The last two years have taught us that we have to have that shared voice if we are going to the table to negotiate and lobby.

ESSA has changed a lot in the last two years – we’ve changed our structure, our membership tiers and products and services. Now our focus areas are far clearer and we know what our industry wants and we’re taking the lead to positively influence other stakeholders. This is what we aim to do as well as continuing to enable our members to be better at what they do.

 

Contact Us
ESSA
119 High Street
Berkhamsted
Herts HP4 2DJ

Tel: 01442 285812
info@essa.uk.com

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