In this month's #BoardTalk we chat to Business Manager of Ignition DG, Hannah Jardine who sheds light on her involvement with ESSA's D&I working group and its vision for the future.

What inspired you to work in the events industry?

I’ve always been a people person and I love organising!

What was your previous experience before joining the ESSA board?

My first job post university was in the hotel industry running in-house events before moving into the pharma world to run pharmaceutical conferences. From there, I progressed into the client world project managing client events within the pharma sector. Within the same company I progressed from Project Management, to Business Management and to Sustainability and Development Director.

What attracted you to becoming an ESSA board member?

I really wanted to get involved with the sustainability side of things, with our company championing sustainability. We hold The Queen's Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development 2020-25, are a Certified B Corp and hold ISO 20121 (Sustainable Event Management) & ISO 14001 (Environmental Management).

What does your role on the ESSA board look like?

I chair the ESSA Diversity and Inclusivity Working Group and was former vice-chair of the Cross Association Diversity and Inclusivity Working Group.  I also chair the ‘Enable Members to do it Better’ group.

What do you consider is ESSA’s greatest strength?

The board’s experience, collectively, and their connections.

What is your vision for ESSA?

My aim, through the works proposed for the D&I Group, is to make membership inclusive for all through raising awareness around the topic. A diverse workplace is one in which we foster diverse thinking so that everyone feels welcome, comfortable and heard. My ambition is that everyone in the events industry feels equally involved and supported in all areas of the workplace. We can achieve this by collectively helping to create a sector that is accepting of difference, and gains strength from unity, with the result being a more effective industry.

What advice would you give to those considering a career in the events industry?

Gain as much experience as possible as there are many areas to the industry.

Can you share the key highlights of your time on the ESSA board?

We work well together as a board, and I’ve really enjoyed working with the teams and developing D&I. I was on the board throughout the pandemic and saw how ESSA became even more invaluable to members with the advice, knowledge and lobbying it provided.

How has ESSA evolved since you joined the board?

It has become much more diverse in the years I have been on the board. It has also formed additional working groups and introduced the H&S and Sustainability Accreditations.

Why should contractors/suppliers join ESSA?

The main reason, I feel, is to gain invaluable knowledge and insight into the industry in real time.

What do you most enjoy doing when you are away from work?

Baking and running the Beaver Scouts.



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The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) is a trade body representing the very best contractors and suppliers of goods and services to the UK’s thriving events industry.

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