Andrew Harrison spoke to Hospitality & Events North magazine about the need to work more closely together to help create real change in our industry.

Change in our industry can only happen when we are working towards common goals. This was our mindset here at ESSA when we first set about leading on an external report into our industry back in 2018. The results, collected and published by an independent consultant in 2019, showcased an industry full of highly skilled individuals and companies with a love and a passion for what they do.

However, it also revealed there are still plenty of improvements to be made, and these improvements have been the basis of our relaunched initiative, ESSA AIMS, which seeks to help make them a reality.

Work has included helping contractors better display their competence and capability to manage health and safety effectively through our comprehensive health and safety accreditation scheme – the first of its kind specific to our industry.

Build up and break down time is also of vital importance, and our aim to collectively collaborate on the creation of a scheduling and gangway management framework, in partnership with AEV and AEO members, is central to our future aims. 

Change does not happen due to the efforts of one singular group. With the current increased pressures on the supply chain, shortage of labour as well as increasing costs, it is critical to address the issues outlined in the report collectively with our sister associations and wider industry.

Now is the time to get everyone on board and improve our ways of working across the industry. From encouraging more suppliers to become accredited, utilising more ESSA members and ESSA Accredited members to working with other organisations to facilitate best practice in our industry, I believe there can only be a bright future ahead for us all.   

Published in the March issue of Hospitality & Events North


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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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