The Event Supplier and Services Association held its inaugural Futures Focus Board meeting on 23 August at the beMatrix premises in Oxfordshire. The board's role is to look at all aspects of talent development and retention within the industry.

At the meeting, Jess Corbett of Concept Furniture was elected as its first chair, the remaining board positions being filled by Louis Moorcraft of Freeman; Chloe Retter of Aztec; Daniela Ribeiro of Event Shaper; Abhijit Patel of 4D Design and Rebecca Mcintosh of beMatrix.

Jess Corbett explains, “Myself, Abs, Chloe, Daniela, Louis and Rebecca, all work in different sectors of the industry, in different roles but share the same dedication and enthusiasm that drives the work we do. We want to empower companies to nurture their younger staff members and start creating the future for their business, now.”

To join the board, prospective members must be employed by a current ESSA member company. The board plans to meet three times a year, with the next meeting scheduled for November 2018. Its purpose is to define, identify and capture ESSA members' wants and needs, with a focus on talent retention, recruitment, skills/training and employee nurturing. This is intended to yield outcomes that include industry reports and insight, events, competitions, raised awareness in key areas. The board will also champion the future of the industry, to ensure that it nurtures and retains the skills and talents within it.

“The Futures Focus Board is all about getting our Industry to engage and develop the younger talent available, allowing exciting opportunities for the individuals themselves, but also the chance to leave a legacy in the work ethic of the younger generation,” continued Corbett, “We are absolutely thrilled to have been given the opportunity to start the first Futures Focus Board. A massive thank you to Andrew Harrison for creating the pathway for all of us involved- We won’t let you down!”

Achieving this will only be possible with a sufficiently strong profile for the Futures Focus Board within the membership and the wider industry. To this end, the board will be utilising ESSA's own events to drive awareness of the group and its work, whilst also being responsible for delivering some of its content.

“I think we will all agree that the events and exhibitions industry is a truly great one and one thing we wish to emphasise, is that this is all down to those who have come before us. We aren’t looking to change what is already great, we are looking to evolve it and allow every person past, present and future to expand and strengthen the passion that we all share,” she concluded


The ESSA ‘Futures Focus Boar at it’s first meeting L-R: Rebecca Mcintosh of beMatrix,  Abhijit Patel of 4D Design, Daniela Ribeiro of Event Shaper, Chloe Retter of Aztec, Louis Moorcraft of Freeman, Jess Corbett of Concept Furniture, and ESSA director Andrew Harrison.


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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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