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Issue 24 December 2008/January 2009 £4.75

Million visitors expected

Guest Prince asked to pick up £100k bill By Christina Eccles A WEALTHY Sri Lankan Prince has been asked to cough up almost £100,000 to pay a contractor who was left out of pocket after a music festival bombed. The Lakeside Magic event featured Jane McDonald and attracted thousands of people – among them, HRH Prince Remigius Kanagarajah – to Kingston Maurward college in Dorset in July. But the agency which provided the acts has still not been paid and angry owner Mike Taylor has now written to the Sri Lankan royal family, appealing for a handout. He told The Main Event that because he paid the acts himself, his involvement in Lakeside Magic had left him £94,000 worse off. The festival itself has since been taken over by new owners, with the previous ones facing bankruptcy. Mike insists he can’t afford to lose the money and unless he is refunded, his business could go under. The Main Event has obtained a copy of Mike’s email to the Prince which read: “I know you to be a very kind man, and wondered with your wealth you could help us with this

debt of £94,000 and would welcome anything to help us over this very bad time.” Mike said he had taken the drastic action to find out if the prince had been involved in funding the event and if so, if he would be prepared to cover some of the costs. He added: “I wrote to him to find out if he had any financial involvement and whether he knew that people who had put the entertainment on for him were not paid. “I spoke to one of his advisors but was told he would not get involved in any financial dealings because he was only a guest at the event.” But Lakeside Magic’s new owner Alan McNamee branded the letter ‘unprofessional’ and fears it could jeopardise the future of the event. Alan and business partner Sue Cull paid £10,000 in August for the rights to stage the event next year. He added: “I think this is totally unprofessional. The prince was quite shocked and embarrassed. We are personal friends of his and felt this was totally out of order. I was amazed when we received a call and then the email. It was quite shocking.”  How new owners are transforming Lakeside Magic, Page 7

The Prince (pictured) received the letter and thought Mike Taylor’s circumstances were ‘unfortunate’ but not something he could get involved in. His UK and Northern Ireland special envoy Mark Watson said: “The Prince received the email and forwarded it to me. I spoke to Mike Taylor and explained we cannot get involved in disputes and the Prince’s financial circumstances are his own business. From the Prince’s point of view he was invited as a guest of honour and had no financial or organisational involvement at all.”

OVER one million visitors are expected to descend on London after the capital won the right to host World Pride in 2012. The event will take place just ahead of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games and will be used to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues on an international level through parades, festivals and other cultural activities. Led by Pride London with support from Visit London and the Mayor of London, the city beat tough competition to be awarded the event. Visit London deputy chief executive Sally Chatterjee said: “This is a tremendous win for the capital. London Pride is an annual highlight of the cultural festival calendar and hosting World Pride in 2012 is a proud triumph for our city. “There really will be no other place on earth to be in 2012 than right here in London.” The Main Event is the official magazine of the National Outdoor Events Association


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Hard workers rewarded AN awards ceremony has taken place to award those who work hard behind the scenes on events. The TAO Awards – designed to celebrate the hard work and expertise of the day to day crews that make an event happen – were given out to those who have shown exemplary work on TAO Groups events over the previous 12 months. TAO Group’s Andy Cotton said: “There are a number of superb awards events in the calendar including the TPi Awards, NOEA Awards and the TESA Event Awards, some of which we as a company have been honoured to win. The idea of these awards was to recognise the work of the stage builders, truck drivers, humpers and all the other disciplines required to make an event happen. We wanted to award the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ of the workers on TAO events as opposed to the companies, as without these people events don’t happen.” The awards took place at at The Apartments in Wiltshire and were hosted by Ian Sandy. TAO Awards 2008 Winners: Stage Crew of the Year Winner – Denis Cole of Serious Stages Runner up – Simon Carr of Aztec Enterprises Site Electrician of the Year Winner – Derek Fuller of Powerline Runner up – Matt Slade (freelancer) Sound Crew of the Year Winner – Gareth Lewis (on tour with Steve Coogan) Runner up – Malcolm Giles Lighting Crew of the Year Winner – Nic Ayres of High Resolution Lighting Runner up – Rob Sangwell of Fineline Lighting Crew Member of the Year Winner – Dave ‘Chips’ Baker (truck driver freelance) Runner up – Luke Harrison (Fencing erector and general crew) Most Helpful Person Award Winner – Chris Fitzgerald of A Plant Runner up – Jamie Johnstone of TAO Fire The Venue of the Year Winner – Harewood House, Leeds Runner up – Stadium: MK Most Memorable Moment of the Year Winner - Duxford firework incident Runner up – Wynne Evans, Opera Singer The Management Award Winner – Ben Price Runner up – Graham Jones The John Cotton Memorial Award Peter Brightman , CEO of The Creative Entertainment Group

Brummie festival set to move outdoors Page 4

Out-of-pocket promoter calls for new regulations Page 7 How Vanessa helped city up its game Page 14

Event Show Preview Pages 20 & 21 NOEA Page 26 Training and recruitment Page 28 Classified Pages 29 & 30

CONTACTS Joe Pidgeon

EDITORIAL

Festival organiser vows that everyone will get their money By Christina Eccles THE organiser of a festival hit by the credit crunch has revealed how he is successfully dealing with unpaid suppliers while the event gets back on its feet. Joe Pidgeon – organiser of Brighton’s Beachdown Festival – admits that although the event took place in August, there are still some suppliers who have not yet received payment for their work. However, he insists that everyone will get their money and that good communication with these suppliers to make sure they are kept updated with the situation has been the key to keeping everyone happy. Joe said: “Due to the credit crunch, persuading people to pay bills to us has been harder and obviously this has made it harder for us to pay our suppliers when we would have liked to. “What we have done is made sure that we have communicated regularly with our suppliers to reassure them that we are not going anywhere – nothing makes people more nervous

than silence or call-avoidance and it is much better for us to call them than for them to have to chase us. “In year one there are a lot of upfront expenses which occur such as marketing costs but we are very much on track and have got a five year business plan.” The 2008 Beachdown festival attracted over 9,000 people and featured acts including Fun Loving Criminals, Roisin Murphy and The Young Knives and Joe also said that plans are already going well for 2009. He added: “Beachdown was a great success. A lot of events this summer did not happen at all. We didn’t cancel any acts and sold over 9,000 tickets. In the current climate, we feel we did well. “The Beachdown team has total faith in the event that we are building and we are helped by the support of an amazing community in Brighton who look at Beachdown as their festival. “We are booking acts for next year and our earlybird tickets are doing well. we will be announcing the full line up in February.”

Group Editor Andrew Harrod Tel: 01226 734639 editorial@themaineventmagazine.co.uk Reporters: Nicola Hyde (nl@whpl.net) Christina Eccles (ce@whpl.net) Mary Ferguson (mf@whpl.net)

PRODUCTION Studio Manager: Stewart Holt (sth@whpl.net) Tel: 01226 734414 Group Deputy Editor: Judith Halkerston (jhalkerston@whpl.net) Tel: 01226 734458 Graphic designer: Kyle Wilkinson (kw@whpl.net) Tel: 01226 734711

ADVERTISING Sales Manager: Paul Allott Tel: 01226 734484 Fax: 01226 734478 Mob: 07917 649402 Email: pa@whpl.net Assistant Manager: Adam Parry Tel: 01226 734485 Mobile: 07747 446923 Email: ap@whpl.net Sales Executive: Mandy Mellor Tel: 01226 734702 Email: mm@whpl.net Sales and Marketing Director: Tony Barry Email: tb@whpl.net

CIRCULATION Kelly Tarff Tel: 01226 734695 email: circulation@wharncliffepublishing.co.uk

www.themaineventmagazine.co.uk


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Brummie music festival set to move outdoors BIRMINGHAM’S biggest music weekend may soon have a completely new look – as organisers plan to take the event outside. Gigbeth started life as a music conference but after noticing the potential to combine this with an event, organiser Clare Edwards found several city centre venues who were prepared to host live bands. She said while working on the conference, she noticed how it attracted music industry figures to

Birmingham and that while they were already in the city, it would be a good time to add the music element. Now three years on, demand for the event has grown and according to Clare, it is an ideal time to introduce an outdoor stage. She said: “The event has caught the imagination and the response has been really positive. We may now incorporate an outdoor stage but we want to keep the event unique. There is lots of scope to expand the event as the area

Top left: Clare Edwards, top: the pit area, left: performers and above: Kano is full of empty warehouses and unusual spaces which we could use.” However, Clare added that by moving the event from November to a different part of the year, they are not intending to make Gigbeth a competitor to some of the UK’s summer season of music festivals – they simply want the chance to host the event at a time where there is more chance of better weather for the fans who come to the outdoor concerts. She added: “We are looking whether

to move the event to a different part of the year but although we would want to move to a slightly warmer time of year, this would be without competing with the big summer festivals.” This year’s event attracted a variety of artists including The Guillemots, Young Knives, The Sugarhill Gang and Mobo Award winning rapper Kano and took place in a variety of Birmingham venues such as Barfly and the Custard Factory.


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Events raise profile to draw visitors By Christina Eccles

Camp Bestival has won the award for Best New Festival at this year’s Virtual Festival Awards – voted for by festival fans themselves. Created by the award-winning team behind Bestival, Camp Bestival – held at Lulworth Castle in Dorset – was inspired by the days of summers past and the Great British holiday camp and was headlined by Chuck Berry, Flaming Lips and Kate Nash. General manager of the Lulworth Estate James Weld said: “We are delighted Camp Bestival has been voted the Best New

Festival Award 2008. Lulworth Castle was built for entertainment and it was wonderful to see so many families here enjoying spending time together with a packed but relaxed programme of good music, activities and laughter. We attended the event and all my family, children and adults alike had great fun. Josie and Rob Da Bank have delivered a superb, well organised festival. We have enjoyed working with them and look forward to welcoming them back next year to bring more Camp Bestival magic.”

STAGING events is a valuable way of raising the profile of a city to attract more visitors, according to Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure Coun John Proctor. According to the city council, events should be valued and supported because they are a useful way of giving something back to the city’s residents while also introducing others from outside the city to what Leeds has to offer. He said: “Events have a massive economic impact, Over 30,000 people came to the Christmas light switch on, which was a superb event. “I have been educated over the last four years about the value that events can bring to culture. When you look at the amount of organisation that goes into something like this and the amount of detail and infrastructure, it is no mean feat. “These are not just events for people in the city, they attract people to

Leeds and the region. Events such as Classical Fantasia and Party in the Park are big draws that get people into the city.” Chief executive of Marketing Leeds Deborah Green added that putting on events is a good way of showing what the city has to offer both to potential visitors in other parts of the UK and also abroad. Marketing Leeds held an event in Milan to showcase Leeds and took a flavour of the city there to promote Leeds as a tourist destination. She added: “We wanted to promote culture and took 165 representatives from Leeds including the Northern Ballet Theatre and Opera North and the two Universities in Leeds collaborated to showcase young talent. “The impact was £250,000 of press and TV coverage after we had put the event on for £80,000. “We were using events as a way of promoting ourselves and creating memories for people which will hopefully have a lasting impact.”


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LAKESIDE MAGIC

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Out-of-pocket promoter calls for new regulations By Christina Eccles AN angry promoter has called for new regulations to tackle those who put on events without having funds in place to cover costs if anything goes wrong. Managing director of Entertainers, Mike Taylor, lost £94,000 after providing artistes such as Jane Mcdonald and Queen tribute band Queen B for the Lakeside Magic concerts at Kingston Maurward in Dorset in July. Mike paid the artists out of his own pocket but after Lakeside Magic’s former owner fell into financial difficulty, he has not received his money back. He now wants the industry to take steps to protect promoters and suppliers who work on events – and has demanded checks should be made on anyone putting on an event to prove they have the funds in place to do so. Mike said: “The problem is that someone can put an event on and not have any money to run it. People should be paid upfront. We could have pulled the plug on the

event but we didn’t want to let people down. “People should be vetted that they have got the money in the first place and should have to put a certain amount into an account to show they have it. This is making a mockery of the whole business. “The industry as a whole should be addressing this. Bankruptcy only lasts one year then the same people can start up again under a different name.” Mike added that he could have decided not to go ahead with the event but did not want to disappoint people who had bought tickets so made the decision to go ahead after being assured he would get his money back from ticket revenue. He added: “I am trying to run my business properly but all these things can be done to break the law. It should be part of the industry that for every individual putting on an event there should be something put in place to stop them pulling out or not paying.”  How do you think the industry

Mike Taylor should tackle this problem? Send your comments to Christina Eccles, 47 Church Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S70 2AS or email ce@whpl.net.

Lakeside Magic Ltd’s directors Alan and Sue

New organiser in bid to restore suppliers’ confidence AN organiser has turned around the fortunes of an event by offering two-year fixed price contracts to restore suppliers’ confidence. Alan McNamee bought the rights to Lakeside Magic – a series of outdoor summer concerts at Kingston Maurward in Dorset – along with business partner Sue Cull for £10,000 last August after the previous owners fell into financial difficulties. Since then Alan and Sue have been faced with the challenge of convincing the public and the event’s suppliers that although the concerts have kept the Lakeside Magic name, they are in no way involved with previous owners, Court Productions. Alan said they will be going ahead with the concerts in 2009 and

explained how planning far enough in advance has allowed them to reassure both the venue and suppliers. He said: “We have been offered a two year contract by Kingston Maurward so we could then offer two year contracts with a fixed price to suppliers. We felt that was a good way of reassuring them. We have tried where we can to use local suppliers as they are already here so there is no need for us to go further afield. We did want to incorporate using more local traders and have made huge inroads with this. “Fortunately I shadowed the last Lakeside and met all the suppliers. We had wanted to take over the event for some years and were waiting for the opportunity. When I heard Court Productions was ceas-

ing trading, I made a move to negotiate at an early stage. “Now we have got 99 per cent of everything in place including artists and contractors. Kingston Maurward trusted the new team because we had worked with them on previous events. We had to go through a formal interview and give certain assurances that we could deliver and back that up with our plans for the event. “We have been as open as possible. A lot of people asked why we didn’t change the name but to be honest, Lakeside Magic has a very good reputation and we didn’t see the need to change. We just need to explain that Court Productions is nothing to do with our company Lakeside Magic Ltd.”


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8 Children’s events company Crafty Arty Parties designed a speed camera themed float for this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show in London. The company teamed up with sponsors Red Speed International and the London Safety Camera Partnership to deliver the message of the float - Slow down, red means stop. Director Kitty Ebdon said: “The whole project has taken some eight months to put together and involved a huge amount of research. The hardest thing to do was create a float that not only looked amazing, but one that also raised awareness of the dangers and consequences of speeding and red light running. “The grand stands were full to the brim despite the weather and the day ran like clock work. Our float just by the theme raised both boos and waves from the crowd with the children on the float chanting a specially written song. All in all a highly successful day.”

Special pumps used for Winter Wonderland WINTER Wonderland is one of the biggest and longest events to be run in Hyde Park – from build to close the event runs for over seven weeks. One challenge facing the event is to ensure that not only are the 50 on-site chalets offering refreshments supplied with clean water, but that waste water is also managed and dealt with without the use of either water or waste tankers. Hyde Park is an historic site and historically water supply and waste drainage is very limited and therefore, is not located where it is needed. Watermills was asked to design and install a low maintenance tem-

porary system that would operate for the duration of the event. Watermills’ Adrian Mills said: “To supply services to Winter Wonderland and deal with the waste responsibly and efficiently we used a system developed by MTD. Our standard water supply services works perfectly but the waste water posed a number of challenges. We needed special pumps that would pump 350m uphill to the nearest drain. The colder weather was also a factor. Much of the waste water was from food kitchens so we needed to cater for solidifying grease and food stuff. We used insulated waste discharge pipework to counter clogging up the park’s drainage system.”

Agency introduces ‘green’ Ideas EVENT management and venue finding agency Ideas has launched a CarbonNeutral event service to enable events to help the environment. Ideas uses an event carbon calculation which gives the amount of carbon credits needed to reduce the impact of an event, making it carbon neutral. Managing director Justine Chilton said: “These days, corporate events are still necessary to commu-

nicate important corporate messages, but can sometimes be viewed as wasteful in terms of the distances travelled, the extravagance of production and the disposability of materials used. So we have developed a quick and easy way to reduce the event’s carbon footprint by making it carbon neutral. “Carbon credits are simply a way to support a carbon offsetting programme.”

Events should give to the community By Christina Eccles ORGANISERS should strive to give something back to the local community from every event they put on, according to an expert. Festival Republic’s event co-ordinator Ian Donaldson – who works on events including Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading – told delegates at the NOEA conference in Leeds that, according to a report on the economic impact of Glastonbury 2007, the festival is valued at £73m. Some of the money generated as a result of the event brings benefits to the surrounding area and is also donated to charity. Ian said other festivals could follow the example set by Glastonbury to put something back into the community – not just by giving money but by contributing to the vitality of the area it is held in or by encouraging local businesses to have a strong green ethic. He said: “The economic impact of

festivals can be measured in more than just monetary values. Everyone can engage in some way and most festivals, large or small, can have an economic impact. We aim to do everything better every year – all responsible event organisers look to improve their next event.” The festival is committed to giving away money to charity and in 2007, donated £1.5m to good causes. However, Ian also said there is always room for improvement and at even the smallest festival, there is some benefit to be had for the local economy. He added: “We did feel positive about the results from Glastonbury but from an economic impact, money given to charity could always be more. “If there is something you can give to the local community, it can be more than just giving them a donation. At even the smallest festival, there is always something that can be put back into the local community.”


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CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH-ON

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A Christmas light switch-on four times bigger than a South Yorkshire town had previously been provided council organisers with a big task. Lyndsey Smith reports.

Barnsley goes to town with big switch-on ...

Thousands turned up for the festivities

OFFICIALS in Barnsley were given an extended budget of £15,000 and the knowledge that numbers were likely to be double the 8,000 that turned up for the same event last year. Anne Untisz, tourism and promotions manager, and Matthew Mitchell, events and promotions officer, were the people tasked with organising the event. Anne said: “It was two years ago when we decided to make the switch-on more of an event and we have built it up slowly since then. Hopefully it will continue to evolve. “The council has invested a lot and it has proved to be a bit of a double edged sword. We originally programmed for a smaller area but found out we had a bigger budget so the obvious temptation is to expand.” Anne said Barnsley town centre has poor dynamics

so dealing with a large crowd with extended entertainment was demanding. She added: “This year we split the crowd up, giving them more than one focal point, allieviating the problem of a crush with no one needing to be in the same place at the same time. “We worked closely with the health and safety crew, and the way we structured meant there was something happening in each area of the precinct. “The vantage point at the shopping centre is quite high and we had a stage there where everyone could see the headline entertainment and switch on, but we had the fireworks to the left which could be viewed the entire length of the precinct. “These factors coupled with another stage and an ice rink elsewhere dispersed the crowd.”

Matthew agrees the splitting certainly helped deal with numbers but admits it gave them more work with more to organise. He said: “We have to continue to deliver to high expectations whilst working within the constraints of the environment, and the expectations this year meant we had to be on our toes. “In terms of dragging the whole thing together we had a sound basis to build upon. “We are used to organising individual very insular events and we looked on each success and brought those together and put them in a bigger box giving us the whole package. “We are used to working in a demanding environment and the key is developing methods of work and teams of people that sit together nicely.”

Council goes it alone with festive organisation THE Barnsley Christmas light switchon event was organised by the council with no outside help – despite it being their biggest project to date. Anne Untisz, tourism and promotions manager, said the key to success is familarity within the team you are working with. She added: “There has been a temptation to bring in an outside events agency but that would only be the case if we were organising something we are not familiar with. “We have done this for many years

and have a fully capable albeit small team. If we need anything specialised we just parachute people in – the firework people for example or the people who supplied the snow machines. “We have a team that have worked together a long time and I would say that if you are fortunate to have a good team don’t lose it – it’s like a well-oiled machine you know instinctively what the other one is doing. “We work to a strict events manual,

we have specific teams for specific jobs, we have a coding system and radio system – everything is co-ordinated and works in sync. “There have been around 100 people involved in the set up – from security guards and police, to the guys who put the lights up, each one involved in the success.” Matthew added: “With any event if something goes wrong on the day you can do nothing except react and respond – the key is preparation. “Of course there are things you can-

not legislate for – for example our Christmas tree arrived a day late so we had to sort out another crane – little problems but they all add up. “We have a problem with rogue traders but we have regulatory services to deal with this. It is one big learning curve and once one year is over you start on the next. “Always plan a year in advance – you have to give yourself time because of people’s expectations and in fact this year we are planning two years in advance.”


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The Bonfire Night event After Dark attendance continues to grow with 17,000 visitors in 2008

The Sheffield Events Company organise some of the biggest events in the city, with a strong focus on providing entertainment the whole family can enjoy. Christina Eccles caught up with organiser Scott Barton in the middle of a busy winter events season to find out more.

‘Family events set to boom in 2009’ ACCORDING to Scott, free or low cost, family orientated events will boom in 2009 as those cutting back on their spending look for quality entertainment which won’t break the bank.

to traffic and filled with family themed entertainment such as fairground rides, a haunted house and street dancers. The event is held on the Sunday before Halloween which also makes it more appealing to families while at the same time supporting local traders by promoting Sunday shopping.

The Sheffield Events Company organises major free events in the city centre including Halloween spectacular Fright Night and the Christmas light switch on – and Scott revealed that there has been a big uptake in visitor numbers in 2008 which he predicts will continue.

Scott added: “Fright Night has been going for eight years and is the biggest Halloween party in the country. Halloween has grown massively and people don’t always want to go Trick or Treating so they are looking for something else to do. This event is family friendly with something for all ages.

Fright Night was attended by 38,000 people and at Bonfire Night event After Dark – where a family ticket costs £20 – attendance also continued to grow, with 17,000 visitors in 2008.

Thousands attend After Dark in rain CHALLENGING weather conditions affected the planning of Bonfire Night event After Dark – but even this didn’t stop a crowd of 17,000 attending Sheffield’s Don Valley stadium on the night. Rain during the build up to the event created wet conditions on the ground, meaning extra precautions had to be put in place to protect visitors. Scott added: “We were up against the weather. It was very wet on the run up to the event and because it had rained on the days before, the ground conditions were bad. “We were lucky because we had a break in the weather on the night but ground conditions were still a major issue. “We used straw on the ground and carefully managed what was going on and off site and brought in extra equipment.”

Scott said: “In our part of the industry, which provides relatively low cost entertainment, there may be more and more of an appetite for it. “We are going to be looking at more festivals of street entertainment around the country and are in discussions with local authorities to do this. “This is becoming more popular as it ties into community regeneration, it is free and inclusive and also fun. “It is something we really enjoy

Scott Barton doing as it is a great contrast from some of the other things we do and gets an immediate response from the crowd.” Fright Night has been going for eight years and is an example of the type of city centre event which the company does best. Roads in the city centre are closed

“The main issue we have is managing its success so we have to look at the crowd dynamics and make sure we are accommodating the numbers. We are extending the footprint of the event next time to make sure we can accommodate people and there is enough space and activities to keep them happy. “The feedback has been fantastic and we are really proud as it is totally unique to Sheffield and is getting more and more recognition.”

Council and events company split the organisation of switch-on ... ALTHOUGH the Christmas light switch-on, City Lights, is one event, its organisation is split into two with Sheffield City Council looking after one area and The Sheffield Events Company looking after the other. According to Scott, the key to making the event successful is ensuring that both parts are well organised so the public see it as one seamless event.

He said: “The City Council look after the top part of the city centre and we look after the Moor area. “Our focus is on activities for children and families and we have real reindeer, snow machines, huskies and traditional music. “We also work with the retailers to promote Sunday shopping in the Moor area and for the last event, some traders said they had seen

their takings double in that one day. “The event is about celebrating the switching on of the lights and encouraging the start of the Christmas season. “We have joint planning meetings and work closely with the council and also share some suppliers. All the event is branded the same to make it look seamless.”


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Task Force is tackling site crime By Christina Eccles TENT thefts and campsite crime at festivals are being tackled by a Security Task Force, formed by the Association of Independent Festivals. The task force will maintain a constant presence at participating festivals, working with event security companies and police services throughout the UK to identify known thieves before they enter festival sites. They will support and build on existing police initiatives, which have proven the benefit of intelligencepooling in reducing tent theft. Extra teams will be on hand on busy weekends with multiple festivals. Director of Loud Sound and AIF board member Jim King said: “Whilst still statistically low, thefts at UK festivals have to be addressed. Customer experience and safety is a most important part of the whole festival experience and we want to act to ensure that customers have a great time at our events without experiencing the upsetting scenario of being a victim of crime.” Although the security task force is an AIF initiative, the board has also welcomed the involvement of nonmembers in the scheme as this is something which affects the whole industry. Bestival promoter and AIF cofounder Rob da Bank added: "Tent theft at our festivals has always been very low, but any theft at all is really upsetting for the promoter and the people involved. This was one of the main reasons I wanted to set up AIF and I really believe we can make a difference with this initiative." A tender process with security firms is in progress and AIF anticipates the

THE chairman of crewing company Gallowglass has been awarded an outstanding achievement award at the Eventia UK Awards. The award – presented to an individual who stands out for having built a successful career in events and also having made a genuine contribution to the benefit of the wider events community – was given to Paul Grecian. His dedication to service standards led to

Rob da Bank new team will be ready and in place by March. Operating as an autonomous division of the Association of Independent Music, AIF is chaired by Alison Wenham with a board of representatives from events including Beautiful Days, Bestival, Big Chill, Creamfields and Field Day.  How are you dealing with crime at your event? Send your views to Christina Eccles, 47 Church Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S70 2AS or email ce@whpl.net.

the company making a £300,000 investment in the development of a health and safety culture, including the creation of a Crew Handbook, produced in conjunction with the British Safety Council. Its widespread circulation has turned the 84-page book into an unofficial industry bible on safe and efficient event crewing practices. The company as a whole also received the Gold Award for Supplier of the Year: Logistics.


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INTERNATIONAL EVENTS

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Spectacular party marks hotel opening A SPECTACULAR launch party has taken place to mark the opening of a $1.5b hotel in the Middle East – with sound design provided by Delta Sound. The opening of the Atlantis Palm Jumeirah hotel was attended by stars from film, music and sport with a performance from Kylie Minogue – and the company, which has recently expanded its Dubai office had an 11- month planning period for the event. Delta Dubai’s sound designer and project manager Andy Jackson said: “We were recommended by technical director, Simon Ransom, and worked directly for Atlantis’s owners, Kerzner International.

Lavish times at the Atlantis Palm Jumeirah hotel

“Simon asked me to design the sound design and so it made sense for Delta to look at the whole project, including supplying equipment. “We started the project pretty much with a clean slate. We knew there was going to be a large audiovisual content and we knew that there would be some serious pyrotechnics involved. Those were the things that were set in stone as far as the sound design went. Things evolved over the next eight months, but we also knew fairly early on that there was going to be a major artist performing. The sound design had to cover all those aspects and preferably not double up on systems.”

Event organiser Dan Schofield took up a new challenge when he moved to the Middle East to work in Qatar’s growing events market. In the first of a regular column, Dan reveals the differences between events in Qatar and those in the UK.

What Dan can do in Doha ... SO what did I know about Doha before I moved here? Pretty much nothing other than that it successfully hosted the Asian Games in 2006. I knew nothing about how developed it was in terms of event delivery – in fact I didn't even know where in the world Qatar was. The company I work for is QMDI (Qatar MICE Development Institute). QMDI in a nutshell is an organisation set up to develop the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibition world in Doha. To that original set-up we also have a live events and festivals division which is where I work. Since arriving in Qatar I’ve been involved in the delivery of two major events with QMDI. Both events had been planned way in advance of my arrival so my role was very much on site overseeing the build and troubleshooting as required. Just being involved on an operational level gave me a great insight into what additional considerations need to be taken into account when doing events over here, lessons I will certainly apply to my own projects over the coming months. In October, we staged the inaugural concerts for the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra – a new 101 piece international orchestra – where we flew in Maestro Loren Maazel, to lead the orchestra for the first night of the performance. Two weeks later we delivered the launch of the Qatar Marine Festival – a fully Arabic spoken programme and stage performance for a VIP audience including the Emir and his consort HH Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned. The way it works out here is that everything has to be absolutely world class and we are given realistic budgets to make this happen. Until more Qatari based suppliers are developed this provides great opportunities for us to bring in the best of the best from around the world (which mainly means bringing in UK based

Dan Schofield teams as we did at the QMF launch) Across the water in Dubai, the events industry has skyrocketed over recent years with hundreds of Dubai based event companies now operating and that is the ambition for Doha – that Qatari event managers and suppliers will come through to lead the Industry in Qatar. Since being here the biggest difference I have noticed on the events is the can-do attitude. Examples include:  The planes are too noisy going over the site. Solution – the CAA instructed the diversion of 25 planes away from the site. Try getting that done at Heathrow.  The leaves on the palm trees are too brown. Solution – replace the whole tree. We didn’t even ask for the trees to be touched, the venue offered. Councils of the UK take note.  The grass isn’t green enough. Solution – spray paint it green overnight. Doha really is a great city to be living and working in and over the coming months we’ve got some fantastic events to work on.  Next issue – we look at the latest events Dan has been working on in Qatar and the rewards and challenges which they have brought.

The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra

Organiser lands contract with investment house AN organiser has beaten the credit crunch by putting on a big budget event which combined conferencing, networking and entertainment for a Middle East based investment house. The event – organised by Diamond City Events – was attended by high profile clients including members of Royal Families from the Middle East and Asia and took place at The Grove in Hertfordshire. Organiser Donna Comfort explained: “Our brief was incredibly

difficult and demanding. Our client Global Investment House is one of the world’s most respected investment houses with a fabulous reputation. Based in Kuwait they insisted, quite rightly, upon staging an event that would enhance that reputation and prove both stimulating and informative for their highly-valued and discerning clients. “What set this conference apart from others was the stratospheric profile of the attendees. They are

among the richest people in the world. While we cannot identify them they included members of Royal families predominantly from the Middle East and Asia. “It was marvellous to be able to show to some of the most wealthy and influential people in the world what we can do in the UK. It was important to win this contract for the UK events industry at a time when many companies are taking their high-profile events abroad because

of the value of the pound against other currencies. London is still a hub of the worldwide financial markets and it was amazing to be able to host an event of this kind in close proximity to the capital.” Highlights of the event included a conference to mark the Global Private Equity Annual Partners Meeting and private concerts from the stars of West End musical Mamma Mia! and Spirit of the Dance.


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LOCAL AUTHORITY SPOTLIGHT

Bradford’s calendar of events has changed dramatically over the years and there is now more focus than ever on delivering quality. Christina Eccles spoke to Bradford District Council’s events manager Vanessa Mitchell to find out how one local authority has raised its game.

How Vanessa helped up city’s game

The council organises events to celebrate Bradford’s diverse culture

THE Bradford district covers several towns including Keighley and Ilkley as well as the city centre – with Vanessa working on events throughout the whole area. Although it can be a challenge having so many things going on in different places, the districts publicise and support each other to promote and celebrate Bradford’s diverse cultural life. One of the most successful additions to the programme has been the big screen erected in Centenary Square in the city centre, which has broadcast a number of events live including football matches and the International Indian Film Awards. Vanessa has been in the role since 1996 and in the last 12 years has seen changes – both in her own role and in the industry as a whole. She explained: “We are now putting on much larger scale events. It has been recognised we have a space that is great for events and we hope to build on that and improve. “There is now a better understanding of events and people see how great they are for regeneration. There is a bigger will to get involved. “Because people are seeing the worth of events, it is enabling us to think more longer term. We have a four year plus plan for events and now have the backing and support to be able to deliver this.” The council’s list of events includes the Bradford Mela, Garden Magic in Centenary Square and the Christmas light switch on – with new ones also regularly considered. According to Vanessa, one of the most challenging things she has to deal with involves striking that balance between coming up with something new while making sure existing events stay fresh and evolve over the years. She added: “One of the biggest challenges is looking to create something new and different while also staying on top of the game with your regular events. “We spend a lot of time surfing the net to look at what’s going on in the industry, what artists are out there and trends from Europe and we also make use of the resources we have in the local district with the development of local artists and performers. “We are now planning for 2009 and looking at the event calendar where we have new events and our usual events such as Bradford Mela and the district events. We will also be developing Garden Magic and looking at

Vanessa Mitchell something which will form part of the Cultural Olympiad – a series of events between now and 2012. “From an events point of view, in 12 months’ time, I would like to see more use of the screen area. Near Centenary Square there are lots of bars and restaurants so we would like to work closely with the traders there. “The area has a lot of potential so we would look to introduce more events, maybe some street theatre and to develop our Christmas events.”

Communication is way forward in industry COMMUNICATING with other organisers to share ideas and problem solve is the way forward in the industry, according to Vanessa. From a local authority point of view, forging links with neighbouring local authorities could mean an events programme can be put together which benefits more than one area. She explained: “We come under the culture, tourism and sport department so we have to look at how to make the events into something which people would come and see. “We are joining together to think about the bigger picture and thinking ahead to the future. “We also have to be aware of other events which are going on so we don’t get major clashes with other local authorities. “There is an opportunity for local authorities to work more closely with each other and to have those within the region working together and linking in with Yorkshire Forward. “As an industry, being part of organisations such as NOEA is important for communication with others. It is nice to see what they are doing and share ideas because as local authorities we have similar problems. “Evaluation is also really important to highlight areas of improvement and this has shown on some of the events we have done this year.”

The big screen in Centenary Square is a popular attraction.


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When the International Indian Film Academy awards came to Yorkshire last year, the council made sure Bradford’s residents would not miss out on the action. For the first time ever, organisers allowed the event to be broadcast live where previously it had been pre-recorded for television. Crowds were able to watch the ceremony via the big screen in Centenary Square which was combined with a special dance event on the steps of City Hall.

Council takes a risk and changes its festive formula ... BRADFORD’S Christmas light switchon has always followed the formula of those seen in many other towns and cities up and down the country. A stage complete with live music and celebrities – which have included local singer Gareth Gates – who would perform and then switch the lights on to mark the start of the city’s festive season. But this year, the council decided to take a risk and totally transformed their Christmas events programme. Vanessa explained: “It had been the same for a number of years and a lot of other cities were also doing it so we decided it was time for a change and to do something different. The switch on is also about highlighting shopping in the city but we felt it wasn’t doing that. “We changed the day from a Thursday to Saturday and decided it would last a day rather than an hour and a half. The aim was to bring more families in. “We called the event Step into

Christmas and it included street theatre and a lantern parade through the city which the community could get involved in by making the lanterns. “Within the square, we brought in a huge inflatable candle, with an aerialist and dancers outside it, lighting, music and pyrotechnics and finishing off with snow. We saw a massive change – the city centre was busy both during the day and the evening so it worked well. We have definitely got something to develop and it also gives the community the chance to get involved. “In the square, at its peak we had about 6,000 which is about the maximum that space can take – next year we may look at road closures to be able to take more. “We are spending the same amount of money we did before but it will now go further as there is no pit area, we can reduce the infrastructure and have a different approach to security.”

Festivals bring community together

The council decided to do things differently for the 2008 Christmas lights switch on to ensure there was something for the whole family to enjoy.

BRADFORD District Council also funds festivals within the district which allows all sections of the community to get involved. Vanessa added that although these events are council- funded, they are organised by committees within the district. She added: “This allows a whole programme of events to happen which are not necessarily organised by the council – it is vital the community is involved in organising events as well. “Bradford Mela, for example, is a huge event and a mix of departments pull that together – the event is a culmination of that.”


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GLASGOW WINTERFEST

This is the second year that Glasgow’s winter events programme has run as Winterfest – bringing the city’s outdoor events under one frosty umbrella. And with the season in full swing, Mary Ferguson met events manager Colin Hartley to find out what changes have been made.

Colin makes sure chilly Glasgow is cool for Winter COLIN manages the events organisation for Culture and Sport Scotland, an independent charitable organisation that was formerly part of Glasgow City council. The biggest challenge in their portfolio is putting together the Winter events and last year they were pulled into a single brand to form Winterfest, an integrated events programme for the city’s coldest months. Colin said: “Our winter events weren’t in a fantastic state a few years ago so we are really proud of the new branding. We wanted to get them all under one umbrella and did this for the first time last year, with some great feedback.” This year’s Winterfest ran from November 16 and will end on January 11, incorporating 11 events that include Hogmanay, The Irn-Bru Carnival – the biggest indoor carnival in Europe – and Shindig, a two day event of

music and dancing to celebrate St. Andrew’s Day. The Christmas Lights switch-on with 17,000 people on November 16 marked the start of Winterfest, and Colin’s team then had a oneweek build time to get everything in place before the rest of the events began. This season ‘Glasgow On Ice’ incorporates a large ice rink being constructed around the Scott Monument in George Square, with a different event every night of the week. Colin believes the rink to be the biggest circumnavigation of a monument in the world and counts it as one of the organisation’s biggest achievements. “Last year the new ice rink was the big eyebrow raiser as people were genuinely amazed by what they saw. Because we built it around the monument with close proximity to the tree it had real impact and generated 35 per cent more skaters than the 2006 sea-

son. This year though the highlight will be the enhanced stage programme – we are raising the bar and people are noticing.” The programme includes a film night, ‘new talent’ night showcasing new bands. a Jazz night and a Friday night party event. The stage has been constructed at 20m to accommodate the acts for Hogmanay, and Colin said that because of that they have had to be careful how they fill it. He added: “Every city has an ice rink but not always cultural programming to go with it – so to have something taking place every night for eight weeks is quite a feat. “Previously our winter events used to consist of the lights switch on, a standard ice rink and Hogmanay and that was it. So politically it was a challenge to change things with the city’s powers that be as they were initially resistant. But, he added: “It took three

Colin Hartley years to get the changes approved because we needed political ‘buy-in’ but it has been worth it. Year one last winter worked but this season our aim is to really take the events to the next level.”

Separation has really boosted city events CULTURE and Sport Scotland separated from the Glasgow City Council a year ago and according to Colin, the move has really benefitted the events they organise. He said: “We were previously a normal council department but now we can be more private sector in terms of how we operate, although we are

still spending public money so need to be able to justify that. “Distancing ourselves from the council though has affected us beyond belief and in five or ten years the company will be phenomonally different from what it is now. “Major events are our main business and aside from the winter pro-

gramme we organise the city’s big sporting events and summer events including the Glasgow Mela and BBC Proms in the Park.” The city is hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2014 so 2009 will provide ‘breathing space’ before the push begins in the lead-up in 2010.

“Next year will be a quieter year but from 2010 our sporting events action plan will come into play. “Even though the Commonwealth Games are not coming until 2014 we are very much involved in preperation already and we have an action plan of events that will run from 2010 onwards, acting almost as test runs.”


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GLASGOW WINTERFEST

Left: Paolo Nutini Right: Last year’s Hogmanay celebrations

Why the Hogmanay celebrations in Glasgow have to be different ... LOCATED just 40 miles away from Edinburgh, Colin admits that Glasgow’s Hogmanay celebrations are often in their neighbour’s shadow. He said: “We are competing in some respects with Edinburgh but we deliberately try to be different. They go for top-end artists as they have the pulling power because of their budgets but we don’t want to go down that route. “We don’t want to stage an outdoor event that takes business away from the city’s bars and clubs, which is what happens in Edinburgh. We want to fit it in like a jigsaw.” The Hogmanay celebrations take place in George Square with an attendance of around 50,000 people and a £15 ticket price, and this year Scottish singer Paolo Nutini will be the main entertainment. Controversially, he is playing both

Edinburgh and Glasgow, after turning down offers from Glasgow Council in the past. But because Colin wants to promote this year’s Hogmanay as a party not a gig, Paolo – who is being joined by The Script – is not being referred to as a ‘headliner’. He said: “There is no rivalry between ourselves and Edinburgh as we know we are doing different things and the fact that we are sharing Paolo demonstrates this.” This year the event will be broadcast on national television with at least ten per cent of Scotland’s population tuning in – which Colin said is testament to the event. He added: “Five years ago we would never have believed that our Hogmanay would be on TV. As every programmer knows, Hogmanay is a hard event to programme but we are really pleased with it this year.”

Explosive firework fun JUST before Winterfest begins, Sport and Leisure Scotland organises a large-scale fireworks display on Glasgow Green. The event attracts around 70,000 people each year – ten per cent of Glasgow’s population – and this year included a West End performance of Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat. The display – which has always been free – was moved from November 5 to November 6 to make way for a Celtic football match, illustrating the importance of football to the city. The fireworks have been running in Glasgow for decades – becoming one of the biggest displays in the UK – and Colin said that recent changes have taken the event up a notch. “We made the decision last year to

do away with the stage and construct big screens to show the performances instead. Because the numbers were getting so big people were becoming too keen to get to the stage so we decided to set up two 60m screens so that people can be anywhere in the park and still enjoy it, instead of focusing on just one area. “It was quite a radical decision to replace the stage with screens but it went down really well and has also helped us cut costs and we’ve actually had a lot of interest from local authorities keen to adopt the idea.” This year Colin’s team spent £25,000 on pyrotechnics and the whole event cost £100,000. He added: “The event is becoming monstrous and it has to be seen to be believed how many people are there each year.”

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Packed programme unveiled for show THE dates have been announced for the 2009 Great Yorkshire Show – with organisers promising a packed programme of events. The show takes place at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate from Tuesday 14 – Thursday 16 July and is organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. More than 125,000 visitors come to the show over the three days and 2009 marks the 151st show. The programme for 2009 includes:  About 5,000 cattle, sheep, pigs and horses  World famous show jumping  Fashion in the Skipton Building Society Fashion Pavilion  Display of the region’s food and drink in the purpose built Food Hall  Demonstrations of country skills  Cookery demonstrations  Specialist Cheese and Dairy Show  Flower Show  Military and steel bands  Art Show  Hundreds of trade stands selling everything from combine harvesters to Jacuzzi baths.

Diversity award PRIDE London has been given an award for Best Celebration of Cultural Diversity at this year’s Visit London Awards. The award comes just after the announcement that London has been selected as host city for WorldPride 2012 and recognises Pride London’s contribution to the cultural life of the city and to promoting its diversity and openness around the world. Director of Pride London Paul Birrell said: “We always knew that Pride London is popular – over threequarters of a million people turned up for last year’s event so it is fantastic that this award recognises that popularity and significant tourist income for the London economy which we generate for the first time.”

Olympic gold medallists Chris Hoy, Paralympian Eleanor Simmonds and Rebecca Adlington at the start with Tony Blair

Run keeps organisers on their toes all year round By Dominic Musgrave THE Great North Run has grown to become the largest half marathon in Europe with more than 52,000 runners taking to the North East’s streets. This year’s event was the 28th, and it has grown over the years to now include a sport and fitness exhibition at the Metro Radio Arena and several smaller runs on Newcastle’s quayside during the weekend. Nova International are the team behind the event, the largest of 20 races they organise nationwide. Plans for next year’s race began even before this year’s took place. Senior operations manager Charlie Mussett said there are six working groups behind the Great North Run. He added: “Plans for the runs are constantly ongoing throughout the year but we really start thinking about the Great North Run in March.

Music events are hitting the right note for racecourses RACECOURSES are experiencing a surge in popularity after adding music events to their race day programmes, according to a new report. The report – Jump Racing Focus, Essentials of the sport for investors 2008-2009 – has revealed organisations involved in staging Jump Racing events expect to deliver strong business results over the coming season, in spite of any downturn in the wider economy. This was shown at one of the first events of the winter Jump season, The Showcase, held at Cheltenham, where attendances were up by more than five per cent on last year and revenue generated increased by more

than 23 per cent compared to 2007. Chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority Nic Coward said: “Jump Racing is going through a tremendous period with top horses like Denman and Kauto Star capturing the public imagination. This is being reflected in increased attendances at meetings where those horses race and increased coverage by the media. Racecourses have risen to the challenge of developing their audiences, using initiatives such as integrating music into the racing day, with acts like Girls Aloud, and Ladies’ Days, which have been a huge success all over the country.”

As we have to shut a lot of the roads in the area, traffic management takes up a lot of our time as we aim to keep disruption to a minimum. “We also have to work closely with the local transport systems, including the Metro underground system and ferry operators, as well as getting runners from their hotels, which can be as far away as Berwick, Cumbria or York.” Building the hundreds of marquees at the finish on South Shields sea front begins two weeks before the race, and it is stripped down within 10 days. This year’s build was hampered by the bad weather in the weeks leading up to the event. “There is a huge hospitality operation at the finish with the sponsors Bupa,” he said. “This year there were more than 13,000 guests in the ‘village’, and 94 charities were also represented in some form, either by a

small pitch or a share in one of the larger pavilions. “This year’s build was the hardest we have ever had because a lot of the land was saturated so we had to bring in a lot of extra trackway. Next year we will put a wet weather contingency plan in place to deal with this but as with all events you live and learn.” The region’s roads including part of the motorway are closed at 8pm on the night before the race so that a team can work through the night to put the necessary barriers, signage and stands in place Charlie added: “One of the biggest headaches is the geographical area that the run covers and you probably wouldn’t choose the North East region if you were starting again. You have the North Sea to the east and the Tyne to the north so there is not a lot of room to work with.”

Conference to highlight 2012 opportunities By Christina Eccles

Beijing Olympics.

THE first in a series of conferences designed to help the industry understand the opportunities leading up to the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 will take place at International Confex.

Commercial director at Visit London David Hornby said: “It is clear that the UK events industry are not just keen for information on how they can get the most out of the Olympic opportunity, but are desperate for the right information from the right sources.

The event – Events 2012 & Beyond – is being organised in conjunction with Visit London and VisitBritain and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) will be working with the organisers to develop content, which will include key learning’s from the

“David Sharpe and the rest of the development group are well placed, with the support of Visit London and VisitBritain, to provide this information and deliver an outstanding industry event.”


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EVENT SHOW PREVIEW

Elegance combined with finest of facilities OPENED in 1912, Central Hall is a unique historic Edwardian building situated in the heart of Westminster, London. Combined with the elegancy are the very finest of conference, meeting and banqueting facilities with access to state of-the-art audio visual and technical equipment. Many events of national importance and eminent speakers have been welcomed – perhaps one of the most famous events being the Inaugural General Assembly of the United Nations in 1946. This building has also welcomed British Prime Ministers, members of the Royal Family and Ambassadors from many countries – Mahatma Ghandi spoke in the lecture hall in autumn 1931, and General de Gaulle founded the Free French here in the early 1940s. This affordable, versatile, central London venue offers organisers various sized, recently refurbished meeting rooms with natural daylight and blackout facilities. We have 1,400 square metres of exhibition space plus numerous other spaces for catering or syndicate rooms. Central Hall regularly hosts a variety

of different events including major conferences, graduation ceremonies, examinations, lobbies to parliament, product launches, gala dinners, receptions and wedding receptions. For more information: Tel: 020 7654 3880 Web: www.c-h-w.com

Equipment individually constructed IDE Systems design and manufacture high quality specialist electrical distribution equipment for a wide range of industries. From commercial to construction, military to healthcare, wherever there is a need. Our distribution equipment is individually constructed to ensure your products are efficient, robust and easy to use. For short or long term rental, we maintain a comprehensive fleet of electrical distribution equipment and cable to meet your temporary power

Geared up for first-rate service for any event throughout the UK THE Morris Leslie Group have at present one of the largest fleets in the UK of all terrain utility vehicles – comprising of Kawasaki 4x4 diesel mules, John Deere 4x2 diesel Gators and JCB Groundhogs. We have a variety of trailers to complement the above machines and we can also offer a large range of two, four and six seat golf buggies. Our fleet also includes rough terrain forklifts both straight mast and telescopic, which can be supplied with grass tyres if required, along with an extensive range of powered access and general plant and ground care equipment. At Morris Leslie we pride ourselves

on a well-maintained fleet and have fully-trained service teams which we believe enable us to offer customers a first class service for any event throughout the UK. The Morris Leslie Group are a multi-facetted national company who operate across a wide variety of industry sectors. The group own 2,000 acres of land in Central and Highland Scotland, including Perth Airport which is an ideal location for filming or for use as a concert venue. Also situated on Perth Airport are three unique venues for sleeping, dining and celebrating. For more information: Tel: 01442 217217 Email: stuart.couzens@morrisleslie.co.uk

distribution requirements. Servicing the event industry, industrial processes, generator rental and construction markets. Visit us online at www.idesystems.co.uk

Green Light appoints dedicated events team OVER the past five years, Green Light Traffic Management have seen a huge growth in the number of events that they have been involved with, so much so that they now have a dedicated events team. Handling events ranging from small village fetes with less than 50 people in attendance right through to our largest event to date, a pop concert that 90,000 people attended. We understand that vehicle traffic flow is the first and last impression a guest experiences when attending an event. Green Light offers a comprehensive event management service. Green Light Traffic Management is committed to implementing a traffic plan with efficiency, integrity and courtesy. Over the years, they have acquired a wealth of knowledge and developed solutions to solve prob-

lems where others have failed. With the ability to draw up a successful traffic plan that will be instrumental in your guests’ overall services program and an important key to customer satisfaction by working alongside other organisations, such as the police, transport operators and local councils. With Green Light managing the whole operation from planning through to implementation we will help to ensure that your event goes smoothly and as planned. Contact: Phone 01924 463223 Web: www.gltm.co.uk

Geoff Ellis

Geoff gives green guidance PROMOTER of T in the Park Geoff Ellis will reveal his tips for environmentally friendly festivals as part of the Event Show’s Access Sessions. He will be joined by Alison Tickell, director of energy management specialist Julie's Bicycle – a company set up to find ways to reduce the UK music industry’s greenhouse gas emissions – at the show, which takes place at London’s Olympia on

January 21 and 22. Other speakers include Live Nation’s festival director John Probyn; chief executive of Kilimanjaro Live, Stuart Galbraith and Star Events Group’s development director Roger Barrett who will all be taking part in a panel debate along with two other event industry professionals to be confirmed.


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Show reports increase in new exhibitors PLANS for the 2009 Event Show are well underway – with a 10 per cent increase in new exhibitors. Repeat bookings are also up by 15 per cent for the show which takes place at London’s Olympia on January 21 and 22. The Event Show manager Michelle Tayton said: “With the global credit crisis affecting many businesses, event organisers know that it is crucial to retain existing clients now more than ever by delivering maximum return on investment and keeping one step ahead of competitors. By taking one day out of the office, The Event Show delivers practical, creative and inspirational ideas that will make the best use of budgets and help to attract new customers.” The Event Show attracts the major decision makers and over half the visitors to the exhibition are directly responsible for purchasing decisions. 49 per cent of attendees organise corporate events, 37 per cent arrange conferences and 31 per cent organise festivals. The remainder are associated with charitable and public sector events as well as concerts, product launches and sports, air and horticultural shows. Following on from the success of 2008’s celebrity performers such as Alexander O’Neal, The Drifters and

‘Champion of Champions’ Repeat bookings are up by 15 per cent Rowetta, there will also be a new lineup of star performers on the Live stage. Themes Inc has exhibited at The Event Show for 10 consecutive years and marketing manager Shaun Westerman said of last year’s exhibition: “Brilliant. A very, very good show, it is definitely quality and quantity. The first day was excellent and the second day didn’t dip.”

JUBILEE Fireworks are Britain’s premier pyrotechnic company. This claim is based on the fact we are the UK’s most awarded display company, having gained the ‘Champion of Champions’ title in both national competitions – The British Fireworks Championships and The British Musical Fireworks Championships. In addition, we gained first prize in the 2007 World Fireworks Championships in Blackpool. Our work is characterised by a unique style that draws on a strong European influence from Italy and Spain. Jubilee displays combine artistic presentation and inspired choreography with dynamic performances, particularly in the area of pyro-musicals. We are very comprehensively resourced and are one of the few UK

companies to import material from Spain and Italy, adding an extra dimension to our displays. Ancilliary services include professional operator training, indoor and stage pyrotechnics and specialised work for the TV and film industry. We have worked with a number of major companies on joint projects and recently had an involvement in the opening ceremonies for the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai – the largest fireworks display ever staged. A first class service and solid reputation – combined with a realistic pricing policy – makes Jubilee the number one choice for local authorities and event organisers who take firework entertainment seriously. For more information: Tel: 01384 402255 Web: www.jubileefireworks.com Stand Number: 400

Supplying equipment to top events and venues GT Trax, together with sister company FoldTable UK, provide a range of trackway and event seating solutions for hire or sale throughout the UK. During 2008 both organisations supplied equipment to many of the UK’s top events and venues including: Hampton Court, the Mall, Trafalgar Square, T in the Park, London City Airport and the V Festivals. At this year’s Event Show, GT Trax will unveil their very latest product, a heavy-duty cable protection ramp, ideally suited for safely concealing up to five cable lines on outside or indoor events.

Finest quality for all sizes of events PURPLE Audio hire the finest quality PA Systems for all sizes of events including concerts/festivals, touring, press/product launches and pro-DJ events. Specialising in large-scale shows where a high degree of professionalism and audio quality is required. For those wanting a complete package we can provide full event

production for stage, lighting, security, barriers, video walls etc. We sell and install Funktion-One sound systems to venues across the UK. All the work we carry out is to the highest standard both in the audio and visual sense. Want to judge for yourself? Then come and see the incredible

Funktion-One Resolution five PA System on our stand at The Event Show and hear just how good the audio quality could be at your next event or show. Purple Audio will be giving demonstrations throughout the day, come and chat to us on stand 420 or call 01273 270101. Web: www.purpleaudio.co.uk

FoldTable UK has supplied number individually livered tables to some major brands during 2008 and an example of personally prepared FoldTable will available for inspection. Also on display will be examples of many other GT Trax products, including an innovative pathway system, together with samples of their HMPE plastic outrigger support pads. All GT Trax/FoldTable products are available for rent or purchase throughout the UK. Contact: Tel: 0870 405 5588 Email: info@gttrax.co.uk Stand number: 554


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The Royal International Air Tattoo has been a prestigious event on the calendar for almost 40 years. But this year’s show hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons after bad weather forced its cancellation. Here head of press and public relations, Richard Arquati, shares the experience with The Main Event.

Air Tattoo grounded by torrential downpours EVEN before the first of 300 aircraft touched down at the US Air Force base at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo was destined to be a vintage airshow. Ticket sales for the world’s largest military airshow were at a five-year high, Her Majesty The Queen was due to pay us a visit and the eight hour flying display programme included the European flying debut of the USAF F-22A Raptor and the restored Vulcan bomber – aviation’s equivalent of having Elvis and The Beatles on the same bill. The month-long build operation, creating the vast infrastructure capable of accommodating more than 160,000 visitors over one weekend in July, was complete. The grandstands were up, the ground displays were in place, the 2,500+ volunteers had been briefed and the 300+ staff in the large chalet complex were eagerly buffing the champagne glasses ready

to welcome the first of over 2,000 VIP guests. Up until the day before the public event was due to take place, we were quietly confident we could put in place contingencies that would enable the airshow to go ahead despite the rainfall that had plagued us during the build phase. But on Friday, July 11 it rained – buckets. Two separate but equally torrential downpours suddenly cast a doubt over the event as the fields used for car parking quickly became saturated and large lakes of water appeared on the airfield. No longer was the water draining away. After weeks of steady rainfall, the deluge on Friday meant we had, effectively, reached saturation point – this created a whole new set of problems for us. On the logistics front we responded immediately by ordering additional resources. 100 tonnes of aggregate from a conveniently situated quarry next door was delivered to help reinforce the main car park entrances and woodchip was brought in. We ordered 380 linear metres of aluminium trackway, exhausting, so we were told, all commercial supplies of available trackway. Ours was clearly only one of a large number of outdoor events planned that weekend

around the country that was threatened by the atrocious conditions. We were grateful to all our suppliers for their prompt response, their flexibility and overall support. Not only this, but we were indebted to the local farmers who were fully cooperative in our attempts to improve the conditions in their flooded fields. However, despite a Herculean effort, and in consultation with the police and other emergency services, we finally had to make the difficult decision to cancel the event on safety grounds. Now that the summer, or what passed itself off as the summer, has become a faint memory, plans are being made to ensure nothing similar ever happens again. We are looking at ways to fortify the main entrances to the external car parks, we are exploring opportunities to create spine roads in the fields using aluminium trackway and we are looking at how we might introduce parking on hardstanding on the airfield itself. Everyone involved in organising this unique event, which supports the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, is committed to ensuring that next summer’s Air Tattoo will be every bit as special as this year’s was destined to be.

Streaming teaming with EA ELECTRONIC Arts, the world’s leading game supplier teamed up with Streaming Tank, the leading video streaming company to work on the online video production and live streaming at the EA Be The One event in Trafalgar Square, London. The event, running from October 30 through to the November 1 involved Electronic Arts taking over Trafalgar Square with its three-day games extravaganza. Electronic Arts employed Attention Seekers to video the activities on central stage. Attention Seekers sent the audio and video feeds to Streaming Tank who based themselves on location to live encode sporting and

music celebrities on centre stage. Electronic Arts had major events happening on stage for one and a half to two hour intervals. When the events where not active on centre stage, then the focus moved to the Streaming Tank production teams. Two roving camera crews with presenters interviewed celebrities off stage and the general public. These feeds were sent live via RF links to the Streaming Tanks vision mixers on site, then encoded live to the web. The event was timed around the last school half term before Christmas to promote the new games being realised by EA including Spore and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2009.


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INSURANCE

Cancellation insurance still available despite ‘severe’ terrorism threat By Chris Rackliffe, specialist underwriter with Beazley THE government currently rates the threat of terrorism in the UK as severe. This view is unlikely to change in the near term, particularly as the shock waves from Mumbai continue to reverberate all around the world. Despite the high level of threat, insurance is still available in the UK and worldwide to cover organisers for the cost of cancelling the event and for loss of revenue (including profit) that would ensue from event cancellation. This could include everything from venue hire and contractors’ set up costs, right through to income from ticket sales, revenue from stands and even the value of television rights or lost advertising revenue. The terrorist attack does not need to occur at the event itself in order to trigger coverage. In practice this means that if a terrorist attack in London were to cause damage to transport links or property that would prevent ticket holders from attending an event or equipment from being delivered, in these circumstances event cancellation cover would be provided.

Likewise, if it became necessary to cancel an event because sports teams or celebrities are prevented from participating because of the terrorist threat, then this eventuality could also be covered. Depending on the location of the event and the perceived likelihood of the attack, the breadth of coverage and the cost of event cancellation insurance will vary. In the current difficult environment, organisers and insurers need to work together to find an appropriate balance between the likelihood and severity of the risk and the premium that needs to be paid. Cancellation insurance needs to be thought about sooner rather than later and should be a routine part of event planning. The cost will only go up closer to the event, and terms may become restricted. As soon as costs begin to be incurred, insurance needs to be made a priority. In the past, Beazley has insured a variety of high profile events, including International cricket matches, Formula One races and major tennis tournaments as well as many entertainment related events and trade shows both in the UK and around the world.

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Organisers should make sure they have cancellation insurance to protect themselves in situations such as this

Two thirds don’t insure event By Lucy Scurlock-Jones, managing director, Event Insurance ACCORDING to a survey conducted by a major event insurer, 33 per cent of event organisers asked were unaware of what insurance protection was in place for their event and the specific risks that can be covered. Two thirds of event organisers do not buy cancellation insurance for their events, despite a second year of unprecedented weather disruptions, which resulted in widespread cancellation and abandonment of events across the UK. Among this summer’s cancelled events was England’s Twenty20 international cricket match with South Africa, it was abandoned on August 20 2008 because of heavy rain. The ground has a capacity of 15,000 and the organisers were faced with returning ticket fees ranging from £10 to £65.00 Cancellation cover should be a significant part of event management which needs addressing as early as possible as the costs will only escalate as the event draws nearer, and naturally terms will become restricted. Once costs are

incurred, insurance should become a significant priority. Event Cancellation insurance specifically indemnifies the insured for irrecoverable costs if the event has to be cancelled, abandoned, postponed, interrupted or relocated. Many events rely upon the appearance of a key performer or speaker, the nonappearance of whom would ultimately result in the event’s cancellation due to reasons beyond the control of the insured. Despite the weather disruptions and the significant financial losses that many event organisers would have suffered, event organisers continue to ignore cancellation cover leaving them exposed to unnecessary risks should the unexpected happen. The risk, however, is not limited to major event organisers, any organiser who puts on an event, conference, party or even a wedding, is exposed to an event cancellation risk, it is virtually inevitable that at some point an organiser will face the risk of financial loss from the cancellation of an event.


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CHRISTMAS EVENTS

Over 6,000 people attended a free event organised as part of the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival. The event saw Gateshead’s Saltwell Park brought to life with over a dozen artworks inspired by wintertime stories which lit up the park. Enchanted Parks was presented by culture10 and Gateshead Council and produced by Magnetic Events. The growing popularity of ice skating was reflected by the number of projects undertaken by De Boer over the festive season. The company worked on a record number of temporary ice rink assignments at venues including the Tower of London, Hampton Court and Kew Gardens and each was provided with structures for café areas and skate hire, as well as the rink bases. Sales manager James Watts said: “Every festive season has seen De Boer’s involvement in ice rinks going from strength to strength. We are proud to have established strong relationships with a number of clients, many of whom have expanded their role in the market from year to year.”

The event included characters dressed in traditional Victorian costume.

A successful Christmas event is one of the toughest challenges the industry has to offer, according to REM’s managing director Mike Richmond.

Company helps create a ‘living pantomime’ PORTSMOUTH Historic Dockyard’s ‘A Victorian Festival of Christmas’, produced and programmed by REM and the Historic Dockyard’s events department, was an example of how to create an event with genuine magic. Well-known for its production expertise, REM also played a major role in the creative brief at this festival. Mike said: “My idea of a festival is a complete experience. We wanted to recreate the dockyard as it would have been 150 years ago, so it became a living pantomime. We had original features such as a Victorian mirrored tent which was transformed into ‘Fagin’s Tavern’, and all 400 performers were in period costume.” As well as musical performances, carol singers and themed street entertainers, there were costumed, role-playing performers among the crowd, acting as Fagin-style “pickpockets”, ladies of ill-repute, a Victorian police constable and Queen Victoria herself. Mike added: “Aware of the current economic situation, the visitor attraction particularly wanted to give people great value for money. “We made a conscious effort to use the assets of the dockyard, which includes several existing tourist

attractions, and depict the spirit of Christmas in the past. Visitors paid £12 per adult or £36 for a family ticket and had free entry to the HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, The Mary Rose, the Royal Naval Museum and Action Stations. Additionally, there was a fantastic retail offer, with the largest Christmas market on the South Coast. “It was like a film set. We used a mixture of ground-laid snow and high volume snow machines. People thought it really was snowing.” A more contemporary attraction was the appearance of the FA Cup, put on display by 2008 winners Portsmouth FC, which added an extra dimension to the event. REM’s Jo Ashwell – who played a significant role in bringing the performers together – added: “We made a huge effort to make everything look spontaneous, so that the public was interacting with real Victorian characters. Yet we planned it carefully to ensure that there would be something happening on every corner of the site.” Mike added: “Portsmouth’s Victorian Festival of Christmas demonstrated that value for money and a real enthusiasm for the theme are key factors when creating a successful Christmas event.”

Winter Wonderland ice rink accommodates 300 skaters STAGE Electrics supplied its biggest outdoor ice rink of the year to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway for the Winter Wonderland event in Bristol. The rink, the largest outdoor rink in the South West is offering hourlong skating sessions each accommodating 300 skaters, with the rink

50 per cent bigger than in 2007. Live events commercial manager Ian Tregaskis said: “We are delighted to be working with The Mall again on this flagship project. “Its Winter Wonderland is a Christmas spectacle that delights all visitors, and this year’s larger rink will please all keen ice skaters.”

Bury St Edmunds Christmas market

Firm is power behind Christmas market BURY St Edmunds Christmas market includes a mix of British and continental traders celebrating international customs and marks the beginning of a busy month for the town’s retailers. Pearce Hire supplied a tailored production package of temporary power, lighting and audio to the event which also included entertainment from local entertainers, bands, schools and choirs Pearce Hire’s project manager John Huson said: “The main outdoor market was split into two sections, one in front of the Abbey, complete with fairground rides and a live entertainment stage, one inside the Abbey Garden complex.

“We provided power to all the traders and some of the fairground through a pair of super silent 200 kVA generators. “An indoor section of the market was split between two venues, the Athenaeum and the nearby Corn Exchange, where we ensured safe distribution from the venue’s mains supply to all traders. “This was an open site with unrestricted public access during the set up and throughout the three day market. As per usual we were particularly careful with the electrical distribution; once again making sure all circuits were tested and using extensive runs of cable ramps in all pedestrian areas.”


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Management firm breaks into cycling organisation By Christina Eccles A NORTH West based events management company has carved out a successful niche organising cycling events. Pennine Events was started in 2002 by Mark Sandamas – a keen sportsman himself who has completed several major cycling challenges – after he saw an opportunity to deliver cycling events both in the spectator-friendly town centre circuit races and in the rapidly growing area of mass participation rides. Since then, the company has organised high-profile cycling and health-related events for clients such as British Cycling, the UK’s governing body for cycling, Cycling Scotland, Kent County Council and several other local authorities. Mark said: “Despite the economic downturn, we are optimistic about the prospects for our future business growth. “Cycling, for example, is growing massively in popularity as a spectators’ sport thanks to the success of the UK’s top riders across the world in recent years. People are also looking at their health more seriously and this should mean that our health-related events continue to be wellsupported.” Events the company has worked on include:  Stage 1 of the Tour de France.  Pedal for Scotland – Scotland’s largest participation

bike ride with just under 6,000 cyclists.  Great Notts Bike Ride – the biggest ride in the East Midlands with over 5,000 participants.  Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool Bike Ride. This is the largest cycle ride in Merseyside with nearly 2,500 participants.  British Cyclosportive – the largest sportive event held yet in Britain involving 5,000 participants on a 120-mile route, six separate sites and over 150 staff and volunteers. The company also organised the Under and Over the Mersey – a major public participation event in the Liverpool Capital of Culture programme. The event saw 15,000 walk through the world famous Queensway Tunnel and has just won best event category in the North West CIPR Awards.

Company commended IN the summer of 2007, The Metropolitan Police presented the company with a Certificate of Commendation for its work in Kent on Stage One of the Tour de France.

Pennine Events was responsible for health and safety, risk assessments, and crowd management and logistics and more than two million people safely watched the event.

Cycling is growing massively in popularity


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NOEA

Celebrating 30 years of NOEA NOEA Members Yearbook 2009 will be published at The Event Show, London on January 21 and 22 – you may pick up a complimentary copy from the NOEA Stand or apply by contacting NOEA direct.

Calendar 2009 January 21–22 The Event Show, Olympia, London January 22 Spotlight on Local Authorities Seminar, The Event Show February 25–27 30th Anniversary NOEA Convention & Tribute Celebration Evening – The Oxford Belfry, Nr Thame, Oxfordshire February 25 NOEA Golf Day (Convention) March IFEA Europe Annual Conference, Bratislava (tbc) March 12 Main Event Exhibition, Glasgow – NOEA Stand April 21 NOEA Conference, Exeter Castle October 21–22 Showman’s Show, Newbury – NOEA Stand October 21 NOEA Local Authority Network Meeting, Showman’s Show Other Conferences to include Teesside, Liverpool, Bath, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Channel Islands and Cornwall, (tbc) = all to be confirmed

Seventh Annual Convention and Tribute Celebration evening 2009 – The Oxford Belfry Hotel Wednesday February 25 – Friday February 27 Celebrating the 30th anniversary of NOEA – what will the next 30 years bring? Preliminary programme to date: Wednesday February 25 Golf Tournament – Waterstock Golf Club, Informal Reception and Dinner Thursday February 26 Morning Session – challenges for a secure future  Welcome and Introduction – Richard Limb, President Keynote Speaker – Tobias Ellwood MP, Shadow Minister for Tourism, Licensing and Gambling – What have we learned from the last 30 years to progress the industry through the next 30 years? Are we over-regulating ourselves in the UK, hampering our ability to produce events in the current environment? Panel of Speakers – Richard Limb, Capita Symonds Ltd, Philip Day, Horsey Lightly Fynn (Solicitors) and Rob Corp, Cardiff Council. Questions and Answers Session  How can the events industry survive, consolidate, keep its workforce and develop in a challenging but recessionary world through innovation and creativity? Panel to include – Simon Graveling, Stage One Creative Services Ltd and others.  Government policy and funding for the UK tourism and Events industry –what are the future local, regional

Claire Barton (right) and Rebekah Hanbury manning the NOEA Stand at the Showman’s Show, Newbury October 2008 Economy – what makes it all work in and national implications? the end? Invited Michael Hirst, OBE – Business Close & Exhibit Visits & Events Partnership Open Surgery Sessions – progress in  Why are events so important in a the development of the NOEA Local recession whether community, Authority Group and the regional, national or international? Universities/Students Section – to be Open session – Panel of Speakers Afternoon Session – London 2012 and confirmed beyond Tribute Celebration Evening – College  Looking to the future – David Suite and Lounge Stubbs, Head of Environment and President’s Reception in College Sustainable Development, London Lounge Bar, Firework Display, 2012. Dinner, Dessert and Coffee, Tribute  Update on the roll-out of the Awards, attractions and “Loose Talk” Cultural Olympiad – Opportunities – Live Band/ Disco. small and medium sized enterprises Friday February 27 – final session – Mike Mulvey, Chief Executive,  The great event debate between London Business Network, London Local Authorities and the Private First. Sector  Reaching a wider audience – 2012, Session chair – Brian Cleary, Sygma Europe and beyond? Safety Ltd. Invited – Allan Xenius Grige, Local Authorities – Rob Corp, Cardiff Chairman, International Festivals & Council on Police and Fire issues. Events Association Europe (IFEA) Private Sector – Speaker to be  Open Surgery Session – announced. Sustainability – Global warming – is Local Authority – Licensing issues – it a challenge, opportunity or threat Lionel Starling, Swindon Borough to the planet as it is widely alleged to Council. be? - to be confirmed.  11.30 -12.00. Wash-up session – To  Keynote Speaker – Harvey discuss the Convention and ideas for Goldsmith CBE the next one.  12pm Close Events, Environment and the

Record attendances for successful conferences Leeds Conference and Annual General Meeting NOEA arranged two very successful conferences in November. The first one being at Cardiff Castle, with many thanks to Rob Corp, Cardiff Council and his colleagues. The second one was held at Leeds Town Hall with many thanks to Sylvia McCann, Millennium Square Leeds and her colleagues. There were record attendances at both events. The 29th Annual General Meeting of the Association took place at Leeds and the following were elected to the

General Council for 2008/2009:Richard Limb, Capita Symonds Ltd, President Annemarie Chebib, Select Security & Stewarding Ltd, Vice President Philip Day, Horsey Lightly Fynn, Vice President Keith Allen, Allen-Drake Management Ltd, Hon Treasurer Council Members PJ Aldred, Aldred Associates Ltd, Michael Bell, Bellensen Associates Robert Corp, Cardiff Council Simon Graveling, Stage One Creative Services Ltd

Tony Ireland, Luton Borough Council Sylvia McCann, Millennium Square, Leeds Conor Moss, University of Derby Craig Oldfield, Ipswich Borough Council Terry Waller, CoverEx International There was much discussion about revising the NOEA Constitution, integration with members of the National Entertainment Agents Association, launch of NOEA Scotland at the Main Event Exhibition, Glasgow on March 12 2009 and a new initiative involving

the NOEA Local Authority Group which will be highlighted at the Spotlight on Local Authorities Seminar to be held at the Event Show, London on January 22. There were first class speakers at Cardiff and Leeds and the latter included a visit to a bier keller and German Christmas market. NOEA would like to take the opportunity of wishing everybody a happy and peaceful Christmas and a successful New Year.


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Photography Warning that charity event put in events may be hit place in a flash by credit crunch A BUILD time of just one hour meant a detailed schedule needed to be put in place for a photography exhibition, forming part of the UK’s biggest fashion and beauty event. As part of The National Magazine Company’s 30 Days of Fashion and Beauty event, photographer Mary McCartney was asked to produce an exhibition of photographs to celebrate what fashion and beauty means to the British consumer – to be displayed and auctioned off at the Natural History Museum during London Fashion Week. Within the one hour timescale, Fisher Productions had to unload and build a stage and screen, rig projector, lights and sound, install a working bar, furniture and flowers plus hang 30 photographs on wire – all at one height, all level and all equidistant from the next one. One of Fisher’s senior producers, Chris Clay, organised a minute by minute schedule for all 55 crew involved in the build and although the company has previous experience of working in the venue, the added task of hanging the photographs provided a further challenge. Chris worked out a system for hanging the photographs from the second floor using the rig used to hang the lights on and dropped the wires down for each photograph. A special frame was built on which each photograph was rested so it could be tightened up to make each one the same height. NatMags managing director Jessica Burley said: “Both my team and our guests were astounded by the transformation made to the Central Hall at

By Christina Eccles

The event took place at the Natural History Museum. Guests included Kate Hudson and Stella McCartney Picture: Jon Furniss the Natural History Museum in only one hour. We could not believe that within such a short time the dinosaur was surrounded by lounge furniture with a bar beneath its tail, a stage was built, sound and lighting set up, and Mary McCartney’s 30 images were all hanging around the room beautifully lit.”

Ambitious plans for 2009 THE owner of a successful theatre production has revealed ambitious plans for 2009 – a move into both the outdoor and corporate events market. Managing director of Manhattan Nights, David Fellerman, said the company’s latest show – You Don’t Bring Me Flowers – is flexible enough to be performed in a wider range of venues than just theatres. The show – which celebrates the music of Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond – combines West End talent with choreography and a video backdrop and has already been scaled down to be performed at corporate events. David said the full production could also work well as an

outdoor show. David said: “We would love to do outdoor events and festivals. We have got a 16 piece show which would be an amazing outdoor event. “I think people of all ages would go for it. We can deliver a stunning show and an outdoor event would be perfect. People would love to see us in a picnic setting at a park or stately home. “There are only so many theatres in the UK which have the availability when we want it, so we are scheduling in corporate work. We need to keep the show out there and working and corporate work is a great way to introduce the production to the public.”

THE credit crunch may impact on some charity events as companies are forced to cut back on expenditure, according to one organiser. The Prince’s Trust North West events organiser Sharon Griffiths said one of the biggest challenges when organising the charity’s annual Diamond Ball is not knowing whether they will be affected by the current economic climate. Although they have had success with sales so far, there are still tables to be sold – and Sharon is hoping that companies will still have the funds to pay out for them. She said: “We are waiting to see if the credit crunch will hit us as a lot of companies are tightening their budgets. We would like to sell 20 more tables for the ball. “We have also noticed that the auctions are suffering a little bit as people cannot afford to bid as much and have to take care with their budgets.” But Sharon added she hoped that because the event has experienced

previous success and people are already aware of it, they will return again this year. She added: “We have got an established event behind us and about 70 per cent of people come year on year. Hopefully people will choose us over another event because they know us and know what they are going to get with the Diamond Ball.” The ball has been going for the last five years and according to Sharon, is a great way to thank people who have contributed to the Prince’s Trust throughout the year while also kickstarting the Christmas events season. She added: “The ball is seen as a real start to Christmas and a lot of corporates take tables. “As well as dinner and entertainment there is also a £10,000 diamond which is raffled off at midnight. “We always change the theme – last year it was white Christmas and we have previously had a Narnia theme. “This year it is Dickensian Christmas.”


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TRAINING AND RECRUITMENT Lucy Lambertsen has been appointed as Eve Trakway’s new marketing manager. Lucy joins Eve Trakway with experience from companies including Trisoft Ltd – an IT services, software and support company, at which she was solely responsible for the development and implementation of the full marketing mix. Managing director Rick Barnett said: “Priorities for this position consisted of an individual who is dynamic and has a strong marketing skill set, which in turn would be used to drive the company forward. Therefore, I am delighted to announce that we have found Lucy who stood out from a long list of candidates with her mix of creativity, sound business experience, enthusiasm and great attitude. We welcome Lucy with great optimism to Eve Trakway.”

AV supplier Blitz Communications has a new group account director – Mark Jordan. Mark has been employed in the AV industry since leaving university and has wide experience of video, audio, lighting and stage set design. Managing director Paul Hutton said: “Mark is a great addition to our team and I am delighted that he’s joined us. We were looking for someone special to strengthen our account handling division and to work alongside our corporate and production company account directors, and I know that Mark’s remarkable experience and professionalism will enable him to fill that role perfectly.”

New appointment Reds’ new at THA head office head of hospitality THA Group has appointed Andy Tattersall as head of events at its UK head office. With almost 30 years’ experience in operations and logistics, Andy will now head up THA’s 60-strong team of event specialists. He said: “I am looking forward to working again with a number of people I have worked with before, at different stages of my career, as well as continuing to build on the growth and success of THA Group. “It’s my aim to ensure we deliver to the highest possible standards and give excellent value to our clients, which begins with having a clear understanding of the objectives that they want to achieve.”

ARSENAL Football Club has a new head of hospitality – Russell Bodycomb. He will take charge of matchday hospitality, meeting and events facilities available at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. Russell said: “I’m delighted to be joining Arsenal as head of hospitality. I’m really looking forward to growing the events sector at Arsenal whilst continuing to ensure that the matchday hospitality exceeds the expectations of our clients. This is a tremendously exciting and a great new challenge for me.”

SUPPORTED BY

Review proves fantastic opportunity IT is hard to believe that I’m half way through my time in the Showsec Academy. On the one hand it seems like only yesterday I was meeting my associates as part of the first intake of the company’s new training initiative; on the other I’ve been through so many new experiences it’s hard to believe we’ve covered so much. Approaching the half way point in my training I travelled down to York to meet up with academy training manager Keith Hackett for my review session. Throughout the academy process we receive regular review sessions every three months, but while I was a bit nervous going into the review, this turned out to be a fantastic opportunity to openly discuss our progress, from both the business’s point of view and from a personal opinion. The process began with me, a few weeks before the review session. I completed a review form of my own performance using various competencies such as commitment, operational knowledge and communication. The same form was completed by Keith and a manager we have worked closely with during the period, to add an operational viewpoint to the process. The improvement in my operational skills was highlighted by my recent trip to Sheffield, where I was fortunate enough to be given full access to several events. I reviewed the way the events were run and with my academy training, was able to offer several suggestions, which thanks to the support of the venue manager, we developed further and they have been implemented into the venue on a permanent basis. As part of the review process we had to deliver a presentation on how we felt the first six months in the academy had gone. Delivering presentations was not something I felt at all comfortable with at the start of my academy journey: that’s put it mildly – it was more of a fear like feeling

Emmalene Charlton when I delivered my presentation about our disabled initiatives at the Download festival to the managers and supervisors. The six month review presentation was quite a challenge as it called for a lot of honest evaluation about me. Looking at my personal development relative to my abilities as an event security professional and my personal developments in the field of leadership has been a hard but rewarding task. As well as the opportunity to reflect, appreciate and evaluate it gave me the chance to show off my ever improving presentation skills. Roll on the final six months.  Next month The Main Event will travel north and meet Emmalene at work in the Newcastle Carling Academy.


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CLASSIFIED

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32 - Eagle Hospitality

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FEATURE

Main Event (Dec08/Jan09  

The magazine for event organisers

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