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Issue 25 February 2009 £4.75

70 per cent of waste ‘recyclable’

‘Business thrives on creativity’ By Christina Eccles FESTIVALS which offer something more creative rather than just relying on big name headliners will be the ones which cope well in a tough economy, according to the production manager of one of the UK’s most popular festivals. According to Loud Sound’s Jim King – production manager at Rockness – difficult economic conditions may hit hard but it is up to the industry to steer themselves through the challenges. Jim – who also works on Bestival – said that in a crowded marketplace, the events which will manage to keep the crowds coming will be those which offer something different and more unusual than their competitors. He said: “One of the challenges facing the industry is keeping shows competitive. The whole world is facing a period of economic uncertainty and it is down to us to steward the shows through and make sure they come out the other side. “Some will struggle and it will be survival of the fittest and most creative. Creativity comes out of recessions and this business thrives on creativity. The reason why Bestival

and Rockness are so successful is because they are delivering creativity that was not in the market before. Those who come up with a new idea and are not just reliant on the biggest bands will capture the imagination. People want to be entertained and feel they have got value for money. The shows that don’t deliver that will be the ones that fall.” Jim also revealed how Rockness is changing its ticketing options this year to ensure there is a ticket to meet every budget and those who can’t afford to attend for the whole weekend won’t miss out. Options which are available for the festival include:  Day tickets for each of the three days, starting from £45.  Two and three day weekend tickets.  Two and three day camping tickets.  A variety of VIP options. He added: “We have made the event more flexible for people to go to by introducing new ticketing options to suit different budgets. Festivalgoers can see 50 acts for £50. We want to ensure our shows come out of this the other side and we are confident they will.”

Leeds City Council’s events team prides itself on delivering a busy and diverse programme of events which appeals to both the local community and visitors alike. The team – which is headed up by events manager Sylvia McCann (pictured) – revealed to The Main Event, the challenges and rewards of working in a local authority events department and what they hope to achieve in 2009. Full story, Page 14 and 15

ABOUT 70 per cent of waste created by venues and events could be recycled, according to new research. Following a successful pilot scheme, which saw 70 per cent of the waste at ExCel London recycled, Sauce Consultancy and London Remade Solutions (LRS) are now offering this service to make events cleaner and greener. Sauce’s managing director John Twitchen said: “The ExCel pilot shows what's possible – the system was simple but effective and demonstrated the potential for diverting substantial amounts of recycling away from landfill. “Visitors to major venues can recycle at home, at work and at school, and it was second nature for them to recycle at ExCel. High recycling rates are no longer aspirational pipe dreams.” The Main Event is the official magazine of the National Outdoor Events Association

02-Derby University



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New company is launched by X Factor singer JOURNEY South star Andy Pemberton has launched a new company to pass on the experience he has gained in the industry and address some of the problems he encountered at past gigs. The company – Pemberton Event Production – specialises in providing artists for a wide range of events including outdoor concerts, weddings, private and corporate functions – supplying anyone from X Factor stars to bands such as Girls Aloud and Journey South themselves. Andy said the company – which has been trading for the last six months – has the edge over the competition because his work as a singer and previous involvement in organising gigs has enabled him to build up an impressive portfolio of industry contacts. He explained: “Long before X Factor we used to have an entertainment business, JS Entertainments, and we used to do really well. We mainly focused on weddings and private events and although we put out other acts we specialised in putting ourselves out. “Since X Factor we have done so much work which has opened our eyes to the

industry. We have seen so much and noticed the pitfalls in the industry so this seemed like the right thing to do.” Andy also said that so far the company has been very well received and although it does specialise in supplying entertainment, full event management services can also be offered. He added: “Lots of companies forget how important entertainment is and it is sometimes pushed to the back. “We are definitely specialists in the entertainment sector and see it as an integral part of an event. “As we are in the business, we have met a lot of artists along the way and have a lot of contacts to call upon. “I have learned a lot in the past 10 years and played at venues right through the scale. “I will still be doing a lot of work as part of Journey South so will be very busy doing both things. We would like to maintain a really good first trading year and have some really good things in the pipeline. “It’s a really exciting venture.”

Bringing Christmas to Edinburgh Page 18

Business park hides a showbiz secret Page 21 Tattoo marches on to its second year Page 10

Temporary Structures Pages 22 & 23 NOEA Page 24 Local authority spotlight Pages 14 & 15 Classified Pages 26 & 27

CONTACTS EDITORIAL Group Editor Andrew Harrod Tel: 01226 734639 Reporters: Nicola Hyde ( Christina Eccles ( Mary Ferguson (

PRODUCTION Studio Manager: Stewart Holt ( Tel: 01226 734414 Group Deputy Editor: Judith Halkerston ( Tel: 01226 734458 Graphic designer: Kyle Wilkinson ( Tel: 01226 734711

ADVERTISING Group Sales Manager: Paul Allott Tel: 01226 734484 Fax: 01226 734478 Mob: 07500 905717 Email:

Andy Pemberton

Showsec lands three-year Hyde Park deal SHOWSEC has been awarded a three-year contract to supply security and crowd management services to events in London’s Hyde Park. Over the years, the company has supplied a range of event security services for live events including the Wireless and Hard Rock Calling

series of festivals and one-off concerts, Party in the Park, Live 8, Picnic in the Park and Nelson Mandela's 90th Birthday Concert. Showsec operations director Simon Battersby said: “We are delighted to be returning to Hyde Park. “It is the jewel in the crown of

London’s outdoor event spaces, attracting prestigious events with high profile artists and visitors. “I enjoy the challenge of delivering a consistent high standard security service at a range of very different events, working alongside the best production teams in our industry.”

Assistant Manager: Adam Parry Tel: 01226 734485 Mobile: 07747 446923 Email: Sales Executive: Mandy Mellor Tel: 01226 734702 Email: Sales and Marketing Director: Tony Barry Email:

CIRCULATION Kelly Tarff Tel: 01226 734695 email:





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Tattoo ready to beat weather with new plans By Christina Eccles ORGANISERS of the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford have unveiled new plans for car parking and traffic management at this year’s event.

The Forestry Commmission’s popular forest tours will return in 2009 – with performers including Status Quo, Katherine Jenkins and Mcfly. The tours – which take place in forests up and down the country – provide the Forestry Commission with valuable revenue to plough back into the woodland in a variety of environmental and social projects. Pictures: The Forestry Commission

After heavy rain and flooding led to the cancellation of last year’s event, organisers are keen to ensure this does not happen again. At this year’s show, the US Air Force has granted permission for limited car parking on concrete on the base – for the first time since 9/11 forced them to heighten security measures, which made this impossible. In order to meet the necessary security requirements, Air Tattoo organisers have agreed that visitors parking on base will be chosen randomly on the day from the many thousands of people attending. In addition to introducing limited on-base parking, organisers have also announced plans to make the fields more robust, including laying extra trackway.

Director Tim Prince said he was confident that these measures, along with other proposed initiatives, will make the difference. He said: “This new parking option plus the extra trackway and spine roads we plan to lay in the car parks will significantly reduce the risk of us having to cancel the event, as a result of inclement weather, in the future.” In order to control visitor numbers, only advance tickets will be sold and none will be available at the gates on the day as in previous years. Tim added: “By not selling tickets on the gate we run the risk of losing some of our revenue. “But first and foremost we have a duty of care to all those who purchase tickets to the Air Tattoo. “Knowing in advance how many visitors are attending will help enormously with our pre-show planning and will enable us to react more effectively to unforeseen events, such as the atrocious weather we suffered last summer.”

05 creative events



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By George! Young winner ready to sizzle and shiver BRITAIN’S Got Talent winner George Sampson will appear at International Confex – kicking off a new promotion by children’s events company Crafty Arty Parties. The company will be using its stand at the show to promote its ‘sizzle or shiver’ promotion which will also include free giveaways including £500,000 of golden tickets worth £1,000 each and a Mercedes Smart car. Director Kitty Ebdon said: “Our 2009 ‘Sizzle and Shiver’ campaign is designed with the current economic climate in mind, and will give all corporate clients the opportunity of being able to afford a fantastic family fun day or Christmas party at a credit crunch beating rate. “Crafty Arty Productions is not an agency and by coming to us direct, there is no middle man, so you make a substantial cost saving with no reduction in quality.”

During his time in the industry, James Cobb has seen many changes take place. Christina Eccles caught up with him to find out what he feels are the most important issues facing those who work in events.

How the industry is growing in professionalism ````WITH plenty of experience working on events, James has seen many things come and go – but one area which he feels has vastly improved over the years is the overall attitude of people who organise events. He admits he fell into the events industry himself almost by accident after finishing university and needing to find a job. He “thought it would be fun” to become a tour promoter for bands and spent four years doing that job. After arriving in the job as a trainee, he left as production co-ordinator – looking after about 400 shows each year. Doing freelance work as a tour and production manager led to him starting a lighting company and in the last five years he has moved into events. He worked on the Cornbury music festival for four years and the company – Cobb Associates – now deals with everything from awards ceremonies to classical picnic concerts, rock festivals and airshows. He explained: “The industry is changing but undoubtedly getting more professional and organising events has become a more thoughtful process. I support any sort of education, training or qualifications for the industry and think these are important for continuing professional development.” However, James also revealed one area where he believes there is room for improvement. Something he feels should be addressed is a lack of guidelines in situations where promoters set up events but do not have to give any form of proof or bond which shows they have the funds available to pay out contractors. He feels the events industry could benefit from some sort of

James Cobb regulation to make sure organisers and suppliers get any money they are owed. He added: “One idea would be to form an industry body supported by everyone which says that if you behave in a certain way then you will not be able to get away with it. But to get this cohesion from everyone would be incredibly difficult. “A body of event managers is another idea as they are taking on a role where there needs to be some serious proof you know what you are talking about. Joining would show you are keeping yourself up to date with developments and legislation. “Organisations such as the PSA are chipping away to improve the industry and to try and change things for the better.”

Visitor numbers match 2007 ABOUT 150,000 people attended the 27th Lincoln Christmas Market – which matched 2007’s attendance levels despite the economic downturn. There were 320 stalls located around the castle and cathedral, with at least 64 being from Lincolnshire. Stalls based from Lincoln city were up 61 per cent and 20 per cent of the stalls were new to the event, increasing the variety of gifts and crafts on offer. Organisers of the event, the City of Lincoln Council, wanted to bring the 2008 market back to its traditional roots and following feedback from

2007 cut back on fairground rides and fast food stalls. The council’s economic sustainability and tourism services manager Rob Bradley said: “I consider the weekend a great success. The opening ceremony from its new location at the Cathedral West Front provided a spectacular kick-start to the proceedings and we were blessed with excellent weather. “We have already received positive feedback from visitors, and from stallholders who traded successfully and appreciated the changes we have made.”




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The Echo Arena in Liverpool recently celebrated its first birthday. Dominic Musgrave spoke to general manager Tim Banfield about it.

Echo Arena earns accolade in its first year SITUATED on the Liverpool waterfront, the 11,000 seater Echo Arena was named the arena of the year in its first year. It kicked off the city’s Capital of Culture celebrations and, as well as hosting the likes of the Kings of Leon, Coldplay and the Stereophonics, was also the venue for the MTV Europe awards and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. “It was an incredible first year for all involved with the arena,” said Tim. “To host the MTV Awards was pretty special, but for the sports personality awards to go so well really was the icing on the cake. The two events were totally different. MTV were much more relaxed and their people wanted to create a party atmosphere, whereas the BBC worked to quite an extensive level of detail and left nothing to chance.” The Echo Arena management were asked to front the bid to bring the sports personality awards to the city by the Capital of Culture team, and the city beat off several others to host the annual ceremony. Discussions are already underway to take the awards back to Liverpool in the future. “It was a lot of hard work and involved working around the clock in the lead up, but it was without a doubt one of the best nights ever,”

added Tim. “Setting up for the event was made even harder by the fact that we had three music concerts in the week leading up to the ceremony, but thankfully we spoke to the acts’ people and they allowed us to do a bit of work while they were setting up where possible.” The arena also hosted a a gala dinner for the sports stars and 2,000 guest at the adjacent BT Convention Centre, which opened a few months later. “A lot of arenas struggle for space backstage,” added Tim. “We are lucky that we are versatile and have the ability to use the centre next door for special events such as the party which followed the ceremony. “There have been a lot of challenges over the past few weeks, including putting up the ramp for the Olympic cyclists to come down, but I can honestly say that nothing has gone wrong with any of the events.” Tim is working on bringing other major events to the arena in the future, and is looking in particular to attract major sports events. “It would be great to attract an event like the world gymnastics to the city,” he added. “I’d also like to get figure skating and some of the big martial events to come here because I have no doubt that we have the audience here for them.”

Marcie Incarico

Downturn is a ‘massive opportunity’ THE current economic downturn will allow the events industry to thrive this year, according to one organiser. Manchester-based Out There Events has four new contract wins to be delivered within the next 12 months and CEO Marcie Incarico said business is still out there. Marcie said: “We are experiencing one of our busiest times in terms of pitching, so business is definitely still there for the taking. Unlike when the last recession hit in the 90’s and cutting back on marketing was one of the first considerations, companies now understand the value of marketing their business and looking after current and prospective clients through difficult times, which is where events play a very integral role. It’s a massive opportunity for the event industry. “With the business already secured, the confirmation of the new business won today and what’s on the horizon, 2009 looks like a very busy, promising year for the team at Out There Events.”

Crisis fails to dampen Scottish events CONFIDENCE in Scotland’s events is still running high despite the economic crisis – with 80 per cent of people surveyed revealing they will not be cutting back their investment in events for 2009. The survey – which polled over 300 delegates from the Scottish events industry – found that 68 per cent would be maintaining their planned investment in events and 12 per cent would be increasing their investment this year. Chief operating officer at EventScotland Paul Bush said: “The polling results from the national events conference are extremely

encouraging as we enter 2009 which, as our Homecoming year, is a big year for events in Scotland. “The results also reveal the increasingly important role which events play in driving both domestic and international tourism which, in the current financial crisis, is vital to the continued economic health of our cities and communities. “More than 70 per cent of those polled also either agreed or strongly agreed that Scotland is one of the leading destinations in the world for major events which in itself is a huge achievement for a country with a

population of just 5m. “It proves that our recent success in securing the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2014 Ryder Cup as well as attracting a wealth of other world-class events for the future is quickly establishing Scotland as a world leader within the events industry.” EventScotland’s national events conference was held at The Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire and guests included Chris Hoy MBE, Olympic, World and Commonwealth gold medal winning cyclist and Aileen McGlynn, Paralympic gold medal winning cyclist.





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The organisers of a brand new festival in Bath are already making plans for next year – even before this year’s event has taken place. Christina Eccles found out more.

Why Bath’s bubbling with laughter THE inspiration behind the Bath Comedy Festival came from organiser Alex Timms’ trips to Edinburgh as a youngster. After experiencing the excitement and atmosphere of the Edinburgh Festival, it encouraged him to bring a taste of that experience to Bath and the idea to hold a festival grew from there. The festival appropriately kicks off on April Fools’ Day with a programme which includes stand up comedy performances from the likes of Paul Merton and Jenny Eclair at various venues in the city, other events such as an alternative version of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew at the University Theatre and outdoor street theatre from the Natural Theatre Company. Although there are still a few weeks to go before the event takes place, Alex is combining putting the finishing touches to this year with thinking ahead and coming up with new ideas for next year’s festival. One thing which is being discussed is the possibility of expanding the outdoor element of the festival by including an outdoor stage. Alex explained: “We have already got street theatre in different areas

but are looking at the potential of an outdoor stage to host a mix of events. We are looking to introduce it this year but if not it will certainly be next year.” Alex also revealed why he thinks the festival has captured the imagination of both local people and tourists, with an estimated 10,000 expected to attend. He added: “There hasn’t been an event in Bath which is comedy based and there is also a really burgeoning comedy industry. From a cultural point of view, comedy is the happening area and we are filling a niche in the market. “The festival has really caught the imagination of the people of Bath but also of the comedy industry. There are more events taking place in more venues than any festival in Bath. “Some venues have filled up very quickly so we will be looking to expand next year. We want the festival to become an annual event. “Bath is a tourist city so we have designed the festival to appeal to local residents and also tourists. Our dream is to make Bath the home of comedy and to hold an annual celebration of the art of making people laugh.”

Organiser Alex Timms

Milton Keynes event nominated for award A UNIQUE event which attracted over 160,000 people to Milton Keynes has been nominated for a prestigious award. Light Fantastic – created by Mark Harrison and produced by The Full Effect – was a free public event which featured a lantern parade, French aerialists Transe Express which performed a stunning display suspended from a 150ft crane, acrobats suspended from giant balloons, gas jets flaring into the night sky, images projected onto landmark buildings and a futuristic Exploratorium, all set to a bespoke soundtrack. It has now been nominated for Most Outstanding Spectacle in the Special Events Magazine 2009 Gala Awards. Mark said: “Milton Keynes is set out on a grid system and the city wanted something unique that, when the centre of the city was closed off, would work with the road system, naturally leading people from place to place, with the building projections used not only as a spectacle in themselves, but to let people know what was going on. “Each of the companies involved wanted something different out of the event. Some wanted product placement, some wanted general exposure and some wanted their building lit so that people could see it as they went by. We also had high quality food from Milton Keyne’s top of the range caterers that wasn’t your

Light Fantastic was created by Mark Harrison and produced by The Full Effect standard funfair fare.” The event ran from 5pm until 11pm, with shows repeating throughout the evening, so no matter what time people arrived, they wouldn’t miss out on any of the action. It was three years in the making, with The Full Effect in charge of raising the funds to bring the concept to life.

09- Hard Rock



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The Windsor Castle Royal Tattoo got off to a flying start last year with attendances of over 16,000. This year is shaping up to be even better with audience figures predicted to almost double. Christina Eccles found out why.

Tattoo marches on to second year By Christina Eccles

Simon Brooks-Ward

THE event – which takes place in the private grounds of Windsor Castle – was set up to recognise the services of the armed forces and to show them support. According to event director Simon Brooks-Ward of show organisers HPower Group, the venue was the perfect choice as the company already has an event which takes place there at the same time. But making one venue work for two different events is not without its challenges. Simon explained: “We chose Windsor Castle because we run an event there anyway so we are making things work harder for their money. “The Royal Windsor Horse Show happens during the day and then at 6pm there is the transition into a military event. “We are dealing with two different audiences who expect and want different things and we have to change the arena completely.” One area where organisers have to be extra vigilant is security. With high profile guests such as members of the Royal Family, senior military figures and government members, it is vital that thorough security measures are put in place. Simon added: “Although the event takes place in the private grounds of Windsor Castle, we still have to liaise with the Metropolitan Police which looks after the castle area and

Thames Valley Police who deal with the area outside the gates.” Simon also revealed what changes have been put in place for this year and after organising last year’s show in such a short space of time, how having extra time for planning has helped them. He added: “We put together the first show last year at short notice and it had a huge level of support. To get a sell out in three months for a new show and the feeling towards it demonstrated that the event has got a good shelf life. “This year we had more time for planning. We hadn’t even put tickets on sale this time last year but tickets for this year’s event have been on sale for two and a half months. “The programme this year is vastly different. It was only the army last year but this year we have included all three armed forces. “We are also bringing in a stage designer who will look at the staging and the event’s aesthetic and also introducing more big screens and upping the quality of the audio. “Having more time has helped with things such as marketing and production. Resources have increased significantly and we have about the same amount of servicemen and women as the Edinburgh Tattoo. “We are delighted with it. “People are keen to show support even in a gloomy economic downturn.”

Ticketline teams up with Metro THE UK’s largest independent ticket agency, Ticketline, has signed an exclusive partnership with the Metro, providing the newspaper with a complete ticketing facility via their website ( As part of this exclusive partnership deal, Ticketline has designed and developed an online ticket site which utilises its own box office system and has been integrated within the Metro website, providing its customers with the ability to purchase tickets for a wide range of events and shows from music and comedy to sport and theatre. In addition to developing an online ticket facility on behalf of the Metro, Ticketline has also provided a bespoke call centre facility and mobile phone site ( The mobile site again has access to Ticketline’s full events inventory (over 10,000 events per year) and allows customers to browse and purchase tickets for any show whilst on the move. The site allows quick and easy navigation without the need to download the usual images. Metro is distributed in Bath, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London,

Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle and Sheffield and is read by over 3m people per day, making it the world's largest free newspaper and the fourth biggest newspaper in the UK.




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An ice rink can provide an exciting focal point for a winter event and be an effective way of drawing crowds into city centres. But what do organisers need to consider when including one at their event? Christina Eccles found out.

Outdoor ice rinks prove a crowd puller for city centres ACCORDING to Carrier Rental Systems’ sales director Marc White, ice rinks have seen a surge of popularity in recent years. The company – which has installed ice rinks at venues including Kew Gardens, Hampton Court and Hyde Park and in city centres such as York and Edinburgh – has been doing so for over 10 years and has seen how this industry has changed. Mark said that including an ice rink in your event can provide a focal point for the festive season which also attracts large groups of people to venues or city centres which in turn increases revenue for local businesses. He said: “We have been providing tem-

porary ice rinks for over 10 years and have seen the growth in popularity – especially over the last few years. Ice skating outside is something different to do and friends or family members can enjoy it together and have a lot of fun. “As this is mainly a family and friends attraction, the location and setting is key – in the past I have taken my family to Kew Gardens and Hampton Court and it completes the experience if at one of these great surroundings. “An ice rink gives visitors and shoppers the opportunity to do more than one thing when they visit that location. Venues often use the ice rink at Christmas to attract

customers to a main venue or town location – this raises the profile of the location and ultimately helps the venue or town with increased visitors and sales figures over the Christmas period.” Marc also revealed the challenges of installing an ice rink and the importance of making sure its location is right. He added: “The most challenging aspect of organising an ice rink is finding the right location with a good back drop. All historic sites are logistically more complex as you have to have as little impact on the surroundings as possible. This will include sound proofing for residents, temporary track ways during build and de rig.”




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After achieving success using its sports hall as an events space, a South Yorkshire leisure centre has even bigger plans for 2009. Christina Eccles found out more.

Leisure centre ups its game ... AFTER hosting events for several years, the Metrodome Leisure Centre in Barnsley decided it was time to make the most of this potentially lucrative market and hired a dedicated events manager, Richard Bailey. He was given the job of improving facilities and raising awareness of what the venue has to offer to organisers. One of the first changes put in place for events was the option to erect an indoor marquee which can take up the whole of the hall or be partitioned off. A stage and various styles of seating plus a dance floor and bar area complete the transformation – allowing events from a 2,000 capacity music concert to a seated theatre performance for 1,500. Richard explained: “We have always been good with sporting events but have now upped our game to deliver other events. We want to bring better events to the people of Barnsley and all the money generated goes back into improving our leisure facilities. “From my point of view, there is a lot of potential here and it is nice to see the whole town benefit from it.” One lesson that has been learned for next Christmas is to try and streamline the events programme. As the space has different requirements depending on what kind of event is being held there, hosting all the sit down party nights

together before moving on to an event such as the pantomime eliminates the need to keep changing the set up. Richard added: “Some events have been arranged from last year and not much thought had gone into what event follows another so we have had to change the set up and take things down from one event to another. In 2009, we are hoping to streamline this better.” One area the events team would like to move into is hosting more music events and they are hoping to take advantage of the Metrodome’s central location. As Barnsley is situated between the cities of Sheffield and Leeds, they hope the Metrodome can fill a gap in the region for a medium sized venue and attract visitors from all over Yorkshire. Trading operations manager Michael Hirst added: “We would love to get into the music side and people are starting to realise that the Metrodome itself brings so many visitors into the borough. Hopefully we will start getting the support to promote Barnsley as the centre of the region.” Richard added: “We want to make people’s leisure time more important and bringing events here will bring that quality of life and change the perception of the town.”

Events manager Richard Bailey and trading operations manager Michael Hirst.

Striking the right balance THE biggest challenge faced by the Metrodome’s events team is putting on good quality events while also keeping members happy who want to use the sporting facilities. According to Michael, striking this balance is all down to good communication. Letting customers know when the sports hall is out of use and offering them an alternative place to play sports at one of Barnsley Premier Leisure’s other sites ensures events do not have a negative impact on the leisure centre’s core business. He said: “One of our biggest problems has been changing the perception of the venue as it has always been known as a leisure centre and swimming pool and the Metrodome brand is so strong. “It is a difficult balance but the money we make goes back into making our facilities better and we try to give discounts and offers to mem-

bers when we have events. “The events side has seen an incredible growth and it has enabled us to maintain cash flow and help to keep some of our other leisure centres open. We have had a competitor gym open nearby and it is tough to get that money back if you lose members so you have got to find alternative income streams. “Leisure centre managers in general are not particularly risky managers and that culture is all about reducing risk. Working in events is a risk but once you get past that threshold you can start making money. We have invested in Richard as events manager who has the time to run them properly. “We have realised the potential of having this big space and have now brought people in with events experience to take it to the next stage and change those perceptions.”

Events the venue has hosted have included:  Singer Kate Rusby in concert.  The Christmas pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.  Comedy club nights.  Christmas party nights.  The 10 pin bowling Weber Cup which was broadcast on SkySports.

 A sportsman’s dinner with football legend Paul Merson.  The RedRat Computer Fair.  An evening with comedian Billy Pearce and Friends.  Off The Wall – A Pink Floyd tribute show.  The national finals of the Drag 4 U Pageant





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Manager takes on key NOEA role SYLVIA has also taken on another role as a member of NOEA’s general council – something which she feels has a positive impact on her job as events manager. As part of this, Leeds hosted the 2008 NOEA AGM and conference which proved so successful, plans are already in place to do the same this year. She added: “Being a NOEA member provides excellent networking opportunities and also gives us the chance to have an input into NOEA and the direction it is taking. “NOEA is looking at issues such as the Licensing Act and we are keenly interested in this so it is good to have some input. “In Leeds, we view events as being important in economic terms and NOEA recognises this is well. We are making contact with government and the shadow minister Tobias Elwood is speaking at this year’s convention. It is important for people like that to understand the role which events can play in tourism. “Our contacts from NOEA are useful for networking as you can learn a lot from other people’s experience.”

LOCAL AUTHORITY SPOTLIGHT Events organised by Leeds City Council range from a German Christmas market to a 70,000 capacity free concert. But what can other organisers learn from their successes? Christina Eccles found out.

How Sylvia leads the way for Leeds events THE events team at Leeds is made up of 12 people and headed up by events manager Sylvia McCann. Sylvia – who was already working for the council – came into this role in 2004 after the management of Millennium Square, its facilities and city centre events merged with the former general events section to create one bigger team. The city now has a detailed programme of events running throughout the year and according to Sylvia, it is important to offer this variety to ensure all of the community is catered for. Popular events include the St Patrick’s Day parade, Jane Tomlinson Run for All, Party in the Park concert and Classical Fantasia and one of the most important messages which the council wants to get across to the local community is that its events are accessible for all. One event which highlights this is the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration which for the past two years has followed a different format to that seen in many other city centres. Instead of the usual firework display

at midnight, Leeds decided to do things differently and bring it forward to 5.30pm, allowing shoppers and families to get involved in the activities. A crowd of thousands joined in with the event and according to Sylvia, this has proved to be a great success and something they will continue to do in future years. She said: “I think it is quite difficult in a city centre the size of Leeds to make an impact at midnight and this was also something geared more towards families. It was also a popular move with the retailers which shows the economic benefits which events can have.” Sylvia also revealed future plans for the events team which include looking at developing new projects to bring even more to the city. She added: “This year we want to consolidate the good things and expand our programme. There are always things you can do differently or better and there are often new products or kit that can help you get a better result. “We are constantly striving to produce a high standard of events to make them more appealing to commercial

Events manager Sylvia McCann with some of her colleagues in the events team partners and are always looking to bring new events to Leeds. We currently have new projects under consideration with external partners.”




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Millennium Square opens up lots of opportunities ONE of the city’s biggest attractions is Millennium Square – an 8,000 capacity city centre events space. The space – which was Leeds’ Millennium project – was funded by the Millennium Commission and Leeds City Council and can host events ranging from the annual Christkindelmarkt, to music concerts and the broadcast of large sporting and cultural events. Sylvia said: “Having Millennium Square makes a big difference. It provides us with an excellent opportunity to do a wide range of things and also introduce longer term attractions such as the Ice Cube and street gallery exhibitions. “It is amazing to be able to have concerts for 8,000 people in the heart of the city centre and in the past we have had bands including Kaiser Chiefs, Snow Patrol and Embrace. “We are also lucky we have got a BBC public broadcast screen which can show events such as European and World Cup Football matches. “As well as the commercial events, we also host a lot of annual community events such as the St Patrick’s Day parade.

“It is an amazing facility but we need to have a pro-active approach to make sure it is used.” However, although the council is responsible for many successful city centre events, the team also works hard to deliver on other projects including Party in the Park – the biggest free event of its kind which attracts crowds of 70,000 to the grounds of Temple Newsam. According to Sylvia, one of the highlights of the events calendar is seeing so many people enjoy this event for free along with the other concerts organised by the team such as Opera in the Park, which attracts 55,000 to the same venue the day before Party in the Park and Classical Fantasia – a classical concert complete with fireworks display for 9,000 spectators at Kirkstall Abbey. Being involved with such a wide range of events makes the job interesting for the events team and according to Sylvia each one is unique. She added: “All of the events are challenging for different reasons. Sometimes the scale of the event does not always dictate the scale of the challenge.”

Snow Patrol in Millennium Square

The latest attraction to visit the city is the Ice Cube – a temporary ice rink situated in Millennium Square. Now in its ninth year, it is the UK’s largest outdoor temporary ice rink and has 200,000 visitors over seven and a half weeks.





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In the next installment of his diary, Dan Schofield reveals how he is settling in to life in the Middle East and how he is working his way through a packed calendar of events – both as an organiser and as a visitor.

Dan heads from Dubai to Abu Dhabi SO, another month, another column. Being a self confessed event geek I have spent the past month looking at as many events out in the Middle East as I could. I was particularly interested to see how they delivered the Qatar National Day celebrations which literally saw the entire city taken over for the purpose of the event. It was good to see a host of UK based suppliers providing the lighting and a lot of the production based activity which visually looked spectacular and is definitely worth a search on YouTube for. For me it’s now all about planning for the big events we have in February and March. At present I am working on two big inauguration events which see the culmination of projects that are years in the planning. Before I came to Doha, Kevin Brown, the director of live events for QMDI won the rights for QMDI to stage the inauguration ceremonies for two of the biggest construction projects to be completed in Qatar this year. It’s now as we come to the delivery stage that his ideas and vision can come to fruition and that is where I come in.

The Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) Inauguration is going to be one of the highlight events that Qatar and the Middle East will see this year, with a programme that takes the visitor experience to the next level. We have the best team possible to deliver the event with John Adkins (production manager) and Svend Pederson (creative lighting designer) currently in Qatar putting the finishing touches to the production plans. In addition to them we are bringing in teams from the UK and Dubai to supplement the local Qatari suppliers we are using. The site itself poses some significant issues, not least the fact that it is on an elevated platform approximately 30ft off the ground with no vehicular access so literally everything we are bringing on site has to be craned on. As such the logistical planning is even more critical with everything having to come on site on schedule and in order starting from the back of the site and working forwards. It’s an event that has required some creative solutions to make possible, but now eight weeks out everything is looking in place and it’s all systems

Dan Schofield has visited many events since he arrived in the Middle East. go with delivering it. As I type this I am just back from the Dubai Marathon. My plan while I am out in the Gulf is to see at least one big event a month in each of the Gulf states. Next month I am off to

Abu Dhabi to see some motor racing, then in March it’s the World Cross Country Championships in Jordan. So amongst delivering our own events and seeing other people’s I have got a busy few months planned.




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Julian putting Surrey Heath on the map By Christina Eccles

Stella McCartney launched her range for Adidas at the Lindley Hall

PLANS to host outdoor events in Surrey’s parks and green spaces have been unveiled by Surrey Heath Borough Council, which is hoping to move into the events market in 2009. The area has two popular parks – Frimley Lodge Park and London Road Recreation Ground – which according to arts and leisure marketing manager Julian Wing, would provide the perfect venue for outdoor concerts and events. He said that renting out these spaces to host events would be a good way of bringing them to the local community while at the same time generating extra income for the council. He said: “The willingness is there for events and people will engage with them, but it is a matter of organising and having the budget. “Councils want to provide things to do for the people in the borough but you have to balance this with the cost of putting events on and this is a challenge. “There is a market out there and we want to fill it but at the same time make some money for the council. We are looking for companies who can rent the land off us and then we can give them support with things such as marketing.” Julian also said the two parks are good venues for events because of their size and location and the council would like to see anything from a festival to a business to business

Centre blossoming into fashion event favourite

Julian Wing event being held there. It has already managed to secure Fake Festivals to do an event at Frimley Lodge next summer – an event which is perfect as the company brings in everything it needs and just uses the council’s space. Julian added: “The London Road site is really accessible and is in the town so the market is there. Frimley Lodge is a much larger open space which lends itself really well to events. We would like to have a broad spectrum – from music festivals to car shows and are open to suggestions.” Julian is currently having a map put together of the spaces detailing things like access, water, waste and electricity points.

New Year rolls in with capital double for Sunbaba SUNBABA was spoilt for choice this New Year when the company was commissioned to provide signage and branding for two of the UK’s most prestigious celebrations – Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, created and produced by Unique Events Ltd and the London New Year’s Eve spectacular produced by Jack Morton Worldwide for the Mayor of London. The Edinburgh Hogmanay is a fourday festival with live music, dance performances and street theatre bringing together people of all ages from across the globe to welcome 2009. Sunbaba supplied its specialist Digisound fabric for PA scrims on the main stage, the gardens and safety PA scrims which were used to fence off the small stages. Digisound is ideal for PA scrims because it is an air permeable fabric which allows sound to pass through it with minimal degradation, ensuring

perfect reproduction. Sunbaba also supplied two Austronet 203 FR plain scrims and 1,000 bungee hooks. Ultramesh was used to create banners to brand and distinguish the different areas such as the Boogie Wonderland, West End and a Ceilidh Entrance banner. Londoners welcomed the New Year in style with the much-anticipated New Year’s Eve display which was broadcast across the world highlighting the capital as a prime destination for tourists and business travellers alike. The company provided 150 full colour PVC Heras Panels consisting of seven different artwork designs for sponsors LG. They were displayed in prime locations around Nelson’s Column and Trafalgar Square and around the 24 temporary electronic signs that were placed near the main entrance points to the spectator areas.

THE Royal Horticultural Halls and Conference Centre (RHH) is carving out a niche as the place to be for fashion events, with a new event scheduled at the venue for later this year. The London Designers Fashion Show (LDFS) will be making its debut appearance at the Lawrence Hall in August, following in the footsteps of many other recent fashion events. The LDFS – a new trade show, which will coincide with the Autumn London Fashion Week – will introduce a range of emerging designers specialising in everything from couture to customised fashion, ethical fashion, footwear and accessories

LDFS organiser Eric Manu said: “The RHH is a great venue with an excellent location for the fashion industries. It can cater for every show because it is so adaptable and can transform to any theme. For us, the Lawrence Hall speaks for itself and we hope to come back in 2010. ” The halls were recommended to the LDFS by the British Fashion Council, which has held its annual British Fashion Awards there for the past two years. The spaces are also popular with designers at London Fashion Week, including Stella McCartney who launched her new collection for Adidas at the Lindley Hall in 2008.





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In 2007, Durham-based events company She’s Gott It! won a fouryear contract to deliver Edinburgh’s Christmas festival programme. Mary Ferguson caught up with them at the end of the second season to find out what changes they made – and what they have learned for 2009.

Bringing Christmas to Edinburgh ... SHE’S Gott It! (SGI) were chosen by the City of Edinburgh Council to be event producers for ‘Edinburgh’s Christmas’, a six-week programme of winter events that form the centrepiece of the winter celebrations. Taking place in the city centre, the festival comprises static leisure activities such as German and Highland markets, a giant ferris wheel, ice rink and Winter Wonderland area. SGI are also responsible for producing the lights switch-on that kicks off the programme of events and an annual charity walk culminating in a huge celebration. And this year, during the two-week run up to Christmas, the city’s West Princes Street Gardens were turned into ‘Santa’s Village’, housing ten reindeer, igloos and ice sculptures. Director Nicky Gott said: “We were delighted to win the tender in 2007, especially as we were up against lots of Scottish companies. “We made a variety of changes this year, fine tuning things to improve the overall look of the events. For example instead of using portable buildings for site offices and ticket outlets, we brought in log cabins which we can re-use for the next two festivals. “Expanding the Highland market also worked really well this year as it’s one of the most popular aspects of the festival.” But Nicky said the biggest change

this year was in the site build. In 2007, they built over the flower beds and effectively flattened the area, but this year the site was constructed around them, turning them into features with the addition of lights and decorations. “The gardens are there all year round and the people of Edinburgh are very protective over them so to lessen the event’s footprint – and keep everyone happy – we changed the way we did things and tried to enhance the natural beauty of the area. That’s by far the most effective change we have made.” A successful addition to this year’s festival was a ‘Spiegeltent’, a glamorous marquee housing children’s shows in the morning and family cabaret performances in the evenings. Traditionally, an annual ‘Santa Fun Run’ takes place in the West Princes Gardens, but this year SGI decided to expand the event to take in the whole city. Two thousand participants walked across Edinburgh to the Old Town’s Grassmarket, an area of shops and restaurants, where they were joined by 3,000 other spectators for ‘All-atwinkle’, the finale of the charity race. Focusing on light and colour with street walkers and displays, the event culminated in a special performance by an acrobat inside a giant suspended diamond shaped structure. And Santa’s Village was enhanced

Top: Santa Fun Run and, above, Nicky Gott by the addition of igloos and an icy throne for the man himself to sit on. SGI also contracted Edinburgh Zoo to provide stuffed arctic animals, adding to the authenticity. A reindeer keeper lives on site for the duration of the attraction, tending to the ten animals before they leave on Christmas Eve. Nicky added: “Edinburgh’s Christmas brings in up to half a million people and generates an

Above: The ice rink and, left, the wheel

astounding amount of revenue for the city. “This year our budget was slightly decreased but by thinking creatively and exploring other avenues such as sponsorship, we managed to pull off a highly successful event. “We have great suppliers we can turn to and many honoured last year’s prices. In the current climate, I think everyone is just grateful for the work.”




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Embracing the gardens pays off for Nicky

Weather bites on Light Night DESPITE the overall success of the festival, SGI were faced with some challenges along the way. The opening night – Light Night – featuring the lights switch-on in November, was supposed to be accompanied by a huge pyrotechnics display and special performance by a Heliosphere – a giant ‘bubble’ structure floating a person up into the sky, illuminated by the lights from the fireworks. But due to unexpected high winds, the decision had to be made to cancel the display because of severe health and safety risks.

Nicky said: ‘We still had displays on the ice rink and switched on the lights but it was very disappointing. “We felt we had let the crowds down but they could see the weather conditions for themselves so seemed to understand. “Safety is our main consideration and because the Heliosphere was due to go up in front of the fireworks, high winds meant there were big risks. In the end, the decision was made just 30 seconds before it was due to go.” Because the festival is housed in the city centre, SGI also had to ensure

minimal disruption during the build process, bringing large structures in at night or early morning to avoid blocking roads. An onsite weather station was in place throughout the six weeks and another period of strong winds meant the site had to close on one day for a few hours. Nicky added: “Because the opening night was just one part of a six-week programme of events we moved on and made sure the rest of the festival was a success. And next year, we’ll plan something not so dependent on the weather.”

SHE’S Gott It! have a full-time team of seven and employed over 40 temporary staff for Edinburgh’s Christmas, putting them up in the city for three months. Nicky said that for the core team of event organisers, travelling from Durham to Edinburgh wasn’t a problem as the train took just over 90 minutes and they rented a flat and office in the city for longer stays. “Our client actually commented that we often made meetings long before those who lived nearby did. From a personal perspective Edinburgh is a lovely city to work in and to have won a contract there is a fantastic achievement for us.” Nicky said that looking back on the festival, the most successful decision they made this year was to embrace the gardens instead of building all over them. “The festival has been running for the last eight years and gets a lot of criticism for the damage it can do to the gardens and because we are not a Scottish company, we are open to it more than most. “Bringing in special flooring and completely redesigning the build meant it was a big investment in terms of both time and money, but it definitely paid off.”




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One of the last places you would expect to find the likes of Kylie, Westlife and Kanye West is a business park in West Yorkshire – but this well kept secret is one of the top rehearsal spaces in the country, attracting some of the biggest names in music. Christina Eccles found out more.

Litestructures studios’ manager Brent Woods and the Scissor Sisters tour – one of many artists the company has worked with.

Business park hides a showbiz secret THE studio is part of Litestructures – a company which originally started out as designers and manufacturers of aluminium structures – and opened in 2005. As Litestructures was an established business on its own site, the space for the studio was already in place and after noticing a gap in the market for a northern based rehearsal space large enough for arena concerts, the concept was formed. After a 14 month project which cost about £2m, the purpose built studio for concert touring was complete, almost exactly replicating the experience of being in an arena. Since then this side of the business has grown – with recent acts choosing to rehearse there including

Stereophonics and the CBeebies live tour – and according to studio manager Brent Woods business is booming. He explained: “We were a bit concerned whether productions would come to South Kirkby but the first booking we had was Coldplay. “We already had some great contacts and it has also grown through word of mouth. The concert touring side is a small industry and word travels fast.” Brent also said the studio is aiming to become a one stop shop for production managers who want to rehearse live shows and the four floor studio already has the space for a full stage to be set up (something which Litestructures can also supply) plus

catering facilities and dressing rooms. Plans have already been discussed to add residential accommodation so that crew can even sleep there – allowing them to devote 100 per cent of their time to the project they are working on. He added: “We really try to look after people. Clients realise we have been in the business for many years and are all passionate and understand what we are doing. For however long they are here, we become part of their team and that level of service makes coming here a lot easier.” He also said so far the credit crunch has not affected the business and the first half of 2009 is already shaping up to be busy. “We are going through a nice period

at the studio. It can be a challenge getting people to change the habits of a career and give us a try, especially those who are southern based, but that is balanced by constant growth so it is all good news at the moment. “So far the first half of 2009 is looking incredibly strong with the demand for rehearsal space. There has been a great amount of growth and we are enjoying the challenge of introducing people to the space. “At the moment, we really are the best space for large productions in the country and we are getting that reputation. We are really lucky because we are dealing with people who are at the top of their game and some of the most talented and interesting crew and production managers.”





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Suzy Myler launched Tangerine Fields after noticing a gap in the market for good quality, affordable festival accommodation. Now five years on business is booming – with the company’s tents featured at many major events. Christina Eccles reports ...

Suzy pegs a booming business SUZY met her business partner at The Big Chill several years ago and after discussing the hassle of packing up a tent once an event was over, they hatched a plan to change this. With support from The Big Chill, they launched the idea at that festival and have never looked back. Currently over 20 events are using the company to provide an alternative for those who do not want to bring their own tents and anyone booking a tent with Tangerine Fields can arrive knowing it has been set up for them and they do not have to take it down once the festival has finished. Also groups wanting to camp together can ensure they have tents nearby. According to Suzy, in the past few years the festival experience has changed with people wanting more from their weekend than just the music and that includes a higher level of comfort in their accommodation. She said: “Its not just old school music lovers who go to festivals now. People are there for the entire experience. For those who aren’t used to camping or don’t particularly enjoy it, we are there to take the sting out of it. “We originally targeted the product at young professionals but have found it is also very popular with families and people overseas. Some of our customers have described us as a hotel at a festival. “Going to a festival is now seen as a week-

end away and people are prepared to put more into it. The profile of people at festivals has changed so much that organisers now have to offer a broader range of activities. “Festivals are not just for young people, so there is now more for children to do because some people bring their families. Festivals have had to become more comfortable with better facilities and more food and drink offerings. They have had a challenge on their hands to offer an extra level of comfort while at the same time staying true to their roots.” Suzy also said the company is committed to helping charities and the environment and takes steps to achieve this. She added: “There are a lot of commercial opportunities at these events but we are trying to fit in with the traditional ethos of festivals. “We have always given all the sleeping bags to charity and have worked with Oxfam and Water Aid. We are an eco friendly company as everything is re-useable and can be recycled. Also as the equipment can be packed down small, the transport cost is low so we have a small carbon footprint.” Tangerine Fields’ latest venture is to add a touch of glamour to camping with a hairdryer tent which has been at events including Latitude and Suzy hopes these will become a feature at more festivals this summer.

Suzy Myler

Nautical imaginations run wild

Wernick Event Hire supplied all temporary accommodation for the successful Winter Wonderland which took over Hyde Park for six weeks. It provided ticket booths for attractions such as the ice rink and the 50 metre observation wheel as well as toilet blocks and offices for site management, security and event production.

High-quality tradestands supplied nationwide WOODHOUSE are a leading specialist supplier of high quality tradestands to all manner of outdoor shows and events nationwide. Our versatile 6m tradestands have a range of impactful features and can be deployed in a range of internal configurations to accommodate 3x3m back to back, 3x6m, 6x6m, 6x9m display stands and multiples thereof. These eye-catching tradestands support display panels, hanging rails and flagpoles and when coupled with wooden floors, carpets and banners, create the ideal promotional space which stands out from the crowd. All of our Clearspan® structures are of a robust construction, comply fully with UK standards and are installed by our experienced on-site

supervisors who ensure that MUTAmarq best practice industry standards are followed every time. These are some of the reasons why regular clients such as the Royal Windsor Horse Show, the Burghley Horse Trials, the CLA Game Fair and the Royal Show choose Woodhouse for their tradestands, stabling and grandstand requirements. When you are next looking for the tradestands specialists call us on 0115 989 9899 or visit our website at to download our latest tradestands brochure.

BESPOKE structures for the London International Boat Show were created by Arena Seating’s Special Structures division. From temporary harbours, to canoeing and miniature sail-boat pools, the division supplied the vital supporting structures which allowed nautical clients to let their imaginations run wild. Working with Johnstone Events’ Andy Johnstone, Arena Seating helped implement a new concept, the Suzuki Indoor Harbour, for Suzuki GB. This consisted of an indoor harbour built at London’s ExCel to exhibit a range of motor launches and outboard engines. Arena Seating provided the substructure on which the exhibitors mounted their own branding and display. Special features added by the company included a ramp and several staircases,

handrails plus the main, square viewing platform into which the “harbour” pool was set. With Johnstone Events and Standby Exhibitions, Arena Seating Special Structures installed a supporting structure for a “Deck Games” area, which hosted two pools for children’s canoeing and model boat displays. Stairways, platforms and display supports provided by the company created a stimulating, safe environment for exhibitors and viewers alike. The company also provided an access structure to several of the luxury yachts on display. With many of the vessels standing several metres above ground level, a significant scaffolding construction was required to allow visitors to reach the yachts’ entrances, and to host small welcome areas.




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This year should be one of opportunity for event organisers who can deliver quality on even the smallest of budgets, according to Oasis Specialist Tent Hire’s Mark Fremantle.

Quality on the tightest of budgets ... GIVEN the weak pound and the state of the economy, it’s likely people will spend more time in the UK over the summer. This should mean a busy time for event organisers. Something we have noticed is the number of people organising events for August. It’s usually a last minute month when people decide to have a party a matter of weeks in advance. This year we're operating at close to capacity for most August weekends. This is probably because people are simply not planning to go abroad and want to have an event instead. Whilst parties are downscaling in size, people still want to have fun. Although we did a New Year's event for around 600 people in a tented structure at a private house in Oxfordshire, ultimately best bang for buck is going to be the trend for 2009 and sharing the event with family and friends seems to be popular. We are also seeing bookings with less formal catered dining – with more casual buffet style events and chill-out furniture being the preferred option.

We sit in a niche supplying particular looks for event interiors but find that our look has broad appeal, for example Moroccan, Indian and Oriental. Providing something different is always important for clients but providing something luxurious looking for a competitive price with great service is the priority this year. Where tents are involved, it’s tempting for clients to save money on what are perceived to be added extras like expensive wooden flooring – actually details like this can make or break an event. There’s a skill in helping clients to spend their money wisely inside a tight budget. We’re working on a few new ideas during 2009. However, I think most companies will be holding off new investment to see how the economy shapes up over next few months. For event organisers this will mean working with suppliers to reinvent existing stock for budget-conscious 2009 clients.  Mark Fremantle is managing director of Oasis Specialist Tent Hire.

Supplier looks to future PIGGOTTS, established in 1780, is one of the largest suppliers of high quality temporary structures and branding solutions throughout the UK. Supplying essentially to the corporate, retail and sporting markets, structures that can be supplied are from three metres wide to 25 metres wide with cassette flooring, ABS and glass walling and transparent roof covers. Richard Treml, business develop-

ment manager, said: “We are looking at an interesting 18 months ahead with everybody fighting harder and those who succeed will be stronger, leaner and better businesses. We have increased our sales team and are always looking at acquisition opportunities.” Piggotts Company Limited can be contacted on: 01277 363262 or visit the website

Colours go bright and bold in tent market THREE key trends have emerged for this year in the temporary structures market, according to Robert Sanders, chief executive of Custom Covers.  When it comes to shape, there continues to be a strong move away from the more boxy shape of a standard aluminium frame marquee, towards marquees with the aesthetics of a pole tent. Custom Covers has found a way to combine the best of both worlds with its range of CQ Cones and Bell Ends, which are sold as add-ons to the basic marquee structure, offer the practicality of Coverspan frame structures with the aesthetics of a pole tent.  Bold colours such as fuchsia pink, bright red and orange are set

to be big trends for 2009, with chocolate brown also making an appearance on the hot list.  In the decorative linings market there continues to be a move away from pleated linings towards flat linings. Flat linings offer a crisper, more corporate look but require greater care and work to achieve the same standard of finish. This is because they are unforgiving, showing every blemish and condensation droplet. Pleats, by contrast, can hide a multitude of sins. Cost-wise there is no difference between flat and pleated: typically the cloth used to manufacture a flat lining is twice the weight of the cloth used to manufacture a pleated lining but you use half as much.





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Two event industry associations have seen success from working together. Michael Sharp, chairman of the Association for Conferences and Events talks about its work with NOEA

Moving things forward together ... A YEAR ago, Joy Montmorency pointed out the joint effort of NOEA and ACE in moving sustainability – now officially BS Standard 890 – forward and ironing out many of the red herrings and unnecessary clauses which the document originally contained. One hopes that conference and event organisers will use this as a basis when entering into the realms of organising a conference or an event. This is not the only venture where NOEA and ACE have combined together to move things forward. In 2006 NOEA and ACE held a joint afternoon seminar (NOEA holding its own session in the morning) to celebrate The Association for Conferences & Events’ (ACE) 35th anniversary in October that year. NOEA have also been very supportive of ACE’s careers fairs for the conference and event industry both in London and in Leeds. Since then it is good to note that NOEA has successfully increased its

Calendar 2009 February 10th -11th – Counter Terror Expo/ Conference 2009, QEII Centre London February 25th - 27th – 30th Anniversary NOEA Convention & Tribute Celebration February 25th – NOEA Golf Day (Convention) March 12th – Main Event Exhibition, Glasgow – NOEA Stand March 18th-20th – IFEA Europe Annual Conference, Bratislava April 21st – NOEA Conference, Exeter June 2nd-3rd – The Commercial Opportunities from the Olympics in London 2012 – COOL2012 IndigO2, The O2 Centre London September 24th – 3rd Annual Event Industry Golf Day, Newbury, Berks October 21st – 22nd – Showman’s Show, Newbury - NOEA Stand October 21st – 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 REPRESENTATIVES from across 80 councils attended the Spotlight on Local Authorities seminar at the Event Show at Olympia.

membership quite considerably – a special factor contributing to this being the involvement of local councils in events in their areas. This has been due mostly to modern legislation where the involvement of local councils in many aspects of outdoor events has been inevitable. From ACE’s point of view, many of our members who would have described themselves originally as conference organisers are now calling themselves event organisers. As businesses (hopefully) grow many organisers find that they are not purely organising conferences but other events either associated with or separate from the conference side, either indoor or outdoor. So many ACE organising members find they have a foot in both camps. Therefore NOEA and ACE have more in common than originally might be apparent and NOEA members have also joined with ACE members in visiting the O2 complex in October 2007 and more recently in

the visit to the new Terminal 5 and the Heathrow Thistle Hotel. At ACE’s 35th anniversary, Joy Montmorency, described the difference between our two associations as “’er indoors” and “’im outside”... Now that difference is becoming less obscure and in many ways NOEA and ACE are the closest of all associations in terms of principals and endeavours although the difference between indoors and outdoors is still paramount. In 2009 NOEA will celebrate its 30th anniversary and I am sure that notwithstanding the current recession that NOEA will continue to grow, attract more members from the outdoor sector, and we at ACE send our younger sister many congratulations on achieving this milestone and wish them further growth in their area. We also look forward to an early opportunity of another joint venture between our two long lived associations.

Line-up of speakers confirmed for anniversary convention A GREAT line-up of speakers for NOEA’s 30th anniversary convention has now been confirmed. The event – which also includes the annual tribute celebration evening – will be at The Oxford Belfry Hotel on Wednesday February 25 to Friday February 27. Speakers include:  Harvey Goldsmith CBE, promoter  Michael Hurst OBE, chairman,

Business Visits and Events Partnership  Tobias Ellwood MP, Shadow Minister for Tourism, Licensing and Gambling  David Stubbs, head of environment and sustainable development, London 2012  Richard John, event consultant. Master of ceremonies for the event will be radio presenter Ed ‘Stewpot’

Stewart. Event sponsorship has come from Access All Areas, Capita Symonds Ltd, City of Westminster, 2CL Communications Ltd, CoverEx, Festival Fireworks, FTF Worldwide Event Management, G4S Security Services (UK), Horsey Lightly Fynn, Logistik (tbc), Select Security & Stewarding Ltd, SRD Group Ltd, Sunbaba, Sygma Safety Ltd, The Main

Event Magazine, University of Derby, Buxton, The White Book and Wilde Ones Event Services. This year’s chosen charity is Jane’s Appeal, established by the late Jane Tomlinson CBE to raise funds for children's and cancer charities. The charities that have benefited from Jane's support cover all areas including medical research, cancer treatment and specialist care.

Tributes after ACE founder Geoffrey dies, aged 78 ONE of the founders of ACE who went on to become its chairman for many years died in December, aged 78. Geoffrey Gray-Forton was a one of the most important and highly respected figures in both the meetings and the incentive travel industry and was involved with numerous international conferences and events and trade mission worldwide. Geoffrey, or GGF as he was better known, was the founder and chairman of Meetings World (1969)

Associations. As the founder The Association of Conferences Executives in 1971, later to become the Association for Conferences and Events, he was instrumental in bringing together executives working in the conference industry and to encourage members in their various fields to adhere to a code of practice and to make members professional in their undertaking. In both these roles he was deeply involved in training and development of the meetings industry in the UK

National Outdoor Events Association

The way forward for the world of Outdoor Events Want to know what is going on? VISIT WEBSITE

Contact NOEA John Barton, Tel No: 020 8669 8121 Email:

and also globally. GGF was also a one-time board member of ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association in its early days. Throughout his career he held many honorary overseas appointments. He was extremely knowledgeable and was renowned as a moderator in over ninety countries. He was a prolific writer and author of many books on conferences and incentives; recently he was working on ‘How to be an Effective Moderator for Meetings and Conferences’ which

his wife, Barbara, will complete on his behalf. Barbara and Geoffrey met in 1973 through ACE and Barbara is managing director and company secretary of Meetings World. Almost the last thing GGF did was to write an article for the new ACE newsletter, Eventful Times, which was circulated in January. GGF was a doyen in the conference and travel industry and with his passing the industry has lost one of its GREATS.

25-365 Feature



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Spindlewood CCTV The Resource Centre Featherstone WF7 5EW tel. 0845 230 0113

SRD Group Limited The Studio Shipbourne Road TONBRIDGE TN10 3DJ tel. 01732 373920 Sledge Tel: 020 8743 3232 Email Web Address: The Mill House, Millers Way, London, W6 7NH

Bars Handsie Display Unit 3 Victoria Wharf Victoria Road Dartford DA1 5AJ tel. 01322 285191 Peppermint Bars 19 Pensbury Street Battersea London SW8 4TL tel. 0845 226 7845 Eagle Hospitality 27 Bridge Street Carmathen SA31 3JS tel. 01267 235031 Bash Bars 40a Holmethorpe Avenue Redhill Surrey RH1 2NL tel. 01737 210979 Creativevents Earls Court Exhibition Centre London SW5 9TA tel. 0207 370 8685

CCTV In Focus Communications & Vision Ltd Unit P, Part L Hadrian's Enterprise Park, Haltwhistle Northumberland NE49 0EX tel. 01434 322162

CCTV cont. Etherlive


Entertainment The Three Waiters Ltd Level 4 116 New Oxford Street London WC1A 1HH tel. 0207 436 4484 Bogus Brothers 74 Leeds Road Selby YO8 4JQ tel. 07831 561012

Smye-Rumsby Limited 123-125 Snargate Street Dover Kent CT17 9AP tel. 01304 248900

Whatever Artist Management F24 Argo House Kilburn Park Road London NW6 5LF tel. 0207 372 4777

Murphy Comhire Ltd Communications house Sheffield S9 1LD tel. 0114 243 4567

Scattered Media 29 Archies Park Forfar Dundee Angus DD8 1DA tel. 01307 477894

Midland Radio Links Unit 4, 181-187 Moseley Street Birmingham B12 0RT tel. 0121 7667661

Crowd Management Showsec International Limited Floor 1e & 2e Phoenix Yard Upper Brown Street LEICESTER LE1 5TE tel. 0116 204 3333 Touchline Event Management Ltd 7 Allison Court Metro Centre Gateshead Tyne & Wear NE11 9YS tel. 0191 496 1000 The Corps Ltd 85 Cowcross Street London EC1M 6PF tel. 08000 286303 Firewalker Events Security Ltd The Manor 306-308 Leicester Road Wigston Leicestershire LE18 1JX tel. 0844 8009134

Event Management Eastern Events Limited Diggens Farmhouse Aylsham Norwich Norfolk NR11 6UB tel. 01263 734711 Fastline Transport Solutions Marshgate Depot Friarsgate Greyfriars Road Doncaster DN1 1QV tel. 01302 303555 Confetti Network Limited 80-81 Tottenham Court Road London W1T 4TE tel. 0207 291 7685 Highton Woodward Associates Ltd Japonica Cottage Durford road Petersfield Hampshire GU31 4ER tel. 0207 6177272


Event Management cont. Chris Powell Event Management 70 Fennel Close Chineham Basingstoke RG24 8XF tel. 01256 335192 CA Event The Hollow Peaslake Lane Peaslake Surrey GU5 9RJ tel. 0870 86 12 123

Insurance Services Event Insurance Services Limited Event House 20A Headlands Business Park Ringwood BH24 3PB tel. 01425 470360 PJT Insurance Services Ltd 17 Main Street Swords County Dublin. tel + 353 1 8401254 Doodson Broking Group Century House Pepper Rd Hazel Grove Stockport SK7 5BW tel. 0161 419 3011 37 Rolle St Exmouth Devon EX8 2SN tel. 0845 1300 265

Staging The Outdoor Staging Company Ltd tel. +44(0)7866 470 293 1 Langley Drive, Castle Bromwich, B35 7AD

Medical Management Venture Medical tel. 079883 88461 Cooperfield House, 47 Leeds Road, Gawthorpe, Ossett, West Yorkshire, WF5 9QW

Absolute Hospitality 1 High Street Hounslow Middlesex TW3 1RH tel. 020 8577 4448

To advertise here call 01226 734 333

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01226 734333

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The Event Medicine Company Unit D, Central Estate, Albert Road, Aldershot, Hampshire GU11 1SZ Tel: 01252 313005 Email:









‘training by design’ Accredited training services in London & Kent • SIA Door Level 2 • Fire Safety • • First Aid • Health & Safety • For a full list of our services, availability & costing contact below 01622 600 026




To Advertise Call: 01226 734333

28-Eagle Hospitality





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Main Event (February)  

The Magazine for event organisers