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ESSA holds biggest ever conference and awards to date with over 180 delegates

The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) held the annual ‘Conference and Chairman’s Dinner’ at Arena MK on Thursday 29 November, the best attended since ESSA’s inception.

The event was attended by more than 180 delegates from almost 100 companies, which included a keynote speech from serial entrepreneur Ed Gillespie. The event was chaired by Andy Gibb, sales & marketing director at Stadium MK.

Working groups and an innovative ‘solutions room’ were in use throughout the day and the conference was rounded up with an evening of entertainment and awards, which saw GES’ Nick Marshall win Outstanding Contribution to the Industry.

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director said: “Nick Marshall has been at the heart of the industry, and has influenced many changes and developments, it was particularly pleasing to see his contribution recognised by his peers.”

Harrison held an ESSA Town Hall session, alongside ESSA vice chair Martin Cairns, ESSA board member Lou Kiwanuka and ESSA futures board chair Jess Corbett. The team fed back to delegates information and updates on a number of key projects that had been the focus of the association over the past year.

Other sessions on the day included a thought provoking look at the future and humanity’s impact on the planet, which focused on the events industry.

Speakers included Debra Searle MVO, MBE, a professional adventurer, author, BBC presenter as well as Ian Rowland, a leading expert on thinking and communication skills.

Oliver Smart of Jonas Event Technology won ESSA Young Person Award, Paul O’Neil of Freeman won ESSA Unsung Hero Award, ESSA Innovation of the Year Award went to Visit & Poken by GES and the ESSA Member Company Award went to A1 Event & Exhibition Cleaners.

Speaking about the event, Andrew Harrison said: “We’ve had very positive feedback from the conference and the ball, which is especially pleasing as we did change a few things around this year.

“I was especially pleased that the Solutions Room was well received, it reaffirms our belief that the members can be of immense support to one another and the experience, passion and knowledge that sits within the ESSA community is inspiring.”

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