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Health and safety company, A.C.T. National, arranged a mock trial to demonstrate to event professionals the legal procedures that follow when a criminal case is brought to court. The first in our series of weekly updates, this episode welcomes the jury (the audience members) and explains the upcoming procedures. 

Sponsored by insurance giant, Aon plc and ran by practising criminal barristers, the mock trial was aimed at event professionals to provide insight into what the legal and prosecution processes would be if an incident occurred at on site.

Human error is the main cause of incidents, injuries and even fatalities and therefore the key force behind event professionals being prosecuted.

Describing hindsight as a “wonderful tool”, the prosecution barrister, David Campbell, said prosecution is almost inescapable if a fatality or serious injury occurs. However, having approved systems in place ensures employees and workers are safe and, if an accident does occur, organisers can be assured they will not be found culpable.

Campbell described the incident of a sub-contractor who obtained injuries after an allegedly inadequate site induction. He introduced the defendants as a construction company and an electrical company which were charged with having breached health and safety protocols. 

“These companies played fast and loose with people’s health and safety and they deserve to be held accountable in this court.”

The first witness, Alan Tungate, acting as a health and safety inspector for the South West, was called upon to provide the first lot of evidence, referring to “exhibits” to aid and corroborate his story.

The trial will continue next week, exclusively on Event Industry News.

Another series of mock trials is arranged for September in Birmingham, Manchester and London.

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RSCA Anderlecht has declared its move to go cashless a great success, recording increased sales of 35% and improved fan-engagement, using an NFC card-based system provided by PlayPass.

As a key part of its wider digital transformation strategy, the club underwent a rigorous tender process to find a cashless payment provider that could integrate seamlessly with its mobile application and CRM systems to enable a digital season ticket with powerful loyalty mechanisms.

Gert Boutsen, head of finance and administration, stated:“We didn’t want a collection of suppliers gathered around, but separate to, our platform. The PlayPass ethos is perfectly aligned to this model and has proven a great ongoing success.”

The NFC tag embedded in the club’s season ticket card is linked digitally to the individual, allowing customer profiling and personalised communications. The PlayPass system routes every purchase transaction through the club’s proprietary CRM system, providing Anderlecht with visibility on their fans’ consumption patterns, cross-referenced with their other online and offline interactions with the club.

This data and instant feedback has facilitated on-going operational fine-tuning to continually optimise revenue and fan experience, and allowed the club to offer effective incentives to encourage its visitors to spend more time in the stadium on match days.

PlayPass fulfilled the clubs requirement that the RFID system be used as a powerful data collection tool. The innovative digital transformation provides the club with data bringing a logical scientific basis for making decisions advising commercial partnerships, marketing, fan offers, staffing and retail logistics.

Fans have the choice of topping up their funds remotely in advance, via the mobile app, or in the stadium at top-up-stations before making their purchases in the stadium. PlayPass installed 65 cashless fixed POS terminals at bars and retail outlets, with a further 130 mobile POS, which completed over 300,000 transactions during the season fans and retailers gave excellent feedback from the outset. The team also installed 45 fixed and 15 mobile readers at top-up stations

Carlo Waelens, PlayPass’ European head of sales, stated: “We were delighted to be selected and we are even more delighted that this first season has proved a resounding success. We have integrated fully with the club’s commercial and IT teams and are excited at the plans for further developments to the digital platform next season.”

The company has become a pro-active part of the team in the evolution of Anderlecht’s interactive digital platform by enhancing the relationship with B2B customers, fans and partners.

Bert Van der Auwera, ‘general counsel’ for IT, commented:“PlayPass has worked with us closely to integrate their systems as part of our innovative digital transformation, with that one RFID card at the centre of the fans and our partner’s everyday interaction with the club.

“The fans loved it from the start, we expected an initial drop in revenue of 20% while they got used to it, but in reality we had a 35% increase from the beginning, which was brilliant.”

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ArcTanGent is the rock festival we didn’t know we needed. Playing math-rock, alt-rock and noise-rock, this niche festival is “delivering line-ups you won’t find anywhere else on Earth.”

Now in its 7th year, the festival has grown in popularity each year, with the 10,000-capacity event expected to be a sell-out this summer.

One-third of the festival owners, Goc O’Callaghan, spoke to us at Event Industry News to reveal what goes into creating and developing such a niche event and how they have almost doubled their sales in just one year.

Goc, along with her co-founders, James Scarlett and Simon Maltas, began working on ArcTanGent in 2011, a full two years before its first edition in 2013. 

Keep the “punters” happy

Speaking about the planning process, Goc said, “The festival itself is quite easy. It’s the months of planning, when you’re in the hypothetical stage, that’s the hard part.”

When asked about the sudden boost in sales, Goc admitted she couldn’t pinpoint it to a specific reason: “We had some very positive press last year from some major music publications. We also won Best Small Festival in the UK Festival Awards which most definitely helped. Our headliner, Meshuggah was announced very soon after the festival in 2018 and is a big booking for us. Word-of-mouth also plays a key role in bringing new fans to us.”

Goc, James and Simon designed the festival around audience experience, with the festival needing no “frills” that other live music events have: “As long as the punters are happy and having a good time,” Goc commented, stating that their customers remain at the heart of what they do.

This may well be one of the key factors behind ArcTanGent winning best festival of the year at the UK Festival Awards 2018, which is no mean feat considering everything – from marketing to web design, ticket sales to production – is planned and organised in-house: “I even get stuck in hammering scaffold poles into the ground or helping erect the stages,” Goc laughed.

Citing this as a reason as to why the festival is so popular, Goc explained that audiences can tell the difference between a project that has been made with passion and just another bog-standard event: “To be passionate about something, you need to be involved in every part of it.”

Partnerships

ArcTanGent has, once again, partnered with BOSS to return the 20ft shipping container, complete with a viewing platform, stretch tent and seating area.

The brand activation will host breakfast sessions on Friday and Saturday mornings before allowing fans to test and experiment with a range of BOSS products, such as pedals. Bands will demonstrate the equipment so audiences can gain a better understanding of the products.

Environmentally-friendly

Sustainability is also something Goc and the team are incredibly conscious about and have joined the Association of Independent Festivals’ (AIF) pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic by 2021.

Locally-sourced meat, reusable cups and a reed bed filtering system for the toilet waste are also aspects of the festival that will improve its environmental impact. “Everyone also gets four colour-coded rubbish bags upon arrival so they can segregate their waste into recycling,” Goc said.

Silent disco

Not wanting to pull the plug on the festival too early, ArcTanGent hosts a ‘silent disco’ from 11pm-3am, at which fans can carry on dancing and raving to their favourite songs all without upsetting the neighbours. The Thursday night is a Silent Disco with the audience hearing bands perform live through their headphones.

All this, on top of writing a PhD thesis on ‘event concept design for memory creation’ and being vice chair for the AIF, means Goc certainly has her hands full!

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By Jose Bort, CEO and co-founder, EventsCase

Feedback surveys have enjoyed something of an easy ride. In the face of much technical advancement, driven by the pursuit of big data (itself a bi-product of our growing interest in measurability), post-event feedback has been allowed to cement itself as the de-facto gauge of attendee opinion.

Being easy to create, deliver and complete, most events use feedback surveys to glean insight on the very people that matter. They’re also easy to ignore, demonstrated by the relatively low rates of completion. We’ve seen clients estimating their conversion at 5-8%. That leaves 92-95% of all attendee feedback remaining untouched. 

Considering the importance of these answers in shaping the attendee experience, we as an industry must devise a more effective way of gathering them. Curbing our reliance on post-event feedback could represent a major step on the ladder to self-improvement.

The second step is to use data in a way that creates avenues for continuous learning. These days, it’s almost blasé to talk about collecting insight from our events. It is, of course, another thing to actually do it, while actioning on all the relevant points. By requesting attendee opinion as and when they need it, our organisers will have no doubts over the popularity of speakers, features, sponsors and much more.

The best thing about this transformation is that the technology is already there. Apps and websites are capable of extracting reams of important data on the attendee-experience. On the proviso of full GDPR compliance, we can use this insight as a path to greater satisfaction, based on the changes that people want to see.

We’re not waving goodbye to questions – more adjusting the manner in which they’re delivered. For example, we can already use data within apps to determine a speaker’s popularity, based on the number of times their session was bookmarked. By using push notifications to quiz attendees at the end of a presentation (e.g. “how did you find the content?”) we can see if the speaker really delivered on their potential.

The same data-building process can help us solve issues before they’re allowed to hamper attendees over an extended period. If someone is asked to grade their registration or their in-app experience, complete with a box for comments, we can make adjustments before problems start to escalate.

It’s a positive movement and one that certainly rings true with what we’ve seen across industries like manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, retail, finance and insurance. That is, the use of data and analytics to bolster our levels of efficiency and performance. Guesswork is on the way out; replaced by a more informed view of what works and what does not.

Feedback surveys, you have been warned. Although many events will see reputational value in asking their attendees for their thoughts and feelings, we are definitely moving into an era which will leave the obvious questions behind. 

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Welford Road, the home of Leicester Tigers Rugby Club, has become the latest stadia venue to join the Lime Venue Portfolio. The historic ground joins the group of 80+ unique and unusual venues, further adding to the portfolio’s geographic reach, particularly in Leicester where it joins the King Power Stadium, home of Leicester City Football Club.

As part of the agreement, LVP’s sister company, sport and entertainment caterer, Levy UK, will implement a new catering vision for both match day and conference and events within the stadium. Meanwhile, Lime Venue Portfolio will support the stadium’s conference and events business with its own award-winning sales and marketing function. 

Andrea Pinchen, commercial director at Leicester Tigers,said: “We have a really strong conference and events product here at Welford Road, and ambitious plans for growth within this market. Joining Lime Venue Portfolio allows us to accelerate our plans by partnering with a well-respected and influential venue group. The portfolio has really good partner relationships with key agencies and many national corporate businesses, places where we know our facilities have much to offer.”

Jo Austin, sales director at Lime Venue Portfolio,added: “An important part of our growth as a business has been our ability to provide event organisers with multiple venue options across the UK, each with consistently high standards. We’re seeing more and more enquiries looking to hold meetings and events in the region, driven by an increase in promotional activity around Leicester’s historic, sporting and cultural heritage.

“Our partnership with Leicester Tigers allows us to continue to service this demand, adding to the strength of our venue options in a region that is really opening itself up for conference and events business.”

Leicester Tigers will be in good company within the sporting credentials of Lime Venue Portfolio, alongside newly promoted Sheffield United’s home, Bramall Lane; Villa Park, home of Aston Villa; Cardiff City Stadium; Twickenham, Kia Oval and Edgbaston, all homes to elite level football, rugby and cricket respectively.

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Next week will see the launch of a public consultation on the proposed re-development of the current EventCity site.

The plan is to move to a new purpose-built EventCity on the present site of Soccerdome, based in TraffordCity. Subject to planning approval, EventCity will leave its current location and temporarily cease operations in July 2020, before re-opening its doors to the public in September 2020. It is planned that the current site will become home to a unique wellbeing resort called Therme Manchester.

Designs and a detailed specification for the new EventCity are being finalised and will be revealed in the coming months.  

Members of the public are invited to attend the planning consultation at EventCity next week, to be held in the foyer of Hall 1 at the following times:

  • Thursday, 25th July, 1400-2000
  • Friday 26th July, 1200-1600

EventCity is one of the largest “blank canvas” exhibition and multi-purpose event venues in the north of England. Boasting four halls and a maximum combined space of 28,000m2, it is commonly used for gala dinners, trade shows, meetings and conferences.

The venue is owned by the Peel Group, an infrastructure, transport and real estate investment company.

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With the best of the UK’s events trade recently in London for The Meetings Show (26th, 27th June, London Olympia) glh was proud to host the HBAA Red Carpet Experience at the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel London on the evening of Tuesday 25th June. 

As partners of the HBAA, glh Venues welcomed the industry’s agency bookers, for an opportunity to network and share ideas the night before The Meetings Show launched, all within the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel London’s Rock Royalty Lounge, GMT Bar, Hard Rock Café and cocktail bar. Additionally, glh Venue’s portfolio offers modern, comfortable spaces in all 124 rooms. The variety of room sizes and layouts are configured to precise requirements to meet any event need. 

“At glh Venues, we strive to deliver outstanding experiences, working to build authentic relationships and ultimately providing unforgettable hospitality. Our partnership with HBAA provides the opportunity to understand trends and insights and promote business practices between members and venues,” said Kathleen Edwards, head of glh Venues.

“Here at the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel London, guests were entertained by live music, mingled amongst iconic rock merchandise, and slept soundly in our stylish rooms. Hosting members of the HBAA allowed us to showcase the amazing service we can offerat glh.” 

The Meetings Show, and the HBAA Red Carpet Experience, are platforms to showcase venues and provide the opportunity for the MICE industry to learn new skills and ideas for how to run more innovative meetings in the future.

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This footage has been kindly captured by our friends at First Sight Media – firstsight.media

Taking to the Conference and Creativity stage at last year’s Event Tech Live, was Crystal Interactive’s head of innovation, Rob Curtis.

As part of his role, Rob provides expert, unbiased advice regarding event tech tools, drawing on his 14 years’ experience working with event technology. In the ever-changing landscape of technology, live events need to learn to utilise new technologies to maximise revenue and engagement.

“We want people to leave an event thinking, ‘that was a really good use of my time’,” Rob said, explaining that quantifying the success of an event can prove to be problematic.

However, Rob posed five questions with which event planners should quiz themselves to gain a better understanding of their attendees:

  • Did you learn something new?
  • Did you connect with other people?
  • Did you contribute?
  • Did you receive relevant and personal content based on your experience?
  • Was it memorable?

Using live polling, Rob engaged the audience to demonstrate how many people use tech pre- during and post-event to explore technology-adoption within the sector.

Citing research from his own and other key companies, Rob demonstrated the changing trends of technology used at live events.

“When the trusty event app came to market, that’s because everyone had a mobile phone and downloading apps was commonplace,” Rob stated, claiming that event technology often marries up with the trends and advancements in consumer behaviour and technology beyond the event industry.

Explaining various pieces of technology currently being used worldwide, Rob provided his suggestions on which technology and technological trends will shape the event industry in the “not so distant future”.

Event Tech Live, Europe’s only free-to-attend show dedicated to event technology, is returning on 6th-7th November.

If you would like to receive updates, please see here.

For more information, visit www.eventtechlive.com.

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The first of the Events Industry Board’s (EIB) biannual “Events Industry Senior Leaders Advisory Panel” meetings took place earlier this month, giving attendees a platform to discuss challenges and opportunities for the industry with representatives from the UK Government and the EIB.

The Events Industry Senior Leaders Advisory Panel comprises senior leaders from UK venues, production companies and the creative industries. The Panel provides a unique opportunity for the UK government and associated bodies to hear first-hand from a wide range of business events leaders who support a shared vision to maintain the UK as a leading European country for hosting business events, conferences and congresses.

Lord Ashton of Hyde, parliamentary under-secretary of state for the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport and Michael Hirst OBE, chair of the EIB were in attendance at the Panel’s first roundtable discussion which focused on the opportunities and challenges to competitiveness, including conference centre capacity and investment, transportation connectivity and skills. 

The views of Panel members will help to shape the future work of the EIB which provides ministers and officials with guidance and feedback on how Britain may become a more competitive environment in order to attract, grow and create international events.

Michael Hirst OBE, chair, Event Industry Board, said: “With the very welcome news of the Government’s Tourism Sector Deal and a new UK Government’s International Business Events Action Plan for the UK, it’s more important than ever that we seek as wide a range of views as possible about the way ahead. 

“The next few years are a crucial time for the events industry – business events have never been so high on the government’s agenda as they are now. Collaboration between event businesses, the EIB and other government departments is essential if we are to optimise opportunities and grow the value and volume of business events held in Britain.” 

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By Tijen Ahmet, Legal Director at Shakespeare Martineau

Aside from rain, the British summer conjures up images of festivals and sitting in a field watching music acts, cold drink in hand. However, for a country which has fostered such a strong international reputation for the variety and quality of its acts at outdoor festivals, the post-2021 immigration system should be at the top of the set list.

For the 42 events on the Home Office’s list of ‘permit-free festivals’, performers will be able to come to the UK with a ‘Business Creative Visa’ under the standard visit rules that allow multiple entry over a six-month period. However, for organisers of other events, the simple process of booking EU acts and arranging travel to the UK is set to become much more complicated.

Upon leaving the EU, free movement to the UK will end and all international migrants coming to the UK to work will have to address complexities at the point of entry. Under this system, artists, entertainers and musicians from the EU will have to meet minimum criteria and apply through the skills-based immigration system. Whether the need is for a temporary visa under Tier 5 of the current points-based system or a creative skilled worker visa under Tier 2, employers will have to foot the bill for costs and sponsor licences.

Event organisers themselves will also have to apply for a sponsor licence, in order to bring in non-UK talent, racking up yet further costs. Considering the number of people involved in a music act, visa costs alone could skyrocket into the thousands. ​For the larger players who can apply for group certificates, this will be less of a problem, however for smaller, independent operators, these surprise costs could be devastating.

The UK is on the brink of a brave new world when it comes to immigration and there will undoubtedly be a price tag attached. An end to free movement in the EU will affect the way businesses across many sectors source their workers – understanding how the proposed visa changes will affect international acts coming to work in the UK is essential and planning ahead is crucial.

Failing to do so could result in hefty, unexpected bills and everybody’s worst nightmare: gaps in an otherwise stellar setlist.

Tijen works with global UK businesses advising on strategic international recruitment and supports with immigration compliance facilitating assignments and relocation. 

Tijen is widely recognized as an expert in UK business immigration. She represents high net worth entrepreneurs with inward investment and helps them navigate through the complexities of the rules and practicalities of relocation. 

Tijen’s clients include senior HR teams of multi-nationals and SME’s, through to secure overseas talent through sponsorship visas.

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