The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) has announced the creation of two working groups within the association: Sustainability Working Group  and Diversity and Inclusivity Working Group.

  • The Sustainability Working Group, chaired by Martin Cottrell, MD of A1 Event & Exhibition cleaners: and
  • the Diversity and Inclusivity Working Group, chaired by Hannah Jardine, group business manager at Ignition DG.

The ESSA Sustainability Working Group will look at all aspects of sustainability, from environmental to human. Cottrell said, “Some members have yet to set out on a meaningful sustainability journey, while others want to improve their workplaces or connect with their communities. Our objective is to help every member set and achieve their sustainability goals. We have the benefit of all the data and research from the tri-association groups, and in due course, we will be able to feed our research and best practice back in to help bring about positive change.”

The ESSA Diversity & Inclusivity Working Group will be a route to greater insight into diversity and inclusivity and will provide guidance for members. Jardine outlined her hopes for the group, saying, “The overall aim of the group is for the industry as a whole to understand the benefits of diversity, to nurture the right perspectives, and to provide the tools to achieve goals. Once we have addressed a change in thinking, we plan to create a road map for members, to offer options and guidance to advocacy, covering topics from recruitment all the way through to diversifying suppliers. Diversity and inclusivity will be central to the recovery of the events industry, and we want to help our members ‘Survive and Thrive’ in this post-Brexit, post-pandemic, environment.”

ESSA members currently participate in a range of cross association working groups, but as ESSA director Andrew Harrison explained, ESSA members share many issues with each other that are not felt in the venue or organiser communities: “We’ve created the first of the ESSA working groups,” said Harrison, “to address issues specific to our members, rather than the whole event industry. Many of our members are SMEs, sole traders, and freelancers, and the issues they face are often unique to their specialism.”

“Our member engagement is very high,” concluded Harrison, “not least because of the pandemic situation, and these two working groups already have clear goals in mind. I have the utmost confidence that Hannah and Martin will be able to harness the energy and ideas flowing from both of these groups to effect beneficial change in the sector and the industry over time.”