The Main Stage will see the return of the highly popular Access Sessions. Taking the form of a 45 minute panel debate, each session will bring together experts from across the industry to share their experiences, discuss new ideas and outline prospects for the year ahead.
First to take to the stage is Piers Shepperd of Wonder Works, who will chair a panel on ‘The Importance of Opening and Closing Ceremonies to the Cultural Heritage and Legacy of Large Sporting Events’, which will also feature David Zolkwer, artistic director and head of ceremonies at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Other sessions planned for Wednesday include a ‘Question Time’ style panel debate looking at the key issues effecting event organisers in 2015. Followed by ‘There’s more to festivals than music’ as a panel seeks to explore the additional areas of entertainment and creativity that give festivals their unique identities.
On Thursday 19th February, Wayne Hemingway will speak on the Gentrification of Festivals before the Access Sessions conclude with ‘People, Planet, Profit – The Energy Revolution’, a debate with Chris Johnson, Shambala Festival; Ben Robinson, Kendal Calling and Ollie Stroud, Secret Garden Party. Introducing a new initiative to tackle energy at events and encourage investment in renewable solutions, the session will outline the ten UK festivals that have formed an alliance to actively address climate change as well as their ideas for how audiences, suppliers and the overall industry can work together to achieve a greener future.
Over in the seminar theatre, key topics for planning and running live events will be spotlighted in a series of half hour sessions including:
• ‘Let’s Talk Ticketing’ will cover capturing data, RFID, touting and how to get ticketing right;
• An event safety surgery, entitled ‘Safety Geeks and Event Nerds – bring your challenges in Event Safety’ will be chaired by Simon Bell of the UK Centre for Events Management at Leeds Beckett University. Featuring industry experts Eddy Grant, H & S Consultant, Capita; Dean Parker, Production Manager, Wilde Ones and Dan Schofield, former Head of Event Delivery for the Tour de France Grand Depart. The surgery will address all questions, conundrums, trials and tribulations in relation to the delivery of safe events;
• Penny Mellor, a highly respected, specialist consultant, will discuss festival-goer welfare;
• ‘A Sporting Chance’ invites Ru Barksfield of Gruve to take a look at why brands are choosing sporting events to launch and promote products;
• Andy Lenthall of the PSA has arranged a panel discussion on CDM and its practical implications for the industry; ”
Liz Agostini, event director comments: “We’re really pleased with the speaker programme for this year’s Show and have worked hard to create sessions that will be engaging, informative and, hopefully, inspirational. With a strong balance of experience from across all sectors of our industry, we hope to draw sell-out crowds and ensure the Event Production Show remains the ‘go to’ exhibition for news and views on the latest trends and topics in live events.”