The Power of Events: "In just the first week we have almost £40k committed from industry supporters"
Rick Stainton, Founder of The Power of Events, discusses the brand's new identity and direction, plus exciting future plans.
Exciting news, you’re now The Power of Events! What has spurred the name change and new direction? Why now?
The One Industry One Voice brand came out of the Covid situation, to initiate closer collaboration for the first time across all the 7 main industry sectors – Business & consumer events, Live music, exhibitions, outdoor events & festivals, Bespoke sports activations, weddings & private parties and third/public sector events – it included getting key industry figures and associations together to share info and resources to support the various campaigns and challenges facing the industry.
Now is the time to leverage that initial momentum and mandate to create a more appropriate organisation for the future resilience of our industry and benefit all event professionals - with a formalised structure and governance, brand/comms strategy and funding model, this is setting us up for success for the creation of a comms hub website and app to showcase the breadth of our industry as well as facilitate the university research partnerships – please see www.thepowerofevents.org for a deck that outlines the core mission
Can you tell me a bit more about your plan to attract fresh blood to the industry, especially a more diverse mix? How will you champion events as a great and sustainable career choice?
We are creating a comprehensive communications hub alongside an event analysis and evaluation platform to support the UK events industry.
We will work in partnership with circa the Top 10 event faculties in universities across all Four Nations to design and deliver research and data that demonstrates the social, economic and cultural impacts of events across the UK.
The comms hub website will provide a one stop showcase for the UK Events Industry that fully maps out the range of sectors, expertise and networks.
The UK Events Industry currently has no single digital ‘shop window’ so this ambitious project aims to demonstrate the broad range of skill sets and career opportunities to attract a more diverse and inclusive talent mix. It will also provide an industry map that will help people navigate around the breadth and variety of live events and experiences in the UK.
It will showcase existing trade associations and support organisations, such as those focused on sustainability, DEI, training and innovation, by signposting to their information, resources and campaigns. The plan is to develop current and relevant content, providing a single destination for anyone wanting to learn more about the UK Events Industry. The second phase of development will be the launch of a digital tool that will enable two way engagement with all UK event professionals in order to deliver really robust research data for the industry.
How will you help foster collaboration and communication between all the different industry arms?
We already have core associations from across all the sectors represented on The Power of Events Taskforce and various core activity Action Groups – including from BVEP (business events), EIA (AEO, AEV, ESSA), EIF (Outdoor/festivals), LIVE and NTIA (music), PLASA, PSA, UKCMA and other representatives from sport, charity sectors as well as production suppliers, the freelance community, venues and hotels.
The universities research partnership will organically also promote closer ties and engagement between their faculties and industry. It is important to say we want this to be as fully inclusive, representative and diverse as possible, so anyone is welcome and invited to join the Taskforce and Action Groups to ensure this is realised as much as possible.
Which research grants are you aiming for and how will these be used? Any particular areas of focus?
Start up grants will be applied for from Innovate UK to support the organisation’s set-up and operational development, and we have just recently sent out an invitation for any business or association who can and wants to support this with a min £500 start up contribution to accelerate this – any individuals or freelancers that would like to support are equally encouraged to do so at any level they are comfortable with – similar to the amazingly generous contributions we secured for the #wecreateexperiences campaign in 2020, the diverse mix of associations, large/small businesses and freelancers was amazing and very humbling in such difficult times.
The research programmes will then be applying for grants across a number of sources, including ESRC, Arts Council, Innovate UK and others which the universities have particular relationships with and have had recent successful applications.
The research and data collation focus areas are to be discussed and formerly agreed across the Taskforce and Research Action Group, but I suggest the first work package could aim to answer the basic data needs we still don’t have – who works in our industry, across which sectors, where in the UK, from what background and with what skillsets, and for organisations, basic turnover and export values – from there we can build on more sector, regional specific and other elements of societal, environmental and cultural impact, as the research program develops and various associations/organisations ask for what they need our support on.
You are aiming for 100k of startup funding- who has pledged support so far?
It never ceases to inspire us how supportive and generous event professionals can be, especially if the proposition is supporting their passion for events, their businesses, careers and the future resilience of our industry – in just the first week we have almost £40k committed from industry supporters.
Freelancer or small business support is as important as from the larger organisations, because it mirrors our core mandate of inclusion and representation, but many of the main associations, agencies, suppliers are coming forward and we’re beginning to receive support from major sports rights holders and music promoters as well, which is brilliant and reflects the diverse engagement we are aiming to promote and essentially need to achieve our ambitions.
Who can join the taskforce and what type of expertise are you on the lookout for currently?
Everyone’s welcome - contact us if they would like to help, be involved and add their specific experience and expertise, irrespective of how long they have been in the industry – Action groups focus areas include governance, digital, content, research, comms, grant funding – there will be others in the making Im sure, so get in touch : firstname.lastname@example.org