UK Events

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ABPCO - How an association is using Purpose and Values to provide direction


One of the most important and rewarding parts of running any organisation is listening to your stakeholders and reacting to their needs. It is however even more rewarding when you are part of an association where the feedback is coming from an involved membership. With this in mind the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) holds a membership engagement survey every year to see what we can be doing better. Over the past few years it has seen us become more efficient, more profitable, deliver greater education opportunities and add new events to the calendar. However, this year’s message included a clear need to be more holistic and consider our purpose and core values.

As a result, during our executive strategy day, the ABPCO board embarked on a process that considered the current and future goals of the association and how best to describe it to the market. It was a creative and exciting process that really allowed us to explore exactly what we are doing and why. Specifically though it challenged us to think about our purpose statement. Or to be blunt – what is the point in ABPCO?

There were a lot of ideas discussed, a lot of opinions and some truly insightful comments. It is a process I would recommend to any organisation as it provided considerable food for thought. Most interesting though was the fact that it took us beyond our normal perceptions. We were no longer thinking about logistics and the organisation of events but how we facilitate better events, and how in turn that improves the wider world. The result – ABPCO is Proud to enable human enrichment through face to face gatherings. Powerful stuff that really gets to the heart of why we exist.

Our mentor on this journey then encouraged us to explore the values behind that statement. What is it about ABPCO that makes us think we can achieve our purpose. What do we do that makes such a bold statement possible? We started with a list of several hundred words that were distilled into a select group of favourites. Their meanings and appropriateness were then debated until we had not just three words but also three statements that supported them.

• Excellence – leading industry best practice with passion, professionalism and integrity
• Learning – encouraging knowledge sharing
• Belonging – supporting and connecting our member community through collaboration

All organisations should be able to effectively express who they are to their clients but before doing so they must first understand it for themselves. A process such as the one ABPCO has been through has benefited not just us but also our membership as we provide a clearer path for the future and continue to deliver value for all. I urge everyone to ask the simple questions – “What is our purpose?” and “What are our values?”.

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ABPCO's Student Approach with TFI support


The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers’ (ABPCO) welcoming approach for young event professionals has been given a boost with student member Noemi La Torre joining TFI Group for a placement year.  Noemi, who is a student member of the association and a representative for young professionals on the board, has recently started a year-long placement with the agency. Taking a gap from her studies at the University of Greenwich, Noemi will work with TFI on large scale events and be given firsthand experience of the industry she is forging a career within. ABPCO’s University Student Membership is available to those studying at recognised universities for events management degrees, or higher. The membership is just £10 a year and gives the student access to everything a full member of the association enjoys including access to events and research. More information on Noemi's experience here.


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AEV eGuide

AEV eGuide - 

The eGuide brings together guidance for achieving common standards of health, safety and operational planning, management and on-site conduct for events at all participating AEV member venues. The scope and development of the eGuide follows extensive consultation with operations professionals within the exhibition and event industry in order to ensure an overall approach that remains broadly acceptable to the community. The status of the eGuide is similar to that of an Approved Code of Practice. It is an industry-specific guide developed by authorised professionals from the UK event venues. It incorporates health, safety and operational practices that represent compliance with Building Regulations and health and safety legislation. Now recognised as the industry’s best practice document, the eGuide is continually reviewed by working industry professionals who represent the best advice currently available, and who themselves have to work within the guidelines in their own professional capacities.

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CDM 4 Events

CDM 4 Events -  

Together, the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA), the Association of Event Venues (AEV), and the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) have worked with their members and the wider industry to drive towards minimal impact from CDM regulations.

This industry specific guidance seeks to map and recognise current industry practice, using existing regulations and best practice to meet the new CDM regulations. The resources are intended to help you understand the responsibilities of the various stake holders in the event industry. The Construction, Design & Management (CDM) Regulations do not replace any existing law but are intended to provide a framework to help you meet the requirement and helping you understand your obligations.

These documents and templates should be viewed as a summary for meeting minimum requirements and should at all times be used in conjunction with Health and Safety at Work Act, HSE’s exhibition specific guidance on CDM 2015 and also the HSE’s official L153 guidance on CDM.


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Corporate Entertainment Professionals (CEP) - The Ultimate Guide to a Fun & Successful Corporate Charity Event

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In-depth online guide offering practical tips and plenty of useful information for individuals or organisations looking to launch a well-planned and successful charity event. 


Crowded Places Guidance by NACTSO

Crowded Places Guidance -  

The new Crowded Places guidance for the UK has been written by NaCTSO with the support of The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and over 100 subject matter and academic experts. It covers the key areas of protective security including physical, personnel, personal and cyber. It provides guidance on how different sectors can act to help make their business, institutions or organisations safer. Its purpose to support those who are charged with security at crowded places mitigate the threat and help make the UK less vulnerable to an attack. The guidance is interactive and designed to assist crowded place sectors assess the risk and build a security plan to help mitigate that risk and recover more quickly should there be a terrorist attack.

EVCOM Code of Ethics

EVCOM Code of Ethics - 

EVCOM launched their new voluntary Code of Ethics, which underpins the shared values of the EVCOM business community. The Code of Ethics, which is available to all members and can be shared with clients, offers a useful resource to support business proposals and pitches. The code reflects on six key elements of business practice and professionalism including: Client First, Collaboration, Integrity, Respect, Passion, Excellence. Click here to find out all about the EVCOM membership benefits and here to download the code in full.

GL events - 'How to' Guide for New Event Profs 

GL events UK has launched a ‘How to’ guide aimed at new organisers entering the events industry. The online resource is available now and features short chapters, offering advice on everything from marketing and ticket sales, to legal matters and sponsorship; all presented through the voices of event professionals who have experience in creating and producing new events.

The fun and engaging guide was created as a result of GL event’s ongoing research in the industry; which identified the need for more commercially-minded, collaborative relationships, and for more guidance and support to be passed on to new and younger event organisers. The guide is intended as a first steps document that uncovers good and bad practice, outlining some of the experiences to come for any new event.

Chapters include commentary from Louise Young (Strawberries and Creem), Lee Denny (Leefest), Nick Morgan (We are the Fair), and Gill Tee (entertee), with wide-ranging subjects including funding for new events, event technology, safety and security, supplier and sponsor relations, and marketing masterclasses. The guide includes articles, infographics, top-tips, animations and visuals, making it as entertaining as it is informative.

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HBAA Code of Practice

HBAA Code of Practice -

The HBAA is the events and hospitality association that drives, promotes and models good business between its members. It champions best practice, ethical working and sound commercial judgement, making HBAA membership the mark of quality assurance for the sector. All member companies agree to adhere to the HBAA Code of Practice which defines best practice between agents and venues, thus protecting the interests of their clients.

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HBAA International Charter

HBAA International Charter -

The International Charter was developed to assure best practice between agents, and international hotels and venues. It aims to strengthen the relationship between HBAA agent members and international suppliers.