Murielle Gonzalez

Online Content Editor

Durham County Cricket Club under pressure

Durham Cricket Club

Durham Cricket Club. © John Sutton

Durham County Cricket Club has said it’s reviewing the safety procedures after the partial collapse of a temporary seating stand during the Twenty20 International between England and the West Indies at the Emirates Riverside stadium on Saturday night. The accident injured three spectators.

Access understands that the temporary structure was originally part of the seating used in a beach volleyball competition at the London 2012 Olympics, which took place at Horse Guards Parade. Durham acquired the structure in 2013 and since then it has been used for international fixtures.

Arena Group, the supplier of the stand, said that responsibility for its maintenance lay with Durham.

“Arena sold the system to Durham and installed the seating conforming to all relevant regulations. From that point on, all maintenance was the responsibility of the club,” Grahame Muir, chief executive of Arena Group UK and Europe, said in a statement.

Muir continued: “Durham CCC elected to undertake their own maintenance rather than contract Arena for the maintenance. We supply sporting grandstands of the highest standards for hundreds of international sporting events every year.”

With over 250 years of experience, Arena Group specialises in temporary event services, designing and delivering complete environments for sporting, commercial and cultural occasions around the world.

Durham has reiterated that all relevant safety procedures had been followed. The Telegraph reported that the stand in question “had been inspected in the week prior to the match, during the recent County Championship fixture against Kent”.

The club is expected to release the findings of its internal investigation early next week.

Research commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive in 2011 identified that poorly defined management chains and the so-called “last-minute approach” taken by many contractors to temporary structures was a potential threat to safety.

The accident put the spotlight on the topic. By definition, temporary structures have a limited lifespan, however what’s the level of commitment from contractors and organisers for this situation?

Access All Areas will be exploring this theme in coming issues, check back for more information on this topic.  In the meantime, The Festival and Outdoor Events Show, Festout, (27-28 September Sandown Park) features a panel discussion that looks into this topic. HM Inspector Health and Safety Gavin Bull takes part in a Q&A session to be held on Thursday 28 September. Register to attend Festout and find out more.

Festivals in Cambridge unite for greater audience

House of Cambridge is a new multi-arts festival designed to showcase the best of exiting festivals in Cambridge in one week, under one roof.

The initiative is the brainchild of Jules Klass, Andrea Cockerton and Paul Smith of CamCreative, the hub for the creative industries in Cambridgeshire. They realised the array of festivals and live events that Cambridge has an opportunity together to reach a greater audience. Their thoughts found a fertile ground in the creative community.

“Cambridge has got quite an affluent population and a student population and there is a huge community of people that has never have access either to the city centre or to university buildings where there is a festival on, so we started to talk about how to create a convergent space,” Jules Klass told Access.

Cambridge Literary Festival, and the city’s film, comedy, jazz and science festivals as well as Classical Concert Series, Cambridge Junction, Ahbab Asian music Festival and The Festival of Ideas are all in discussion to join the initiative scheduled for May 2018.

Financial support so far has come from the festival organisers and private funding including support by sound experience company We Are Sound. Klass told Access House of Cambridge is looking for companies and brands interested in supporting the initiative with partnership or sponsorships.

Festivals for all

Accessibility is another factor that prompted the organisers to approach Cambridge’s many festivals with a view to inviting them to the House of Cambridge for a ‘feast of festivals’ to be held over eight days at a purpose-build Spiegeltent to be located in the city centre.

Andrea Cockerton and Jules Klass

L-R: Andrea Cockerton and Jules Klass

There will be three slots per day. Events and activities for children are scheduled in the morning, the afternoon slot is for young adults and the evening time for adults.

House of Cambridge organiser have also announced that there will be live streaming for every event to community centres and libraries in a move to further expand the reach of the events.

Other plans include give away 20 tickets per performance to charities and disability groups.

House of Cambridge celebrates the launch of the initiative at a kick-off party to be held at the 1815 Bar today.

GL events acquires Dubai-based companies

Gulf Concourse 2016 by Wicked Dubai as seen on the company Facebook page

Gulf Concourse 2016 by Wicked Dubai as seen on the company Facebook page

GL events has announced the acquisition of 70 per cent stake of Dubai-based Wicked and Flow. These companies are deemed to be leading providers of premium event solutions in the United Arab Emirates.

Created in 2007 and 2010, respectively, Wicked and Flow specialised in temporary structures and indoor fixtures, power and cooling units. They have a combined staff of 100 employees.

The move follows on from developing a power generation business line in Brazil. GL Events group has said it is now seeking to expand this complementary activity to the event market in other regions.

“The acquisition of Flow, with its successful track record in developing the power generation market, will contribute to this objective,” GL events said in a statement.

Starting in 2018 the impact of these companies under the GL Events portfolio are expected to generate approximately €20 million in revenue.

GL Events said the founders and management team of the acquired companies will remain actively involved for several years “in order to ensure the total success of the development projects”.

Established in the United Arab Emirates since 1997, GL events group has reinforced its position in the Middle East, in preparation for major upcoming events lined up in the years ahead, including Asian Football Cup 2019 in the United Arab Emirates, the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

These acquisitions will also open up new growth opportunities in Africa.

Design Frontiers debuts in London

Design Frontiers is a new group exhibition making its debut at London Design Festival this week. It features over 30 international designers who have made a mark in the industry for shaping and leading their respective disciplines from automotive to fashion, product design to graphics, digital to performance.

Ben Evans of Design Frontiers, commented: “Design Frontiers displays the broad reach of the discipline: the way in which design touches every part of our everyday lives, and how ultimately it might improve them.”

The exhibition explores the intersection between future thinking and commerce; innovation and the demands of the modern marketplace.

It’s based on the concept that progress in design is only possible with enlightened clients. The exhibition looks in detail at some of these conversations and showcases the results of these collaborations.

Working in partnership with their preferred clients and companies, designers have created installations to demonstrate how they are testing the frontiers of the industry.

Immersive experience

One of the highlights of this year’s exhibition is an installation spanning two rooms, designed by Ian Callum, director of Design at Jaguar.

“By embracing autonomy, connectivity and electrification, the interactive and immersive experience offers a glimpse into the creative imagination in designing beautiful fast cars of the future, and the potential for the next chapter of the Jaguar story,” read a statement.

Ian Callum, director of design at Jaguar, commented: “We’re delighted to partner with Design Frontiers and I’m hugely excited to once again exhibit at Somerset House alongside so many talented and respected designers.

“Jaguar has a long and rich history of beautiful design and innovation and we are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. This exhibition is an opportunity to not only communicate the narrative of automotive design but to learn from and be inspired by many other disciplines.”

Designers taking part in the debut of Design Frontiers include:

  • Paul Priestman;
  • Tord Boontje for Swarovski
  • 19 emerging and established designers with Kvadrat
  • Katie Greenyer for Pentland Brands
  • Arik Levy with COMPAC
  • Jaime Hayon and Jasper Morrison
  • Sebastian Cox and Ninela Ivanova
  • Pentatonic
  • Benjamin Hubert for Allermuir, and nolii
  • Form Us With Love
  • StrangeFlux + Goatley
  • Domenic Lippa

Scroll left/right the gallery for a sneak peek of the exhibition.

The curated and free exhibition will present installations in the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, West Wing Galleries and Terrace Rooms of Somerset House from 18–24 September.

Tommy Hilfiger closes London Fashion Week

Tommy Hilfiger is in London today to stage Rockcircus, his latest “see-now-buy-now” TommyNow experiential runway event to close London Fashion Week. The function takes place at Roundhouse in Camden

Inspired by Tommy Hilfiger’s love of rock and fashion, “Rockcircus” has been described as a high-energy, music-fuelled and innovative experience.

Tommy Hilfiger commented: “My vision for TommyNow was to create a global platform that could bring our shows to audiences around the globe like a rock-and-roll world tour.”

For the first time, TommyNow will combine both men’s and women’s collections, including Hilfiger Edition, Hilfiger Collection and the third TommyXGigi collaborative capsule designed with global brand ambassador and international supermodel Gigi Hadid.

Hilfiger continued: “It’s about celebrating the connection between fashion and pop culture with experiences, performances and inspiring interactions that are designed around our consumers. We look forward to celebrating the rebellious spirit and star studded glamour of rock-and-roll in London for Fall 2017. The Roundhouse was a perfect choice for us with it being the at the centre of London’s rock-and-roll history.”

The event will showcase men’s and women’s runway looks that are available across all shoppable channels in more than 70 countries, including his stores and, select wholesale partners, social media, shoppable live stream, 3-D image recognition SNAP:SHOP app and the AI-powered TMY.GRL conversational commerce bot for Facebook Messenger.

The London runway event follows the “Tommy Pier” show in New York for fall 2016 and “Tommyland” in Los Angeles for spring.

The NEC targets live events with £1.2m investment

The NEC has said it’s investing £1.2m in a bespoke, state-of-the-art seating system. The announcement follows on from a 50 per cent year on year growth in revenue from live experiential events.

“Clients can choose from up to seven tribunes of 273 seats, which can be rolled out rapidly into any configuration,” the NEC said in a statement.

Purpose-designed for the NEC the flexible structure offers seating for audiences in a fraction of the time it takes to deploy demountable seating, and at a fraction of the cost, the venue claims.

The new feature can be used in any of the NEC’s 20 interconnected multipurpose halls.

“These seats are game-changers,” said Adrian Evans, NEC director conference and live events. “The flexibility and speed of deployment makes lead times shorter and increases availability at the venue, co-ordinating perfectly with flat floor seating to offer even more formatting options and accommodating higher delegate numbers.”

To make sure the seats were fit for purpose for clients, the NEC had prototypes of the seats delivered to the offices in January and invited key agency clients to come and experience them first hand.

“Every client wants something different, every agency is looking for a venue that can deliver a format that has never been done before – and that’s what the NEC is delivering,” Evans concluded.

Extra time at Stamford Bridge

The events team at Chelsea FC did it wonderfully. This is my take on the Extra Time, a showcase event hosted at the Great Hall in Stamford Bridge last week.

On Thursday 14 September I joined some 600 guests in an exclusive experiential party designed to put the spotlight on the revamped facilities at the stadium in Fulham.

The tour of the venue focused on refurbished rooms, which have new carpeting, lighting and an overall improvement of its appearance. The club also let us have a sneak peek of the event spaces and hospitality on offer. With the party Chelsea told everyone in the events industry they mean business and that the facility is up and running.

Chelsea FC: Extra Time Event

Penalty shootout competition

The club put that message across very clearly. Each of the stadium’s different business areas hosted interactive experience stations for guests to enjoy.

If it were not for my dress I would have given a go at a workout. I was also dying for a chance in the penalty shootout competition. Club ambassador Tore Andre Flo was on hand to coach those who take part in the challenge prepared at the hospitality stand. I haven’t heard about the winner but I know the prize was a world-class matchday experience at a game this season!

Tea party

Online editor Murielle Gonzalez

Online editor Murielle Gonzalez

The party mood was on thanks to a live set from international DJ Trevor Nelson and a fun Alice in Wonderland tea-party theme added to the magical atmosphere.

I now know that Levy Restaurants UK provided the culinary delights including American, Asian and Mexican dishes served at street food stations throughout the Great Hall.

The silent disco was definitely a bonus for me; I’d never experienced it before! I have to thank Chelsea’s on-site music venue Under The Bridge for the opportunity.

Treats for guests also included an interactive look around the hotel meeting facilities via virtual reality headsets, complimentary therapy from the Chelsea Health Club and Spa and a photo taken with the Premier League trophy at the Stadium Tours & Museum stand.

Now I get it. Chelsea FC demonstrated its versatility as an events venue. Stamford Bridge features flexible space for meeting, dining and sleeping, and boasts the capacity to provide a one-stop destination for a full range of corporate and social events.

The site comprises:

  • 25 function rooms
  • 60 syndicate rooms
  • Frankie’s Sports Bar & Diner
  • onsite hotels from Millennium and Copthorne
  • Chelsea Health Club and Spa
  • Chelsea FC Museum and Megastore
  • A range of hospitality packages including match-by-match experiences and annual hospitality.

Chelsea FC has said it can’t comment on the date for the whole rebuild project to be completed. It has been reported it could be ready in time for the 2021-22 season, depending on planning permissions and paperwork to be cleared with Hammersmith & Fulham council.

In the meantime I have to say it. The Meetings & Events team at Chelsea FC put a high benchmark for the next event, whenever it may be. I anticipate Chelsea will have something special for us all.

Battle of the brands

“It’s all about the experience.” The quote relates to the ultimate goal in the events industry but now it has become a buzzword in brand marketing. Slowly but surely brands are making events of their own in a move to gain consumers’ attention.

From a product launch to a networking evening, marketing teams are challenged by the expectation of the public beyond the traditional entertainment, food and drinks. No wonder the ever-increasing trend in co-branding, aka brand partnership: when two companies form an alliance to work together, creating marketing synergy.

The agreement between Starbucks and Spotify is a example of successful brand partnership. Both companies have taken the concept coffee-shop-with-music venue to another level. The agreement sees Starbucks employees get a premium Spotify subscription that they can use to curate music to playlists featured on Spotify and users earn My Starbucks Reward points through the music app. The move follows on from the announcement that Starbucks will no longer sell CDs, so the partnership with Spotify makes a perfect match.

Brand partnership is also considered to include sponsorships. Think Red Bull an Go Pro. These companies teamed up in 2012 for the event “Stratos” featuring Australian Skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumping from a helium balloon 24 miles above the earth. During the jump, Baumgartner broke three world records, shattered the sound barrier. He used a Go Pro camera to capture everything. The event was wildly popular and a successful project for both companies.

Event and brand partnership

How can a company help its event stand out? What brand will make the event more attractive to its target audience? In light of these questions and many others, brand experience has emerged as a compelling way to reach these goals.

The Festival and Outdoor Events Show, Festout (27-28 September, Sandown Park) will bring the topic to a panel discussion to be held at The Main Stage powered by The Fair, sponsored by The Ticket Factory.

The speaker line-up includes Nick Morgan, founder and CEO of The Fair, Magda Lojszczyk, head of film and music partnerships at EE, and May Kirby, events marketing manager at Sipsmith in London.

Register to attend and find out more about brand partnerships and its positive impact in the events industry.

Drones: an eagle eye on the event

Drones are making waves in the events industry championed by photographers and video-makers alike. Beyond the gimmick drones are trending in this sector thanks to its capacity to provide a unique perspective to show off an event. Organisers can now have access on demand to eagle eye footage of the sport, conference, corporate function or festival.

As well as being eye-catching, the aerial footage enables the event management team to make informed decisions based on real time images. Actions can be taken to prevent problems or to resolve them quickly.

Integrating drone services into outdoor events is part of the content-packed programme at the Festival and Outdoor Events Show, Festout (27-28 September, Sandown Park).

Keynote speaker in this session is Solomon N’Jie, a drone pilot with permission for commercial operations (CAA). He is a crowd safety management professional who also provides expert witness services to the legal profession.

The session cover the following topics:

  • Introduction of drones at large public outdoor events
  • Integrating specific drone processes into the pre-planning
  • Approval and management stages
  • The need to adjust traditional models of practice while mitigating the risks of breaching CAA rules and accidents during operation.

Examples of drone video footage from recent events will be shown to illustrate the benefits.

Register to attend and get first-hand experience about drones in the events industry.

UK Event Wellbeing Week kicks off

UK Event Wellbeing Week (#eventwell17) kicks off today. The welfare campaign for the events industry rolls out resources for wellbeing advice and support. It has been set up to help companies looking to implement wellbeing initiatives and schemes, and managers to support their teams.

Early findings from the campaign research has identified that one in three event professionals will suffer from an episode of mental ill health at some point in their lives and careers, and that 75 per cent have cited workload and responsibilities as the main cause of their current stress levels.

Other findings point out to workplace hazards causing stress for event professionals, including demands of the job and the support received from managers and colleagues and relationships at work. The research also identified that workplace pressures causing stress are client expectations and pressure from top management.

UK Event Wellbeing Week comprises a series of activities to address these key findings, including:

  • Event First Steps’ Campfire session on the morning of 19 September, debating how to avoid burn out whilst making your mark in the industry
  • ILEA UK’s Bootcamp and Picnic Chats on the evening of the same day addressing fitness and nutrition, mental health, diversity and inclusion
  • EventHuddle’s breakfast panel on the morning of 20 September debating with a live audience the question, ‘Why are we failing to address wellbeing in the workplace?’
  • An EWL (Eventprofs Who Lunch) Club’s practical workshop on 22 September covering the differences between workplace pressure and stress, the triggers, the symptoms and how we can take better care of ourselves and our colleagues.

Campaign team leaders will also be in London at Square Meal Venues + Events Live in the wellness lounge at the two day show to speak to event professionals, managers and business leaders about the new wellbeing resource for the industry.

Take action

Wellbeing in the event industry is a topic addressed at the Festival and Outdoor Events Show, Festout (27-28 September, Sandown Park) with the session worker health and welfare.

Andy Lenthall, general manager at Production Services Association, and Penny Mellor, consultant health, safety and welfare at events, take part in the discussion to be held on Wednesday at The Main Stage powered by The Fair, sponsored by The Ticket Factory.

The session will discuss and invite audience input on issues from the legal requirements for worker welfare through the extra efforts we should make to ensure worker well-being in the festival environment to the difficult task of opening up the conversation about mental health.