Eventserv talks breaking into TV and film

As Access launches its inaugural On Location supplement, available to read here, we chat to Eventserv about how event suppliers can crack the film and TV sectors.

The British Film Industry is booming. Leading studios are full to capacity, taking record amounts of bookings from international film-makers allowing studios to pursue dramatic expansions. The careful management of these blockbuster projects is vital in ensuring efficient but jaw-dropping productions.

Barry Lawford – EventServ Scotland’s regional manager – discusses some of the projects EventServ is currently involved with and explains the constraints of working in an ever-changing industry.

What are the challenges of providing event solutions for the film and TV industry?

The industry is so varied that even projects that are currently undergoing filming continuously change. Crews have to work to very tight timescales – with street shoots having to be set up, altered and packed away at the end of the filming day. Infrastructure solution companies have to provide quick and efficient solutions all across the country within rigid timeframes. If these appointments are missed, huge financial costs and filming delays are incurred.

It is vital that stringent prior planning takes place to make sure every detail runs smoothly.

What products do you supply to the industry and why are they key to Britain’s film and TV industry continuing prosperity?

A combination of camera and lighting platforms means that high quality film productions can be produced anywhere – quickly, efficiently and safely as seen in our work at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Health and safety is vital in an industry with expensive, fragile equipment as well as huge crew numbers working at height.

EventServ equips production companies all across the UK with stages, grandstands and gantries allowing filming to take place on high quality, flexible equipment. The combination of grandstands and stages are often vital for audience participation but also provide the perfect solution to weather-proofing filming days.  We’ve experienced this with our recent work for an Irn-Bru commercial and our event infrastructure solutions for Duel in the Pool.

The fluidity of the film industry means adaptability of systems is essential. EventServ provides draping to ensure a comfortable working environment and to shut out light to ensure shots are of the highest quality with little external distraction.

Tell us more about the TV and film projects that EventServ has been involved with. How did you become involved with these projects?

EventServ has worked in the film and TV industry for many years but with the recent rise in British films and the increase in international film-makers choosing the UK as a location for filming, we’ve seen a growth in interest for the services we provide in both the UK and Ireland.

We have a large product range and our modular Layher system has made EventServ a supplier of choice for the film industry. Word has spread to suppliers and production companies looking for impressive support solutions.

Our work with Irn-Bru saw us provide a commercial shoot in Kelvingrove Bowls Club in Glasgow with a grandstand. Shot before the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the area was particularly sensitive as international stars descended on the area. Working to tight deadlines in a public space is a difficult task. In these situations, planning is vital, especially with weather constraints and when the filming area is sensitive.

We also turned Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow into the TV event – Duel in the Pool. It’s a difficult task to make a venue TV ready; adding cameras and lighting rigs to a swimming pool is fraught with danger, but the event worked out superbly and attracted a huge crowd for a thrilling events programme.

EventServ’s biggest project so far has been providing infrastructure solutions for the filming of Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie. In fact, if you watch carefully, we have a starring role in film. It’s been great to see international events happening in Scotland and all management solutions being provided by a British business.

What tips would you give on how to become a go-to business for production companies?

This is a dynamic industry so you need to be able to react to demands. Then you need to deliver what is needed safely, efficiently and consistently while remaining flexible as the demands of the film and TV industry varies from day to day.

Access‘ On Location supplement will go out to subscribers on 13 July.

Shambala Festival appoints Eventserv

Shambala Festival has awarded Eventserv a two-year contract extension to provide infrastructure support.

EventServ’s partnership with Shambala Festival started in 2013 when it was appointed to supply fencing, barriers, observation towers and bridges to the festival over a three-year period.

This led to the renewal of EventServ’s contract to cover both the 2016 and 2017 Shambala festivals.

“We always go the extra-mile for our clients and to win a contract extension is the ultimate recognition for EventServ, especially when we have been servicing a client for more than three years,” said Lee Collis, south regional manager at EventServ.

“EventServ has developed a real partnership with Shambala Festival and we are proud to be able to continue working with them for the foreseeable future.”

Based in Northamptonshire, Shambala Festival is a small, diverse festival featuring a variety of music including rock, pop and folk music.  It takes place over the four-day August bank holiday weekend this year (27-30 August).

The Election Section: the event industry talks politics

With cringeworthy television debates, observations about David Cameron’s resemblance to a leg of ham, and some good old fashioned scaremongering, it’s easy to get lost in the General Election whirlwind. Luckily, Access is on hand to ask the industry’s top brass to make sense of what might happen in a post-election world.

Dale Parmenter, group CEO, drp
To a certain point it all becomes a bit of lip service with all parties fighting for everyone’s vote. They all want to help put Britain on the map and provide more income for the economy; none of the parties really do discuss the event industry as a whole. The current Government has helped the industry but probably not enough. From a business point of view, whoever comes in as the new Government needs to keep looking at regulation and red tape and almost back off and just let us get on with running business while they get on running Government. Collaboration is key here and they need to collaborate more with the sector. The industry still isn’t being recognised and it’s such an important player in the British economy. The key change I would like to see is for them to sit down with us to take notice of our industry and how we can make a positive difference to the UK economy.


Simon Hughes, founder MCH Associates
The election comes at a time when the DCMS are starting to make some really positive promises about events, and they seem to be finally awaking to their cultural and economic impact. Luckily, across all of the political parties, the message has been taken onboard, and whoever gets in, the cogs are turning with regards to promoting our industry internationally. While Visit Britain was subject to debilitating cuts around 2010, it is now leading a charge to promote tourism and is campaigning to get big events over here. Having, for example, a major festival is a real economic impact for us. There are few certainties in predicting what might happen should a particular party get in, but certainly it was disappointing  to hear that the Labour party had listed the QEII Conference Centre among the buildings it could potentially sell if elected. I’m not sure what the latest thinking is by them, on this, but certainly they had totally missed how important the venue is in terms of its economic impact. Meanwhile, events like the Magna Carta anniversary have helped affirm the importance of events to the UK.

simon hughes

Chris Skeith, CEO, AEO
I watched the recent live election leader debate with interest but came away feeling that when the subject of economic growth was raised, there was a distinct lack of future gazing and vision required to inspire business leaders.

No matter who the election winner or winners are, as an industry we need to be clear and confident in what we want to achieve and ensure we are making ourselves heard. Good progress is already being made in obtaining due recognition for the UK events industry’s valuable contribution to the economy. AEO is cited in the recent Business Visits and Events Strategy and the investment
AEO and our members are making in developing relationships within government departments will continue.

The changes I would like to see from whichever party wins the election are increased recognition and support of industries, like the events industry, that can and do put the UK on the map. I would hope that the new government would want to help boost UK trade by embracing the new Business Visits and Events Strategy, new Board and the APPG for Events.

In addition, greater investment in driving innovation and creativity and the development of an environment that promotes trade and nurtures business leaders of the future. It would be great to see industry practitioners hold positions of power regardless of political persuasion so they can represent the ‘event industry party’ and make positive change.

chris skeith


Emily Huddart, development and support manager, EventServ
It is generally accepted that things have been getting better for the events industry as the economy has started to stabilise under the coalition. 2015 looks good at the moment and I’m concerned about anything that might change that, so I am slightly wary about the disruption the election may bring. I was both interested and concerned to listen to the promises by Labour to end ‘zero hours Britain’. The assumption that all zero-hours contracts are bad should be questioned. Zero-hours has always been part of the event and hospitality industry. Using casual or temporary employees is how we manage the peaks and troughs throughout the year. These contracts can suit your team just as much as it does the employer – relaxed relationships offering variety, experience and flexibility of hours. I just wonder if Labour has looked at the benefits as well as the negatives.