Event Buyers Live

Event Buyers Live preview: Register now for the industry event

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Event Buyers Live is back and as organisers prepare for their experience, StandOut previews the industry event…

Organisers from some of the most respected events, festivals, and agencies in the UK are preparing to gather at Carden Park, Chester for three days of productive meetings, engaging content, and unrivalled networking.

Following a jam-packed year, dogged by horrendous weather conditions, challenging builds and budget pressures, events professionals are keen to reconnect at Event Buyers Live (November 13-15) and discuss the realities of life in live events.

“Our attendees are poised and ready to discuss their needs for 2024 and beyond,” said Neil Fagg, co-founder of Event Buyers Live (EBL), the leading hosted buyer event for the live events industry. “Event Buyers Live provides organisers with the platform to discuss procurement needs and supply chain requirements in pre-arranged one-on-one meetings.

“This year, we have noticed that the events industry does seem to be incredibly busy yet again and is almost at pre-COVID levels. But we appreciate that these last few busy months have been against a backdrop of tight budgets, high inflation, stormy weather and torrential rain. All of these elements impact our ability to deliver events, so the fact that Event Buyers Live can provide event professionals with a platform to discuss infrastructure, procurement, and best practices is exactly what event professionals need.”

Fagg continued: “We’re a little earlier in the year than Event Buyers Live 2022 to enable our attendees to make the most of the pre-Christmas procurement window. We know organisers are keen to nail down their supply chain, sort contracts, and network because 2024 is going to be another crazy one.”

Event Buyers Live

Packed programme

The 2023 edition of Event Buyers Live will be the event’s ninth outing and will welcome only 100 of the live event industry’s most influential organisers and 47 respected event suppliers/venues for pre-qualified face-to-face meetings. Event Buyers Live – headline sponsored by The Event Technology Group– will be the place to focus, plan, and look forward to 2024 in an inclusive environment that is not only relaxed but conducive to business.

Last year, the event’s organising team – the same team behind StandOut magazine – introduced workshops that flanked EBL’s renowned roundtable discussions. The workshops were well received and return to the bulging content programme.

This year’s roundtable discussions will be hosted by Iain Game, festival director of Wychwood Festival, Andrew Lansley, innovation manager at Cheltenham Festivals, Natasha Mortimer, managing and creative director of Imagineerium, and Mark Bustard, managing director of nvisible agency.

Game, Lansley, Mortimer, and Bustard will all host dedicated roundtable sessions on Understanding your Audience, Neurodivergence and Communications, Immersive Experiences, and Working with Multi-Disciplinary Teams respectively.

Joining them are Simon Hough, head of commercial activities and hospitality at Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises, Pauline Bourdon, director of Soliphilia, John Rostron, chair of the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) and Dawn Grant, director of Kaleidoscope Event Services, who will facilitate roundtable discussions on Sponsorship Activations, Sustainability, Festival Operations, and Safeguarding.

Caroline Clift, editor of StandOut magazine and Event Buyers Live’s content manager, said: “Roundtable discussions have featured in our content programme since the first EBL and they were so popular, that they have remained a constant presence, growing in popularity as people appreciate their value.

“It’s not often that people get to sit around a table, with their peers and a brew, and have an open discussion about the challenges they are facing, and then leave an hour later with ideas, brain racing, and knowing more than they did when they walked in the room.”

Key focus

Protect Duty will also take centre stage this year in a dedicated workshop. Led by Caroline Harding, chief executive of Symphotech, the session will also feature the expertise of Garry Jones, director of Storm4Events and course director for the UK Police Counter Terrorism Security Coordinator training, Graeme Timms, head of health and safety at Alexandra Palace and chair of the Safety Advisors Group for Entertainment, and Lloyd Major, director of Halo Solutions.

Harding said: “There has been a lot of discussion around counter terrorism this year. With so much speculation and uncertainty around new legislation, the details of which are yet to be confirmed, I look forward to joining Garry, Graeme, and Lloyd, who bring a huge amount of experience and knowledge, to share with delegates. We hope that we advise guests on how to prepare their events and discuss how best to mitigate and reduce risks in this area with practical steps they can take.”

But that’s not all. Event Buyers Live will feature a panel session – delivered in partnership with GL events UK – that will look at how organisers and suppliers can work together to “value engineer an event”.

Sam Herd, head of event planning and delivery at the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), event management specialist Jack Saward, owner of Saward Marketing and Events, and David Tunnicliffe, commercial director of GL events UK will take part.

Tunnicliffe commented: “With increases in commodity costs and event budgets tighter than ever, winning a contract or appointing a supplier can often be only the start of a tense process of negotiation. When clients and suppliers are able to work together to value engineer a cost-effective solution for the delivery of event infrastructure, without compromising on the essentials of the event, you know you’ve found a relationship worth maintaining. And when a supplier can bring innovation and imagination to the table, using their experience and flexibility to make a client’s life easier, you’ve really hit the supply chain jackpot!

“GL events talk a lot about client collaboration, so I am looking forward to putting my money where my mouth is and taking this conversation to a wider audience at Event Buyers Live this year.”

NetWalks

“This is one of the most exciting content programmes that Event Buyers Live has developed,” commented Clift. “We have roundtable discussions, workshops, and Q&A sessions and an interactive session from Classical Collaborations, a sonic branding workshop – delivered by Ryan Breen and Richard Taylor – that will ask guests to help compose a sound that epitomises the amazing live events industry.

“The education programme is designed to be inclusive so we’re proud of the programme we’ve put together. Everyone learns and absorbs information in different ways so we hope that by delivering a mix of formats, our audience will leave feeling they have learned from the best, had fun, and can take home information that they can share with their teams.”

She added: “Furthermore, last year, we introduced Net-Walks, which combine networking and walking. They are designed to give guests a break from the meeting room, the chance to get some fresh air, and a further opportunity to meet new people, whilst taking in the beautiful surroundings of Carden Park.

Janine Walmsley, Event Buyers Live’s delegate manager, said: “The Net-Walks – now sponsored by Versatile Venues – were a new addition in 2022 and were so popular that they are back for 2023. We appreciate that not everyone is a natural networker so we hope that different surroundings and being in nature will nurture some great conversations.”

Event Buyers Live

Inclusive

EventWell is working with Event Buyers Live to provide a supervised and fully-functioning mental wellness hub and quiet room and EBL has partnered with Mental Health UK, ecolibrium, and Bridge Creative, a social enterprise that supports adults with learning disabilities and autism by removing barriers to employment. Bridge Creative – led by Ben Tinkler – is providing crew members to Event Buyers Live 2023, which is building on the event’s promises to improve and promote diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) within its own event and the wider live events industry.

Fagg explained: “Like any organiser, we want to build on our achievements and make improvements – even the smallest – to improve the experience of everyone who touches our event.

“I met Ben earlier in the year and loved all that he and Bridge Creative stood for. Naturally, I am ecstatic that we will be working together, supporting Bridge Creative crew on our event, introducing the EBL audience to Ben and his team, and encouraging other organisers to provide employment opportunities in the events industry to people with learning disabilities and autism.”

Genuine

Event Buyers Live is respected within the live events industry and is known as “the place to do business”. This has been recognised by event organisers who have already signed up to the annual event. Attendees already confirmed include AEG Presents, Engine No4, Boomtown, Royal Horticultural Society, BLAST, Vision Nine, Spartan Race and Tough Mudder, NW Live, Method Events, Organise Chaos, Eye of the Storm Events, We Are The Fair, Owl Live, LimeLight Sports, 20-20 Events Management, Judgeday, Pennine Events, Kilimanjaro Live, Bristol City Council, Culture Liverpool, From the Fields, JA Productions, Greater London Authority, and Futuresound Events.

Fagg said: “The event industry’s desire to reconnect is evident from the organisers and suppliers that have signed up to attend. Organisers are ready to have serious conversations about procurement and want to book infrastructure for the coming season.”

He concluded: “There’s a lot of buzz for Event Buyers Live 2023. An event of this nature has never been more needed. The networking will be genuine, the pre-arranged meetings will be authentic, the content sessions will be fantastic, and this year, there are a few surprises too.”

Registration closes on November 1. Spaces are limited. Register HERE.

Images: Aniseed Photo