Report: AEV Event Managers Working Group, November 17 2016
The AEV Event Managers Working Group held its last meeting of 2016 at Manchester Central on Thursday November 17, 2016, with 20 members attending and Emma Chilton of ACC Liverpool in the chair.
Chilton opened the meeting by thanking Manchester Central for hosting the group, and all the members and guests for attending. Following the reading of the apologies, the minutes of the last meeting were approved, and the group moved on to the discussion topics of the day.
Starting with the feedback from the sub-committee assigned to look at standardising forms, the group heard and discussed the sub-committee's initial findings upon examining forms previously submitted by members. The group recognised that standardising forms represented a serious commitment of time and effort, and that existing in-house forms worked well enough. The group also acknowledged that pre-event form filling by organisers was slow, but form completion on the day was much swifter. Michelle Baldwin of NEC reported that organisers liked the Open Morning Checklist, and that this might be a good candidate for standardisation. The group resolved to ask the sub-committee to review four forms, a stand sign-off form, an open morning checklist, a rigging form and a special risks form. The chair requested that all group members submit their in-house forms to AEV which will collate the information for the next meeting of the sub-committee.
The group then moved on to the topic of the EBMS system, used by several group members. Craig Beardall of Manchester Central demonstrated version 20 of the system live to the group, generating considerable interest and discussion. The group noted its benefits, including the ability to link to financials and other systems, and its utility for audits and assessments.
The next topic for discussion was an update from the eGuide sub-committee on live tissue and lasers. AEV director Rachel Parker told the group that the sub-committee had recommended separating special treatments from medical treatments, and this would be reflected in the next edition of the eGuide. Parker advised the group that whilst the eGuide is updated once a year in the summer, the eGuide sub-committee agreed to review whether it could be updated twice a year, depending on the urgency of the subject.
The eGuide section on drones provided the next subject for discussion. The group noted that the guidance had been circulated amongst event managers, H&S working groups and the eGuide team, and all parties were satisfied with the guidance. There were some questions about specific points, and the the group agreed that the AEV should check these points for clarity. The chair remarked that the eGuide does not contain or constitute the law, so venues are free to make their own decisions regarding drones.
A discussion on venue floor plans came next, with the chair noting that some suppliers are working from old floor plans, and asked the group whether suppliers could be updated when floor plans change. The group identified two issues contributing to this problem, namely that venues need to communicate changes in floor plans to their suppliers, and that the suppliers need to fill in their plans correctly. The group noted that ESSA should be able to compile a list of their Stand Plan members into a database that could be used to distribute changes to floor plans. The group agreed that AEV should update the group after approaching ESSA about a database.
With the principal discussion topics dealt with, the group then moved on to a busy session of round table news and general venue updates, including new appointments, refurbishments, rebrands and new venue features like the ExCeL London boulevard development. Parker asked the group to make a note in their diaries of the next AEV Conference on Thursday 29th June 2017, at The Vox Conference Centre, Birmingham, and the Event Managers Working Group meeting the day before at the NEC. Parker also updated the group on the newly created Board Steering Groups looking at, amongst other things, the AEV website, logo and brand. Parker asked all members to give their thoughts on the AEV website and what they would like to see in terms of content, tools and facilities.
With the main business concluded the group agreed the next meeting date on Wednesday 28th June, 2017 at The NEC, Birmingham, a day ahead of the AEV Conference.
The group then moved onto Any Other Business. Lucy Crockford of Farnborough International tabled the subject of pre-tenancy build and how other venues deal with this. The group noted that several venues have contract addendums to deal with early access, and that most venues are happy if in-house contractors are doing the work. The group also noted that early access still requires the presence of a security officer on site to comply with CDM regulations, and additional insurance cover.
Parker updated the group on AEV/AEO/ESSA's “Stop The Drop” campaign to increase awareness of working at height. Parker said that the campaign was relevant to all the associations, and that the HSE were reportedly very pleased with the campaign. The group asked whether posters and other collateral were available to them, and asked AEV to investigate.
Finally, Parker raised a previous agenda point of eGuide translation, and reported that the topic had now been closed as no convincing justifications for getting the eGuide translated had been heard.
With all the business concluded, Chilton closed the meeting with thanks to Manchester Central for hosting and the group members for attending.