Representing the voice of the outdoor events industry, the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) held its 15th Annual Convention at the Guildhall in Bath, followed by its 2018 Awards ceremony at the fantastic Roman Baths and Pump Rooms venue.
The theme ‘It Couldn’t Happen to Me’ provided entertaining yet topical and important content from a variety of high profile speakers. The keynote was delivered by Dick Tee of EnTEEtainment and included horror stories of events gone wrong such as the huge over attendance of Fat Boy Slim’s Big Beach Boutique II in Brighton in 2002.
The National Events Intelligence Unit (NEIU) gave up-to-date information on the issues affecting major events in 2018 followed by deeply personal stories from Becky Stevens, Hybred Events, and industry consultant Simon Hughes.
The main set piece of the day was a live role play presented by A.C.T (National), and led by Bev Osborne of Training 4 Resilience. A crisis scenario was presented and delegates were invited to vote on a series of decisions through a live poll. This was followed by a group workshop where tables were given different scenarios and invited to suggest actions and strategies for dealing with them.
Linda Krawecke from Tiger Tea, shared an update on her business’s work around creating ‘safe places’ at festival sites throughout the summer, before the audience was given a supplier’s perspective with NOEA Futures Supporters, A.C.T (National), GL events, Eventbrite and Arnold Clarke all adding to the discussion. The day finished with a summarising panel discussion.
Congratulations to the 2018 Award winners who were celebrated at a black tie event in the evening. Bournemouth 7s Festival scooped both the Large Festival of the Year Award and Sporting Event of the Year. The judges said: “We liked the idea of merging a sporting event with a festival, adding a wider message of making sport fun for everyone. It was a unique spin on a sporting event and enabled more people to get involved.”
Glastonbury Abbey and Liverpool Bordeaux Wine Festival took Best New Event with the judges awarding two prizes – the abbey winning small new event and the Merseyside festival taking the trophy for large new event. The Edinburgh Festival won the Judge’s Award. Best Small Festival went to Just So Festival.
Andy Grove, president of NOEA, said: “The quality of the award winners was genuinely outstanding, and showed innovation, creative thinking and experience. These are great events, run by the best event professionals, and are a credit to the industry. We’re delighted to be giving them the recognition they deserve through NOEA.”