The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) held its annual general meeting (AGM) at Dunchurch Park Hotel, Rugby, at 1pm on Thursday July 8, 2021, and welcomed almost 90 members to the first face-to-face ESSA event since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
New elections to the ESSA board were announced, with electronic voting having taken place on the day before. The following members were elected to the board: Hayley Ashenden, founder & ops director, Expose Designs Ltd.; Rob Brackstone, MD, ESM Ltd.; Mark Clayton, MD, InEvexco Ltd.; Alexandra Bailey, MD & co-founder, Creative8 Ltd.; Martin Cairns MD, Beechwood Events; John Robson, MD, Aztec Event Services.
The AGM included presentations from ESSA director Andrew Harrison and ESSA Chair Lou Kiwanuka, and the treasurer’s report. An ESSA Town Hall session followed the official business of the AGM, and delegates were able to quiz the newly elected board members on strategy, ESSA’s post-covid future and the new membership structure.
ESSA director Andrew Harrison also took a minute on stage to thank Christine Cottrell, ESSA events & marketing manager, who is retiring. Cottrell was presented with a bouquet and bottle of Champagne in recognition of her many years of service to ESSA and its members.
With the AGM and town hall meeting concluded, guests were invited to a barbecue lunch in the marquee and on the terrace at Dunchurch Park Hotel, where they enjoyed a buffet barbecue and refreshments from the bar.
Harrison was pleased to see so many delegates in attendance, saying, “We wanted to bring members together in person again, after so many virtual meetings. I am genuinely delighted that so many members made the journey to join us. The secluded and verdant setting of Dunchurch Park proved to be the perfect location for us to reacquaint ourselves with the membership face to face, present our pragmatic and optimistic strategy for the association, and discuss our aspirations for the industry and our sector in particular.