The United Kingdom Crowd Management Association (UKCMA) has announced the new elected chairperson replacing Mark Harding, who is standing down from the position after ten years.

Eric Stuart (QPM), director of Gentian Events, has been elected as the new chairperson. He has a 33-year police career with helicopter, firearms and covert deployment under his belt and holds an FdA and BA Hons in crowd safety management. He also lectures at the Buckingham New University onf crowd safety management.

During Mark’s tenure as chairperson, the organisation has worked collectively to enhance the safety of millions of attendees at events annually. Over 40 of the highest professional performers within the industry voluntarily form the UKCMA.

Deliberating progressive views and developing standards, the UKCMA provides a forum for members to address the emerging challenges facing the sector and offers a voice for crowd management professionals. With cuts to public sectors, terrorism and ever tightening budgets, the challenges for keeping crowds safe have escalated year-on-year and the fight for public safety is continuously evolving. 

As the new chairperson of the UKCMA was announced, Mark commented: “It has been an honour chairing the UKCMA throughout a decade of hard work: receiving SIA recognition has been ground-breaking for the industry.

“The commercial acumen and industry knowledge of the membership provides a solid platform for the new chairperson to take the Association to the next stage of development”.

UKCMA’s highlights over the past decade include the creation of National Occupational Standards and the subsequent event industry qualifications. Mark Harding was also seconded to the SIA Strategic Advisory Group, which demonstrates recognition and representation within the industry. A proponent of the work the SIA undertakes, Mark will continue to work alongside the SIA.

Further changes to the UKCMA have also been announced. Steve Blake of Storm4Events will join Tony Ball of SES Group (Show and Event) as a second vice chairperson, both of whom will support Eric.

Anne Marie Chebib, who remains in post as secretary of the UKCMA, made the following statement: “The Association sends immense thanks to Mark for his tireless efforts over many years, and the support he continues to show in an ambassadorial role to ensure continuity for the organisation.

“We are also extremely excited to welcome Eric into the role as the new chairperson and the creation of a new vice chairperson role to support. The future is very bright at the UKCMA. We look forward to continuing improvement for all members and stakeholders”.

Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: molly@eventindustrynews.com