Eddie the Eagle drops into ESSA anniversary conference

More than 170 delegates attended the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) 10th Anniversary Conference and Snow Ball at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, 7 December.

Samantha Fenlon of Freeman won the Young Person Award, Aztec Event Services win Member Company Award, and the Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award was won by Chris Criscione, managing director of Equinox Design.

The conference proceedings began with an introduction from Andrew Harrison, ESSA director. Keynote speaker Grant Leboff then looked at how the digital revolution has changed the world of marketing from one of interruption based tactics to one of audience development.

After a buffet lunch provided by Ricoh Arena, the conference reconvened for the afternoon session which was chaired by Association of Event Organisers (AEO) CEO Chris Skeith gave a quick roundup of the day’s speakers and content before introducing the headline speaker for the day – Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, who regaled the conference with his tale of turning an almost hopeless starting position for an Olympic ski jumper raised in Gloucester, into a personal victory at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics and cementing his place in the hearts of the nation.

“This was our 10th Anniversary and we wanted to mark the occasion with something a little bit special. The Snow Ball capped off what was another strong conference which, despite the weather and traffic problems, was the best attended to date,” explained Andrew Harrison.

“We wanted to recognise the achievements of our members and so we created three awards but we also wanted to keep the number small and significant. I’d like to offer my congratulations to Samantha Fenlon, Aztec and Chris Criscione, all three are very well deserved and the winners each support and exemplify precisely the values we hold as an association. The rest of the evening was an amazing spectacle and I hope everyone had a great start to their Christmas celebrations,” he concluded.

Martin Fullard


Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

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