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ESSA award winners announced

by Emily Wallin

The winners of the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) annual awards have been revealed.

The winners were announced that the ESSA chairman’s dinner hosted at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes on 2 December, as leading figures gathered to celebrate excellence in the sector.

Now in their fourth year, the ESSA awards recognise members who have demonstrated exceptional work during the previous 12 months, as well as a strong commitment to the sector through advocacy within the community.

In addition to offering an outstanding contribution, the panel of seven judges were looking for inspiring and innovative individuals and companies who also demonstrated fantastic leadership, compassion and resilience.

ESSA director Andrew Harrison said: “The standard of the impressive shortlist was exceptionally high, which is not only a reflection of our members’ strong commitment to the sector but also their will and determination to overcome the challenges of the past 19 months and emerge stronger.
“These individuals and companies secured the coveted titles because they are a true reflection of excellence and continually strive to demonstrate best practice despite the challenges they faced. It has been extremely inspiring, and I hope they continue to share their brilliance far and wide. On behalf of ESSA, I would like to congratulate everyone on the shortlist, especially our winners.”

Here are all the winners and the judges’ comments 

ESSA Young Person Award
Anna Bray – Cook & Associates
Tiylan Salih – 4Wall Entertainment
A category first to award two people, the judges simply could not distinguish between these two young discerning professionals in what is always a highly contested category. The range of success they have both achieved in their careers to date is exemplary. The pandemic saw them excel under extreme circumstances, exuding great fortitude.

ESSA Covid Hero Award
Iain Barley – The Event & Exhibition Partnership
Barley played a pivotal role setting up multiple vaccination centres, formulating protocols and managing nervous front-line teams who were among the first to meet the public as the country emerged from lockdown. Iain’s inspiring story epitomises the many unsung heroes who provided front line duties when the country was in crisis.

Best Organiser:
• Reed Exhibitions
Reed went the extra mile to keep in touch with and connect the contractor community throughout the pandemic, embracing everyone as part of their team to deliver events. Much welcomed during this incredibly unsettling time, Reed were also one of the first to offer support post-pandemic to a community facing a plethora of real-life issues.

Best Venue
• Business Design Centre
From the earliest days of the pandemic, BDC were at the forefront of attempts to work with the government to bring about the safe return of the industry post-lockdown by engaging in government pilots, trial safe systems and lobbying. It is widely noted that their efforts have seen improvements which support the contractor base.

ESSA Member Company Award
GES worked tirelessly to help amplify the voice of the industry during the past 19 months, assuming much responsibility to lead and demonstrate the sector’s ability to safely re-open. They also set up nightingale hospitals, testing and vaccine centres across multiple sites, and contributed significantly to government pilots and the creation of the All Secure Standard.

ESSA Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award
• Chris Simpson

Throughout his 30-year career, Chris has made an immeasurable impact on the industry fuelling innovation and overcoming obstacles to bring health and safety to the forefront of live events to create a safer industry. Unwavering in his commitment to make a positive difference, his award-winning, globally respected company is responsible for the success of countless live events.

See our gallery of pictures from the event.


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