2012 – IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE OLYMPICS
Of all the opinions voiced about 2012, most have been about how the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee will put an extra strain on resources. Here, Heath Freeman, managing director of national crewing company, Pinnacle Crew, explains why he believes the effect of this on other events has been underplayed; and how the Olympics will be more than just a blip.
May to September have for a number of years been extremely busy months for the live events industry in the UK. This year with the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee occurring at the same time the industry really is going to be under pressure. But let’s not get too over-focused on these individual one-off events. The industry’s resources would, as ever, be strained without them.
I am sure we have all realised, however, that the Olympics and the Jubilee will not be just a blip in the live events calendar, but will leave a legacy that will continue into 2013 and beyond. The huge exposure being given to Great Britain and the enormous numbers of overseas visitors we are going to attract this year, provides event organisers with a fabulous opportunity, and we have seen events actually being created to take advantage of these factors. Most importantly, these new events will not just be one-offs.
This is an opportunity, the like of which, the events industry has not seen before and requires a careful balancing act.
In addition, our experience is that that very few existing events are being moved to avoid clashing with the Olympics and the Jubilee. Quite the contrary in fact – many of our client companies are still going ahead with their annual or bi-annual events, for example, the Farnborough Air Show.
Moreover, the Olympics, the Jubilee and the Paralympics are not going to affect just June to September. The build-up to them has already started, and the wind down from them will not end until late October.
All of this means that the normal natural lulls in live events activity are going to be missing this year. We and our workforce are not going to have time to sit back, take stock and recharge our batteries.
The industry and its suppliers must therefore ensure that this year’s events, high profile ones notwithstanding, continue to run smoothly and that client needs are met.
So what can we do to make sure that client companies remain happy in 2012 and continue to use our services in 2013 and beyond?
In my view, the most important action we, as a crewing company, can take is to communicate with client companies. We need to forewarn them of the busiest times, support them and encourage them to provide briefs well in advance. We need to be realistic, and give them the opportunity to be realistic too in their expectations of what can be done in what timeframe.
The appointment of a crewing company cannot be left to chance and we know, for example, that demand for event “savvy” crew will increase by 60 to 70 per cent as this year progresses.
The eyes of the world will be on Britain this year and scrutinising what we do. We all have a huge challenge ahead of us, but there is also a huge opportunity. I firmly believe that in 2012, the industry will see 10 years’ growth in one year; and that – provided we maintain good communication with our clients – the number of regular events spawned from 2012 will ensure the profitability of the industry for years to come.
A version of this article also appeared on eventindustrynews.co.uk on March 29, 2012