31st January 2008
Following several months of intense negotiations, events industry contractor and supplier trade associations BECA and the AEC have merged to form the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA).
The new association was launched in January to create “a single, powerful voice for exhibition & event contractors and suppliers”. ESSA plans to bring together the strengths of both associations and deliver “first-rate services to all members, and bring parity of voice for the sector as a whole”.
During November, BECA and the AEC held briefing meetings with their members. Key subjects discussed were the structure of the new organisation and how it will deliver the existing BECA/AEC services, the additional services planned for delivery by the secretariat and the overall budget. At an extraordinary general meeting held on 28 November 2007, the AEC voted unanimously to cease to trade and to merge into ESSA, completing the move to create a single trade association for contractors and suppliers working in the events and exhibition industry.
ESSA will have a Managing Council led by president Mark Lamont, which will feature a strengthened secretariat responsible for executing the agreed business plan that will be headed up by commercial director Austen Hawkins.
“I am delighted that we have now concluded the merging of the two associations and that we are a single organisation,” said Lamont. “It has been the culmination of a lot of hard work from the merger teams of both BECA and the AEC and both secretariats. We can now focus on the delivery of an exciting and challenging business plan.”