Over 250 delegates joined the National Outdoor Event Association (NOEA) AGM & Convention Week 2020, last week, as the association looked to address the Past, Present and Future of the outdoor events industry. The general tone of the events, which were delivered via three different ‘chatrooms’, as well as the AGM itself, was ‘positivity’ and the need for the industry to get ready for a rebound in 2021.

“It says a lot about our delegates that, despite what a horrendous year 2020 has been, across our chat rooms there was so much positivity,” commented Tom Clements, President, NOEA. “This is an industry that is gearing itself up for a rebound next summer and, according to many members, as early as May. They want to put events on, they are hungry to do what they do best, and have been buoyed by the vaccine development and the potential return to economic growth and consumer confidence.”

Over the course of the chatrooms, which took place on the Monday, Wednesday and Friday last week, NOEA introduced discussion topics; from a cathartic review of 2020, a discussion on working with Local Authorities – featuring Andrew McNicholl, Liverpool City Council, and Philip Day, Laceys Solicitors. The Friday session looked to the future with an opening discussion with Rick Bate from Formula E.

“In general, the discussions where not about whether or not events will take place, it was about how,” continued Tom. “Creating events in an era of pandemic affects everything, from insurances to deposits, and essentially the commercial viability of event companies. However, what everyone was in agreement on was that we need to work closer, openly and honestly, with each other to get events on. If we can do that, we can kickstart our industry.”

Over 250 delegates attended the chatrooms and AGM over the course of the week, making the 2020 convention one of the biggest the association has ever put on. The event was supported by SEE Tickets who provided the ticketing platform and also contributed to the discussions.

Chair of the organising committee and CEO of NOEA, Susan Tanner added, “We wanted to create a format that gave our members the one thing they haven’t had over the summer, the chance to meet and talk with other professionals in an open and honest forum. Like the rest of the industry, we expect to be live in Bath again next year, but we’ll never underestimate the value of peer to peer, professional to professional networking.