On Thursday 9th February, London’s E1 hosted eighty-five speakers across three rooms. Why? The Night Time Economy Summit. Here, promoters got the chance to gather insights from thought leaders in the event industry.
The first edition of the summit, held in 2022, took place in Bristol. And after its success, the Night Time Industries Association decided to bring it to the capital.
E1 was buzzing upon arrival. As we queued up for entry, promoters and event industry heads mingled and chatted, catching up with peers or making their way in and out of the three rooms of the venue.
Get the lowdown on what we learned on day one of the Night Time Economy Summit below.
Harvey Goldsmith CBE
First on our list was a talk with Harvey Goldsmith CBE. Responsible for Live Aid and Live 8, his name carries weight. So, what were his thoughts on the day?
Value. Harvey told the audience they should treat every event like a prestige film premiere. Go above and beyond, as this will bring attendees back for more. Safety and a duty of care, too. He stressed that this starts from the beginning of the night, with well-trained security and ticket people. If they aren’t there, attendees will enter the venue in a bad mood, which isn’t what you want as a promoter.
The next generation was also on his mind. He suggested that the industry should promote schemes for young people. Job opportunities and programmes that entice them to build a career in the industry.
This with backed up with thoughts on how the events industry should cultivate new talent, and look to promote fresh voices at all times.
Harvey’s opening speech really set the tone for the rest of the day. His comments on safety and value were echoed throughout the summit, each speaker bringing their own perspective on looking after attendees and staff.
The National Promoter Society launch
After a short break, it was time for Skiddle’s panel with the National Promoter Society. Our very own Duncan King moderated the panel, going back and forth with an esteemed group of guests.
Here, the panel discussed lessons learned in their early days of promoting. Staff loyalty, immersing yourself in the events community and getting your hands dirty were the talking points from a panel made up of Sacha Lord, Jenni Cochrane, Pete Jordan and Hayley Squires.
Mental health was next on the list. As CEO and co-founder of GetAhead, Jenni Cochrane knows a thing or two about mental health. She stressed how important it is to connect promoters with valuable resources for managing potential risks.
Throughout the talk, each member of the panel mentioned how the NPS can help to create this network for promoters. It felt like a vibrant discussion. We came away feeling inspired by what can be achieved in the industry.
Shesaid.so and community building
In the afternoon, it was on to Room 3 for shesaid.so’s talk about community building in the night time economy.
When asked about sustaining community, the panel agreed that consistent events go a long way. The four speakers discussed how sharing knowledge and best practices are instrumental in strengthening communities.
As the talk progressed, the discussion moved to mentorship and gainful employment. Things that the panel felt crucial if you are to position yourself as a community leader.
The importance of physical spaces was also stressed. In addition, funding so communities can tell their own stories. Room 3 was packed out for this talk, a testament to the work that shesaid.so has been doing to highlight the work of women and gender non-conforming people in the events industry.
Vibelab’s Safer Working Environments
For Vibelab’s Safer Working Environments panel, the focus was on safe spaces. It aimed to understand what that means and how to achieve it.
The panel brought together speakers from Australia and Europe, with Katarin Ahrend stating that it’s the responsibility of all clubgoers — from promoters to punters — to look after each other in the club space.
Jane Slingo raised the point that an intergenerational approach will increase safety. She said that young and old generations should work together, learning from each other in a collaborative effort.
Did the panel achieve its goal? Very much so. We left Room 3 with an increased understanding of what it takes to build a safe space. The term can feel like a buzzword if it isn’t carried out correctly, but the collectivist approaches from speakers felt like actionable ideas.
What did we learn?
Quite a lot. There was a buzz around the venue, with panel speakers taking pride in the work achieved by events and the people that make them happen behind the scenes.
Did the summit have an overarching theme? For us, it was safety. Guest speakers were mindful of how important it is to look after attendees and everyone involved in the industry.
That dovetailed with an emphasis on the unseen parts of the job. The long hours, lost money and unsuccessful nights. Promoters weren’t just at the summit to bask in their own achievements. They had knowledge, and they were ready to pass it on.
Ultimately, the summit fostered a sense of community around promotion, and we’ll definitely be looking forward to what Day 2 brings.
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