For the Event Futures conference, panellists are invited to share their views on trends, challenges, and opportunities they see within their sectors. Our guests represented a wide range of innovative organisations and sectors including culture, sport, corporate and festival management. Discussion included; the climate crisis, storytelling in events, equality & diversity, tech changes and social media trends.
One of the most engaging debates presented to our final year students was on equality and diversity across the events industry. Creative Freelancer and Diversity & Inclusivity Expert, Aliyah Hasinah challenged students to consider that most systems and structures of power in our society are inherently racist and that we all have a responsibility as future leaders to consider inclusivity and diversity more carefully in the decisions we make. This was reflected in the examples provided by Mazie Reece, Site Manager of Boomtown Festival who demonstrated how their organisation now considers the diverse needs of their wider staff, as much as their audiences in the production of their 60,000 capacity festival.
Creative Director for Leeds 2023, Kully Thiarai & Martin Dickson, Marketing Director of Leeds International Festival both spoke of the power we have as ‘story tellers’ and encouraged our upcoming graduates to seek ways in which they can tell authentic human stories in the events they produce. The role of social media in event marketing was also reflected upon as a means to tell powerful stories about your brand, with Chris Milliard from Barmy Army stressing the importance of respecting your fans and only establishing partnerships that align with their interests, even if there is an attractive but unsuitable financial offer from a corporate sponsor.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our panellists again for their rich contributions and for inspiring our future graduates.
Full list of Panellists:
- Kully Thirai – Creative Director, Leeds 2023
- Anita Morris – Director - Anita Morris Associates
- Martin Dickson – Leeds International Festival
- Wendy Denman – Community Development Manager, Platform
- Aliyah Hasinah – Freelance D&I Consultant & Creative
- Mazie Reece – Site Manager, Boomtown Festival
- Chris Milliard – Director- Barmy Army
- Zara Mohammed – Eventbrite