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January 14, 2009

WINNING POST:The EVENTS:review Personality of the Year 2008

Responding to demand, the EVENTS:review team has honoured a key meetings industry personality with the web channel’s first accolade in the run up to The Freddies 2009. Ian Whiteling reports…

The events industry would be nothing without you – the people who are involved in it day-in, day-out. So following requests from our viewers for EVENTS:review to acknowledge the contributions of people and organisations that have made outstanding contributions to the industry, we are launching our own annual awards The Freddies – our version of The Oscars, named after the company behind EVENTS:review, Fred Productions.

Awards categories will be announced in April, with voting open until December 2009, followed by a Gala Dinner in January 2010 where the winners will be announced and the Freddies handed out.

Those people or companies that are to receive Freddies will be decided in part by votes cast by our expert panel, together with those received from you, our viewers.

One category, Personality of the Year, will be voted on entirely by our viewing audience, but to set the ball rolling we thought we’d let the EVENTS:review team choose its 2008 winner.

Crew member
Our EVENTS:review Personality of the Year for 2008 has played a key role in transforming the crewing services sector of the events industry, instilling professionalism and passion into an area that has been historically looked down upon, despite being crucial to the success of many events.

So convinced was our Personality of the Year of the need for wide-ranging change and the need for stricter controls to protect his staff, clients and those who attend events, that he personally led a highly risky £300,000 investment in the development of a stringent health and safety culture in his company. This included the creation of an 84-page Crew Handbook that was developed in conjunction with the British Safety Council and fully endorsed by the UK Government’s Health & Safety Executive.

In a recent (and very rare) interview with EVENTS:review, our Personality of the Year commented: “We believed 10 years ago that health and safety was going to be a major business driver for us. People laughed at us at the time, but I think we’ve been proved right.”

Definitive guide
The handbook, which has unofficially become an industry bible, is a comprehensive guide to tasks that events crews face daily, with instructions on completing them in a way that minimises risk and ensures the safety of the individual concerned and everyone else on site.

As a result of these measures, our Personality of the Year’s company has received both national and international awards from the British Safety Council due to its lower than average accident rates, sound safety policies and a board-level commitment to health and safety. Under his direction, it has also been consistently praised and honoured by the events industry for its service levels and professionalism, receiving the Event Supplier of the Year accolade for four years between 2003 and 2007 from events industry association Eventia and its predecessor, the CEA.

Despite his significant achievements in making the events industry a more professional and safer business sector, our Personality of the Year is an incredibly humble individual, shunning the limelight wherever possible, preferring his hardworking team at Gallowglass to take all the praise and plaudits.

Yes, the EVENTS:review Personality of the Year 2008 is Paul Grecian, chairman of events services company Gallowglass, and we congratulate him – and his fantastic team – on the award.

Popular choice: Paul (centre) receives the Outstanding Achievement Award at this year's Eventia UK Awards

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