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April 16, 2008

CSR hitting the lifeblood of our industry

BS8901, the proposed new standard for sustainability in events, was top of the agenda at the latest meeting of ExCeL London's Circle of Excellence last month, amidst concerns of the effect it will have on the margins of small businesses working within the events industry.

"It was the collective opinion of the Circle of Excellence that we've got to get BS8901 right," commented Izania Downie, executive director of Eventia. "Once it is set in stone it could go to an international audience and we need to be sympathetic with every business the standard will impact on within this industry."

Circle of Excellence panellist and director of special events and productions at Imagination, Richard Foulkes, added:"Small businesses are the very life blood of the meetings industry. It's important that the inevitable red tape that comes with accreditations is not passed onto these businesses, impacting on the time resource they need to bring real value to events."

The Circle of Excellence is a panel of event professionals. The group meets every trimester to garner feedback and opinion from key buyers and stakeholders on current trends affecting the industry.

"We had a tremendous panel for this meeting and there was some really insightful opinion from people with a direct involvement in the procurement of events", commented Vanessa Cotton, Circle of Excellence chair and managing director, conference & events at ExCeL London. "As a business, ExCeL London has a responsibility to gather this sort of opinion, utilise it to improve our service, and share it with the wider industry."

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