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April 16, 2008

CSR tops Circle of Excellence agenda

The latest meeting of ExCeL London’s Circle of Excellence this month focused on the impact corporate social responsibility policy and new accreditations are having on the margins of small businesses working within the events industry.

“Small businesses are the very life blood of the meetings industry,” commented Circle of Excellence panellist Richard Foulkes, director of special events and productions at global design and communications agency Imagination. “It’s important that the inevitable red tape that comes with accreditations is not passed onto these businesses, impacting on the time and resources they need to bring real value to events.”

The panel also discussed the ongoing discussions with the British Standards Institute over the BS8901 Sustainable Event Management System. Izania Downie, executive director of Eventia shared her association’s concerns and its recommendations on the current proposals.

“It was the collective opinion of the Circle of Excellence that we’ve got to get the standard right,” she Downie. “Once it is set in stone, it could go to an international audience and we need to be sympathetic with every business that it will impact on within this industry.”

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