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April 16, 2008

Eventia disappointed with BS8901 draft

Following on from the reservations expressed over the BS8901 – Sustainable Events Management System standard by Eventia's executive director Izania Downie on EVENTS:review yesterday, the events industry association has written to British Standards asking for a reduction in the amount of red tape inherent in its draft guidelines on the standard.

“Our members support the principles of sustainable event management, but the policies, procedures and requirements – not just for running sustainable events, but for compliance with the standard itself – impose too great an administrative burden on both agencies and corporates to make it viable in practice,” said Eventia’s chairman Nigel Cooper.

“We’re disappointed that the standard has turned out to be more complex and onerous than originally anticipated, and we feel it unlikely that many of our members will seek to make their events BS8901-compliant, unless there is a substantial rethink in the wording of the document.”

Eventia was invited to submit input to the drafting process of the proposed British Standard, which has been designed to be a ‘daughter’ standard to the existing BS8900 – Guidance for Managing Sustainable Development. Eventia has, however, said it is disappointed to see that the standard does not reflect that input.

In recent months, the association has sought feedback from its members as part of the consultation process, which culminated in a meeting of interested parties on 20 June. At the meeting, participants expressed concern on a number of issues, including that of supply-chain obligations. It was strongly felt that event-organising agencies would be unable to exercise the rigorous degree of control stipulated by the Standard, over their entire supply chain.

In the event of an unfavourable response from British Standards, Eventia will broaden the scope of its Code of Practice, to include guidelines that reflect the spirit of BS8901, without imposing the standard’s lengthy administrative processes and strict supply chain controls.

Read Eventia executive director Izania Downie’s comment on BS8901

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