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September 12, 2010

UK suppliers body launches an individual affiliation scheme

After repeated requests for some form of representation for individuals, the Event Supplier and Service Association (ESSA) has created a new way for individual event professionals to engage with the associations and benefit from a range of information, money-saving, representation and networking services.

The Professional Affiliate Subscription Scheme (PASS) has been developed to provide an affordable alternative to full membership for individuals working in the event industry, who are either not employed by a full association member company or can see additional business or career advantages in engaging with the event community as an individual. These include individuals, freelancers, or employees looking to raise their profile, network, stay informed of industry news and save money on-site.

ESSA reports that the recession has led to an increase in the number of these small enterprises, often arising as a result of a larger business buckling under large overheads and management teams and employees setting up on their own. A great proportion the industry's operational talent, described by ESSA chairman Steve Barratt as “the industry's engine room”, now work in this way, according to the association, and want access to the typical buy-as-a-group discounts, news, info, representation and profile benefits that association membership brings, but at a cost proportionate to their turnover.

"Following extensive consultation, we have identified a new way to engage this community and the ESSA Board are keen to launch the pilot scheme,” said ESSA director Chris Skeith. “We hope to reach a critical mass that will allow ESSA to negotiate more group discounts, and provide great opportunities to share experiences and best practice.”

PASS cardholders pay just £250 plus VAT to access a raft of benefits.

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