Access All Areas magazine’s four-strong seminar set at Event Production Show, The Access Sessions, was a huge hit with visitors.
First up on the Main Stage was Glastonbury founder/lynchpin Michael Eavis, clad in shorts despite bitter West London weather. He said the line-up for 2013 is looking good, “fantastic actually” but stopped short of revealing headliners, which he did at the Sessions in 2010. Instead, Eavis focused on a future beyond Festival Republic, extolling the virtues of new operations director, Paul Ludford (APL Events).
John Probyn levered himself from his sick bed to chair Question Time, pictured, another sell-out Session, later on the first day. Panellists Colin Rodger (DF Concerts), Rob da Bank (Bestival), Martin Green (head of ceremonies for London 2012), John Farquhar-Smith (Flux Events) and Ludford himself took questions about the Games portfolio, the festival model, past and future, licensing and local authorities, to considerable response from the floor.
Jeremy King, communications director at The O2, chaired a four-strong experiential marketing roundtable on day two. Rory Sloan (RPM), Dan Hall (iD Experiential), Mark Evans (Kommando) and Craig Bennett (ID&C) gave an overview of the concept’s origins and growth, how it’s become an integral part of brand strategy, punctuated by videos of successful campaigns and questions from the floor.
Kim Gavin, artistic director for the Olympic and Paralympic closing ceremonies, rounded off the programme this year with a detailed take on putting the events together, from budget to inspiration to rehearsal restrictions to working with volunteers.
“Kim doesn’t do seminars typically, so it was great to get him to commit to the Access Sessions,” organiser, Nic Howden, said. “The room was packed. People appreciated the chance hear from a man who overcame considerable odds to create two unforgettable events.
“The Sessions programme was a real success and I’d like to thank everyone involved for taking my call and getting involved.”