A group of Black events professionals have launched trade body The Association of Black Event Professionals, after commissioning a report that found there were no black board members at 15 event trade bodies.

Among the event industry organisations the Black in the Boardroom report highlighted as having a lack of Black professionals involved at a senior level were The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), Production Services Association (PSA), The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), the Association of Independent Promotions (AIP) and The Concert Promoters Association (CPA).

The research was led by Nadu Placca, founder of events management agency The Zoo XYZ. The report found that nine of the 15 organisations examined had published statements last year acknowledging Black Lives Matter.

The 15 organisations highlighted in the report are: Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), Event Marketing Association (EMA), Event & Visual Communication Association (EVCOM), Meetings Industry Association (MIA), The Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA), The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO), Association of Event Organisers (AEO), Association of Event Venue (AEV), Association for Events Management Education (AEME), Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA), AFO, PSA, AIF, AIP and CPA.

The report states, “As of today, there are no Black professionals in senior, board or leadership positions in any reputable trade bodies and associations within the UK event industry. Furthermore, there is no apparent strategy of implementation provided by any of the organisations in place for change.”

It continues, “Diversity always adds value, reflects the societies we live in and enables new perspectives. This brings new opportunities and healthy growth for a strong industry that has economic growth and celebrates cultures to enhance life quality. The time is now, there is a huge potential and interest for positive change within the UK event industry.”

The report is available to download here.