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The first in-person event for the live events industry for more than 14 months, the Event Production Show (EPS) has opened today at the Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre.

EPS organisers Mash Media said the event had to be reduced in scale this year to meet Government guidelines, which include a requirement to limit attendance to 1,000 people at any one time. However, more than 2,000 event professionals have registered to attend the two-day event, which consists of an exhibition, Access All Areas conference and the Event Production Awards.

Running from 26-27 May, the event is uniting many of the live events industry’s most influential figures under one roof to discuss how best to navigate the road to recovery and the reopening of full-capacity events.

The Access All Areas main stage conference sessions will include input from key industry executives such as Live Nation Executive President of International Touring Phil Bowdery, AEG Presents CEO of European Festivals Jim King, Boomtown Festival creative producer Mair Morel, Notting Hill Carnival director Mathew Phillip, Black Deer Festival Co-Founders Debs Shilling and Gill Tee and Nick Morgan CEO of We Are The Fair.

The National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) is also overseeing a two-day programme of sessions that will follow the association’s #BuildBackBetter message. It includes input from highly experienced commentators and speakers such as Steve Whatley, vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Business Recovery in a Pandemic and founder, Cignpost Diagnostics; Caroline Jackson, event consultant, educator and chair of Diversity & Talent at the Business Visits & Events Partnership; Stephanie Corker, account director and DE&I Council member, DE&I EMEA subcommittee lead and DE&I Women’s Subcommittee co-lead at Wasserman; and David Akosim, social media and youth marketing lead at NFL.

Taking place at 5pm today, the Event Production Awards will include the Access All Areas Editor’s Award, which will recognise an individual who has worked tirelessly to champion and support the industry over the last year. Nominees include Association of Independent Festivals CEO Paul Reed, Gill Tee, Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn, Parklife co-founder Sacha Lord, Production Service Association GM Andy Lenthall and LIVE CEO Greg Parmley.