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More than the sum of our parts

I am honoured to be a part of the amazing bunch of people that are behind EVCOM, people from both the live events and screen sectors who firmly believe that together we are more than the sum of our parts – a true representation of what is undeniably a rapidly changing communications industry.

The Clarion Awards are a great example of this. The awards are now in their 13th year and have expanded from the original screen categories to include live events, from venue, to supplier, to outdoor show and experiential.

I was delighted to be actively involved in the planning and delivery of the Clarion Awards this year and to host the event alongside our fantastic sponsors and drp, who did an amazing job of the production.

As Managing Director of EcoEvents, I have spent the last decade of my life helping organisations to operate more sustainably – to engage everyone, from the MD to those who take the waste away, to take action on environmental and social issues.

Sometimes this is driven by a specific client requirement, a need to achieve certification or increasing legislation.

But quite often it is because of pioneering and, I would argue, brave leadership by people who are determined to do what they do but do it better. I recently heard a CEO of a large multi-national corporate enterprise say he firmly believes Good Companies Do Good and there were certainly a lot of good companies in the audience last Friday! This deserves to be recognised and celebrated.

Last December, in Paris, over 190 countries signed up to keep global temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

So what does this mean?

It means we have just 5 years left (at current emission levels) if we want a 66% chance of staying within 1.5ºC!

It means the future is disruptive, whether we achieve it or not! If we don’t the resulting geophysical change will put huge stress on the global economy. If we do we’ll have seen a complete transformation of the global energy, food, transportation and economic systems

It means we need corporate leadership that provides effective advocacy

It means we need corporate leaders that advocate net positive or restorative carbon targets that cover the full corporate value-chain

It means we need leadership that drives the development of products and services that are fit-for-purpose in a 1.5 degree world

It means we need leaders that understand the very real risks and opportunities posed by climate change.

And this is just one piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Add to this the legal requirement for companies to publicly report on their environmental social governance, the recent increase in energy legislation and the Modern Slavery Act and we start to see a very clear picture emerging of the new business model – one which moves beyond the restrictive singular economic bottom line to one that embraces environmental and social factors.

I invite you to pause for a moment to consider the power behind live events and visual communications.

We are not just undertaking business activities. We have a unique opportunity to amplify the message so that those we engage with choose to do things differently.

People do something different as a result of our work.

This, I believe, takes the importance of our industry to a whole new level. Our legacy, what we leave behind after the event or broadcast, is potentially dynamic, far-reaching and uniquely amplifying in its effects. There is no greater time in history where we have needed our industry as much as we do now.

I believe we have a responsibility to integrate environmental and social factors in every decision we make, whether this be to uphold our own policies or bring to life our client’s policies in the live event and communications environment.

Everyone who was at the Clarion Awards last Friday, whether they won an award or not, has seized that opportunity, demonstrated the highest accountability and has been able to evidence outstanding results.

So I would like to applaud EVCOM and everyone who organised and entered the Awards for taking action. For in the words of Elling Hamso of the ROI Institute:

It is ONLY action that creates value. It is ONLY action that makes a difference.

And if any press are reading this blog, please do your bit and share it with your readership. Help this event to pack the powerful punch it deserves.


Sam Wilson
EVCOM Board Director

To view the Clarion 2016 Winners click here.