In her first column for EN, the AEV’s Chloe Batchelor tells readers why the eGuide can extend beyond the exhibition format and why ACC Liverpool has adopted the best practices structure.
The eGuide was conceived in and born out of the exhibition industry. However, as boundaries blur and venues widen the range of events they host beyond exhibitions, the eGuide is also evolving.
There are now 12 member venues that have adopted it as their rules and regulations with others working towards implementation. Many other organisations are using it as a terms of reference for best practice, the effect of which is an increasing relevance of the eGuide to a wider audience.
Within the eGuide working group, a smaller technical subgroup has been formed to develop the document’s core text, leaving the wider group to concentrate on strategic conversations. The subgroup currently comprises four volunteer venues, each providing extensive experience and a significant time commitment to increasingly enable the overall committee to evolve the eGuide beyond its origins in the exhibition sector.
ACC Liverpool is a multi-purpose venue hosting concerts, conferences, exhibitions, conventions and sporting events for which we have had our own venue-specific rules and regulations. We decided to investigate adopting the eGuide across our venue, as we wanted to make it as easy as possible for our customers to interact with us. Utilising this document, which provides consistency across the majority of venues in the UK, was an obvious choice. We were also very keen to feedback our knowledge and experience into the AEV working group to help the eGuide grow and develop.
After gaining the commitment of the management team, we formed two internal groups to work through the process and implications of adopting the eGuide: An operational and a strategic team.
The operational team looked at how the eGuide could be implemented on a day-to-day basis. The strategic team, whose roles encompass sales, marketing and contracts, looked at the impact of adoption on our clients, our sales strategy and how we should communicate to our customers and prospects.
The latter team had monthly meetings and the operational team met weekly and worked their way through the entire eGuide line by line, comparing it with our existing rules and regulations to ensure it had relevance to our multi-purpose venue. After three months, information from the two teams was presented to the licensing department and key stakeholders for a final round of feedback.
In May we formally adopted the industry’s eGuide.
Was all the hard work worthwhile and do we benefit from adopting the eGuide? Yes, from both perspectives. It has wholly replaced our original rules and regulations and is in operation across the entire venue for all events, demonstrating its relevance to much more than exhibitions. As a venue we prefer to use the eGuide and have had a positive response from event managers who work with this best practices framework on a daily basis. They have stated they feel more confident using the eGuide and its contents enable them to deliver greater levels of support and information more quickly to clients.
On a broader basis, at the recent AEO Ops Forum the feedback from organisers was positive and the eGuide is proving to be popular among event organisers.
We can say from experience that adoption of the eGuide has been successful. But this framework will not be standing still; it is a continually evolving document and there will be ongoing reviews, updates and the inclusion of content from other working groups such as security, technical and connectivity. This will further extend its scope and applicability to a wider range of venues and will reflect trends and developments within the events industry.
– Chloe Batchelor is ACC Liverpool’s health and safety manager and a member of the Association of Event Venues’ eGuide technical working group.