Welcome to 2017 from everyone at GL events. It has to be said that last year was, at times, incredibly politically fraught. It was an astonishing year that will be defined as much by market instability as it will be by seismic social changes.
But for me, 2016 will be defined by much more than the drama of politics. I think about Cheltenham, Aegon Tennis, Silverstone, The Open, CarFest, the Hay Festival, Goodwood and many more; plenty of success stories to provide us with inspiration for 2017.
As well as looking internally, it’s good to take a step back and look at some of the macro-changes that affect our industry and how it is evolving. The arrival of the experience economy, a generation defined by its love of authentic experience rather than material goods, is a good place to start if we’re on the hunt for positives.
It’s the event producers, tapping into our public’s historic love of ‘the occasion,’ who have done well in the past. This will continue to flourish in the future, alongside a millennial and centennial audience that seems to hoover up social, sport, culture and live more than any other before it.
Regardless of your political views, I think it’s important to remember what it is our industry does best: giving people unforgetable experiences. This is important to us at GL events. We’ll never profess to being out and out experience curators or creators; but we play our part. Another lasting memory of last year, for me, is the quality of work that went into the temporary structures, marquees and temporary event seating we installed across hundreds of events.
It’s incredibly rewarding, then, to look forward to one of my absolute favourite events of the calendar: The Cheltenham Festival. It’s a project we’re incredibly proud of, one that sees the industry at its very best, so do take a look at the updates to come as we share and celebrate the work we’re achieving in partnership with Jockey Club Racecourses.
‘Live’ is about escape. It’s about theatre and experience. We build the structures, we do it incredibly well, and creative people are empowered to produce the settings for these magical moments of event experience. There is no doubt that 2017 will be at times tough, uncertain and unstable; but more than ever we should remember our true worth.
Scott Jameson, GL events UK Group Managing Director