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After repeated requests for some form of representation for individuals the Event Supplier & Service Association, ESSA has announced the creation of a new way for individual event professionals to engage with the associations and benefit from a range of information, money-saving, representation and networking services - PASS (Professional Affiliate Subscription Scheme).
PASS has been developed to provide an affordable alternative to full membership for individuals working in the event industry who are either not employed by a full association member company or who can see additional business or career advantages in engaging with the event community as an individual. These include individuals, freelancers, or employees looking to raise their profile, network, stay informed of industry news and save money on-site.
The recession has led to an increase in the number of these small enterprises, often arising as a result of a larger business buckling under large overheads and management teams and employees setting up on their own from home or more modest premises. A great proportion the industry's operational talent, the industry's engine room to quote ESSA Chairman Steve Barratt, now work in this way and they want access to the typical buy-as-a-group discounts, news, info, representation and profile benefits that association membership brings but at a cost proportionate to their turnover.
Chris Skeith, ESSA Director said: "Following extensive consultation with Freelance Ops individuals we have identified a new way to engage this community and the ESSA Board are keen to launch the pilot scheme. We are hope to reach a critical mass that will allow ESSA to negotiate more group discounts, and provide great opportunities to share experiences and best practice. We are aware that the price point for participating in PASS will be very sensitive therefore, from the outset, we have secured a range of tangible benefits that should cover the cost several times over. The scheme is annual, and anyone in this group can sign up now."
"We would be delighted to have significant numbers joining PASS and we will continue to consult with the industry to strengthen the proposition further. This will include further proposed concessions at outlets at major UK venues. Those joining PASS will have the opportunity to shape the agenda for all its face to face gatherings such as the ESSA Ops Network live events, discussion of solutions to industry issues and learning about best practice for their small businesses. The PASS scheme is an important part of ESSA’s work in responding to calls for more collaboration across the industry as it fights for its share of a global market." concluded Skeith.
PASS Cardholders pay just £250+vat to access a raft of benefits including: up to 40% off at key event venue locations, the new ESSA discount card recognised by key concessions at major event venues (launching in Q3 2010); 10% off Towergate Coverex’s list price on all products for freelance members or businesses run by members; special rates on Private Health Partnership’s private medical and dental insurances; run by members; listing on ESSA’s on-line Competency Register with click-through to their LinkedIn profile; eligibility to purchase tickets for the AEO Excellence Awards, ESSA G50 and other association networking events; participation in one of the association’s working groups, meeting new clients and suppliers and solving industry issues; business advice and event industry news through email bulletins from ESSA’s on-line advice centre and priority notification of Ops Network events, sharing information face to face on industry issues as well as general business topics such as HR, accounts and book-keeping, VAT and technology; access to the new ESSA Ops Network Group on Linked-In, sharing information, opinions and ideas on-line.