The Association for Black Event Professionals has been set up following publication of a report that found there were no black board members at 15 of the UK’s key event industry trade bodies.
The research, Black in the Boardroom (BITB), was led by Nadu Placca, founder of events management agency The Zoo XYZ. BITB explores the racial disparities within the UK event industry with a focus on Black professionals within trade bodies and associations.
The report said: “As of today, there are no Black professionals in senior, board or leadership positions in any reputable trade bodies and associations within the UK event industry. Furthermore, there is no apparent strategy of implementation provided by any of the organisations in place for change.
“The goal of Black in the Boardroom is to change the landscape of the UK event industry and for it to reflect the consumers and population it serves. This report opens the channels of conversation and communication around diversity, equality and inclusion within the UK event Industry and steers the narrative while providing tangible solutions.”
The research 15 UK Event Trade Bodies and Associations highlighted in the report are: Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), Event Marketing Association (EMA), Event & Visual Communication Association (EVCOM), Meetings Industry Association (MIA), The Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA), The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO), Association of Event Organisers (AEO), Association of Event Venue (AEV), Association for Events Management Education (AEME), Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA), The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), Production Services Association (PSA), The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), the Association of Independent Promotions (AIP) and The Concert Promoters Association (CPA).
“Trade bodies and associations are voluntary industry watchdogs, set up to regulate and monitor industry standards. They create industry opportunities, unite for causes and lobby the government,” the report said.
“The importance of trade bodies and associations can be seen across various industries, and they are an integral part of business. It is essential that trade bodies and associations are inclusive as they are influential and ensure the longevity of the industries they serve.”
The Zoo XYZ will finalise the establishment of The Association of Black Event Professionals (ABEP), by the end of 2021. The association will help the UK Event Industry support the careers of Black event professionals within the industry.
In June 2022, Black in the Boardroom will follow up and review all the trade bodies and associations analysed within the report to monitor progress.