beam creates events and tools to meet members needs

In line with its commitment to listen to its members and supporting them by helping to address the issues they are facing, beam has been creating a series of events and tools.

First, this year, hearing that members were struggling to receive payments in a timely fashion, beam ran a Finance Forum in February, led by Vice Chair Julie Shorrock. Free to members, the content covered all aspects of billback and industry best practice, ranging from deposits and credit checks to VAT and the HMRC guidelines on the 2010 BillbackConcession. Expert speakers from NatWest, accountants Elman Wall Bennett and panels with senior directors from leading agencies and venues led the discussions and answered audience questions.

The discussions generated powerful feedback and from the takeaways agreed the association set up a Payments Advisory Group to address the hurdles.

Among the Group’s recommendations was the creation of a Payments Toolkit which was produced and launched at beam’s Annual Forum in July. The toolkit has been distributed to all members, encouraging them to share internally and across the industry as best practice. A series of podcasts have also been created to help make the content easily accessible.


With sustainability remaining a major talking point within the UK events industry, the green beam Sustainability Forum, created by Louisa Watson and her ESG Action group, was the next special event to help members with this issue.

Accreditation, measurement and offset were the biggest talking points to emerge from the event in May. One of the key takeaways was that many organisations do not know where to start on their ESG journey. The overwhelming response to this barrier? Accreditation. It doesn’t matter if a business is on the lowest rung of accreditation because the process will get the organisation started and help identify which areas need attention.

The Forum also identified that sustainability measurement of large events has become standard at blue-chip companies. Offsetting is a major interest area too, particularly on the rules, regulations, and different approaches being used.

Over the next 12 months, the group will be working on new initiatives such as an ESG Toolkit and a Sustainable Suppliers List, which will include exclusive agreements with some of those on the list. The first one is an exclusive partnership with Trees4Events, which provides members with preferential rates when off-setting.

More than 120 members from all over the country came together in Bournemouth for the association’s Annual Forum. The theme ‘Industry 4.0 – Collaborations, Connections & Community’ was designed to prepare and support beam members with what is coming next. The content covered a broad range of significant industry subject areas, including AI andChatGPT, data, ESG, DEI, Instant Book and leadership skills. There were also follow-up sessions on the Finance Forum and Sustainability Forum.

Socialising and networking are the essence of the Forum with an informal rooftop dinner creating a memorably wonderful occasion.

“A great way to catch up with industry peers’ and ‘What an insightful day’ were just two of many positive opinions from those who took part.

Sian Sayward, chair of beam, says: “The tremendous feedback we have received about these events and the follow-up action has been very satisfying. It feels that we are delivering exactly what our members want. And there is much more to come - we’re planning more events for the second half of the year that will also provide highly valuable content. Look out for further information soon.”

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