A number of events professionals on the south coast have pulled together to create and launch the South Coast Events Forum (SCEF).

Featuring event organisers and event suppliers, the forum brings together event professionals from across the south coast with a combined aim to re-emerge from the coronavirus pandemic with a more unified, collaborative and sustainable offer.

The not-for-profit forum will be led by a newly-formed steering group consisting of nine experienced professionals from across the events industry including chair, Craig Mathie, managing director of Bournemouth 7s Festival.

The entirely voluntary board of the SSCEF also includes Nicole Richman, owner of NR Event Services, Alan Dove, the owner of V-Dub at the Pub Festival, and Simon Stewart who owns and operates a host of food festivals.

Representing suppliers are Garry Wakefield, director of Capital Barriers and Temporary Fencing, and Gavin Barnard founder of Event Advice Agency.

Also in the group are Suzy Wheeler, who runs her own events and marketing company, Strawberry Fields RePresents, and Paul Ashurst, events director at Bournemouth 7s Festival, whilst Adam ‘Ski’ Hart prides himself on representing the ‘little guys’ of the events industry and also liaises with musicians, performers and venue owners.

Mathie commented on the new group: “It is an absolute privilege to have been joined in this concept by so many excellent industry professionals. In these most challenging times, I have been blown away by the spirit of collaboration and positive approach of our members and the fantastic steering group who will represent them.

“We are full of admiration for everything that has been achieved by the national organisations who represent our industry and help to drive standards across the industry. Groups such as the South Coast Events Forum will help us to engage with local decision makers, to influence regional strategy and share best practice with those we work with most regularly.”

The group’s membership consists of a variety of organisations of all sizes and includes event and exhibition venues, festival promoters, contractors, agencies and freelancers. Members will benefit from monthly networking meetings, regular communication and a conference scheduled for Autumn 2021.

Membership of the South Coast Events Forum is free for both organisers and suppliers.