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ESSA announces winners of its fifth annual awards

The winners of the Event Supplier and Services Association’s (ESSA) 2022 Awards were announced last night, as the sector gathered to celebrate this year’s finest talent.

Now in their fifth year, the ESSA awards were introduced to recognise the bold and innovative individuals and companies who have set new standards for the sector during the previous 12 months and reward the exceptional work and results achieved by these trailblazers in the face of an increasingly challenging environment.

During this year’s celebration, which took place at The Forest of Arden Birmingham after ESSA’s Annual Conference, awards were presented across eight categories including Unsung Hero and Innovation of the Year as well as a new Sustainability accolade acknowledging its rising importance.


  • LOU KIWANUKA, OpsShaper – A champion for those without a voice, during her 25-year career, Lou has been an advocate for the promotion and greater understanding of mental health, mentoring, inclusiveness, training and education and improvements in contractor welfare and health and safety. Lou also played a significant role throughout the pandemic, becoming chair of the Events Industry Alliance and ESSA at arguably the most crucial period of ESSA’s existence, working tirelessly to secure a clear vision for ESSA’s future.

ESSA YOUNG PERSON AWARD 2022 Sponsored by Rocket Exhibition Services


  • ELLEN STOKES – Be Exhibitions – Ellen started Be Exhibitions Ltd aged 22 and worked tirelessly from the ground up to gain clients and referrals. Six years on and the flourishing business is testament to her boundless passion and love for the industry.


  • JOE FAICHNIE – Rocket Exhibition Services

ESSA MEMBER COMPANY AWARD 2022 ‍Sponsored by Beechwood Event Flooring


  • ABRAXYS GLOBAL – Multi-award-winning health & safety consultants Abraxys Global has a well-deserved reputation for delivering business excellence on a global scale whilst undertaking CSR projects in multiple territories. They proactively lobby the government for the benefit of the wider industry and have raised over £20,000 through charity work.


  • GES

SUSTAINABILITY Sponsored by BeMatrix UK


  • SKYLINE WHITESPACE – Skyline’s exhaustive list of eco credentials is exemplary from a CO2 absorbing roof, recycling over 90% of their waste and using 100% renewable energy to planting 400 trees via ‘One Tree Planted’ to cover work output in 2021 and donating redundant custom furniture and materials to local charities and schools.



ESSA UNSUNG HERO 2022 Sponsored by InEvexco

  • ELSIE O’DWYER – The Barista – Elsie’s exceptional project management skills, dedication and drive to implement best practices business-wide have singlehandedly taken the Barista to new heights in terms of service levels, customer satisfaction and its commitment to operate at the highest benchmarks of health and safety and sustainability.

INNOVATION OF THE YEAR 2022 (Tech/Non-Tech) ‍Sponsored by Briggs Equipment

  • REGO SMART STANDS – Rego created Smart Stands as a solution for exhibitors unable to attend trade shows in person post-Covid, but who still needed to maintain a presence. Fully trained Rego Sales Hosts were deployed to host stands resulting in successful exhibitions for all parties.

BEST VENUE 2022 ‍Sponsored by Macro Art

  • MANCHESTER CENTRAL COMPLEX – Manchester Central is one of the UK’s largest, most versatile venues providing exceptional experiences with quality service for 500,000+ visitors per annum and generating over £150m for the local economy in an average year.

BEST ORGANISER 2022 ‍Sponsored by Immersive AV

  • CLARION EVENTS – Global organiser Clarion has been delivering market-leading customer outcomes & experiences since 1947 across live and digital events.

ESSA director Andrew Harrison said: “Leading a business to success can be a tough challenge. It’s inspiring to see the volume of ingenuity that has come out of the past 12 months in the face of arguably the most challenging 12 months on record, which makes us optimistic about the future. It’s clear to see that our members remain firmly on a path of continual improvement, with a hunger to explore and immerse themselves in additional areas such as sustainability in order to lead from the front.

“The ESSA Awards has grown to eight categories this year, the most to date, to reflect the dedication, commitment and sheer hard work of our members. We are proud to see such excellence within our member base from which others can learn and which ultimately makes this industry a safer place. We congratulate all the deserving candidates on the shortlist, especially our winners.”

The winners received their honours at the Annual ESSA Dinner and Awards dinner hosted at the Forest of Arden Country Birmingham in conjunction with its headline sponsors beMatrix and Abraxys Global

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