Insight: Issue 141 | Wed 21 June – Cameron Events

Insight: Issue 141 | Wed 21 June

Cameron Events

Glasto a-go-go


Its Glastonbury this weekend and the festival season is in full swing. Bring on the anthems, the wellies, the Elton and the portaloos – for the summer is here.



The lineup this week includes: New Insights Report published from exhibition marketer’s perspective; Octopus Energy builds Glastonbury’s ‘biggest fan’ to feed Festival; An Age of Change for Arenas; and Cheerful Twentyfirst launches ‘Brand Playbook: Talking About My Generation’


New Insights Report published from exhibition marketer’s perspective


Check it out – The Explori, Exhibitor Group, and The Exhibitor Advocate report on the exhibition industry from the perspective of exhibition marketers has officially dropped.



The report, conducted by the event research gurus at Explori, is the result of a wealth of research with 255 exhibition marketers running events for a vast range of organisations in different industries.

The aim of the report is to give marketers a deeper understanding of the challenges, strategies, and opportunities when it comes to exhibiting at trade shows. The study found that event teams and their head honchos still see exhibitions as a major sales and marketing channel. But here’s the rub: rising costs and global inflation is changing the way budgets are spent for in-person events in 2023, so those struggling to show a solid return on investment might face cuts in exhibition-related activities.

Mark Brewster, the CEO of Explori, expressed concerns about the current situation:

“There is little doubt that the demand for ‘in-person’ is high and trade shows have bounced back with a vengeance. However, the research identifies a friction between the spiralling costs of exhibit programmes and pressures on budgets, with the absence of measurement data on the real value exhibitions have on achieving business objectives.

“For this reason, when we were approached by the Exhibitor Advocate, we were enthusiastic to deliver and fund this important research.”


Octopus Energy builds Glastonbury’s ‘biggest fan’ to feed Festival


Here’s one that’ll blow you away – Glastonbury Festival is about to get a power boost with a game changing Octopus Energy wind turbine. The humungous turbine will provide sustainable energy to the food stands, whipping up thousands of eco-friendly snacks for over 200,000 festival-goers.



The 20 metre high turbine with 8 metre long blades is decked out with on-brand Octopus tentacles in purple and pink. Assembled in just one day near the Pyramid stage, the energy firm are also installing solar panels and a battery to store the green energy. The wind turbine and solar panels will power a microgrid that will keep food vendors going, serving snacks made with super low-carbon energy; generating around 300kWh per day, enough power for 300 fridges!

Cool stuff.

Long time advocates of sustainability, The Eavis family and the Glasto cohort have kept environmentally responsible approaches an integral part of Worthy Farm’s festivities since its inception in 1970.

Greg Jackson, Founder and CEO of Octopus Energy Group, says, “When I met Emily I was immediately struck by so many shared values. What was planned to be a short meeting went on for hours as we discussed what makes for a better world. I am excited to be able to not only generate green energy at the Festival, but to work together for the long term too.”


An Age of Change for Arenas


With at least eight new UK arenas on the horizon and existing venues undergoing upgrades, the venue sector is set to undergo significant changes. One of the biggies is the Co-op Live arena in Manchester, a joint collab between Oak View Group (OVG) and City Football Group, which is set to harness a capacity of a whopping 23,500. The YTL Arena in Bristol, with an earmarked capacity of 19,000, is also under construction, and primed to open in late 2025. However, the opening of the new Cardiff arena has been delayed until 2026 due to rising costs.



Other arenas in the pipeline include Edinburgh Arena, London’s MSG Sphere, an arena in Sunderland and a proposed arena in Dundee – developments that will reshape the UK’s arena landscape and provide fresh new opportunities for promoters. Existing venues like the AO Arena in Manchester and The O2 in London are also undergoing upgrades and refurbs to enhance the premium experience.

Sustainability measures are also a key focus, with venues now incorporating features such as renewable energy generation and rainwater harvesting. The NAA is actively promoting sustainability and working on a handy “green guide” for doing things more sustainably. Despite concerns about market saturation, industry professionals believe there is still room for additional large-scale venues in the UK due to the continued demand for live entertainment. Phew.

Speaking specifically on the demand for live music, YTL Arena CEO Andrew Billingham says, “Live music is stronger than ever, and data shows us that any new venue that has opened is a supply-led market, so I expect more new venues will continue this trend and add to a vibrant and growing industry.”


Cheerful Twentyfirst launches ‘Brand Playbook: Talking About My Generation’


Global brand experience stalwarts Cheerful Twentyfirst have launched ‘Brand Playbook: Talking About My Generation’. The report, which saw the agency join forces with Dr. Eliza Filby, explores how marketers can optimise audience strategy by considering age. It highlights the importance of understanding generational segments for personalised communication and stronger B2B relationships. Surprisingly – age is not a top priority in audience strategy, with only 28% of event profs able to target and tailor by age groups. The challenges- time, budget, and data.



Cheerful Twentyfirst’s Strategy Lead, Georgina Burrows, talks the big changes in how people are engaging with brands: “Audiences are more cynical than ever about who they buy from, engage with and work for, and emerging audience groups present a new challenge for event marketers. 

“Our research findings suggest that the biggest perceived challenge in reaching audiences is delivering personalised experiences at scale, and more specifically, honing an engagement strategy that can address those ‘needs groups’ effectively.”


Covid-19 wiped out 17% of UK festivals


According to the AIF, around one in six (16.6%) UK festivals are now defunct due to the Covid-19 pandemic.The association, representing 105 live music fests in the UK, ran a study revealing that while there were 600 festivals in 2019, only 482 are happening in 2023.



This 19.7% drop includes festivals that vanished during the pandemic or attempted a comeback in 2022 but didn’t make it to 2023. AIF is urging the government to back existing festival organisers to help revive the sector. Prior to the pandemic, festivals made for £1.76bn to the UK economy – as well as supporting 85,000 jobs.

AIF CEO John Rostron comments on the situation:

“What the festival sector needs right now is a small but speedy intervention from the Government to ensure that those festival operators who made it through the pandemic – often thanks to Government support from Culture Recovery Fund, furlough and Bounce Back Loans – are able to see through both the unforeseeable challenges of 2023 (energy costs, inflation and the cost of living crisis) and the impact of Covid (supply chain costs and concerns about younger audiences). With support, existing operators, as well as new start-ups, will begin to rebuild the festival sector to the number of events that were prevalent in 2019.”


That just about wraps things up for now.

Same time, same place next week? Smashing – we’ll see you then.