Email the editor

ILEA defends ‘measured response’ to Presidents Club fallout

Carlo Zoccali, president, ILEA UK Chapter, said association wasn’t involved in a ‘race to Twitter’

Pictured: Carlo Zoccali, president of ILEA UK Chapter

The president of the UK chapter of the International Live Events Association (ILEA) has defended its slow response to the Presidents Club scandal and called for ‘an intelligent debate’.

Carlo Zoccali, president of ILEA UK Chapter, said: “The industry seems to be getting a lot of flak for a lack of response to this issue. For us this was not a time to 'race to Twitter' or fire of self-promotional press releases, it was a time to reflect and consider a measured response.

“Luckily, this was the same response for many of our members, who are actively looking into their own event programmes, their own approaches to people and using this incident as a reason to do things better. We're not making any apologies for taking the same approach."

The ILEA’s statement comes as the industry faced online criticism for its silence in the aftermath of the FT’s expose into sexual harassment of hostesses at the all-male charity fundraiser in London.

William Thomson, of Gallus Events, wrote an eviscerating blog attacking the industry’s numerous associations for their collective silence in the days following the press revelations.

Zoccali said the chapter was ‘divided on some aspects’ of the issue but said the Presidents Club Dinner was  ‘an example of the events industry, at its worst, commoditising people’.

“As a people industry we need to be more wary of this, for every 10 that do it well, there's one more doing it badly. We need to look after our clients and our guests, as well as our staff.”

He added: “We're obviously protective of our industry and don't like the idea of this having a negative effect on it, bad events should be cancelled, good events should be judged for the value they bring to businesses and people, the Presidents Club is the former and for us not representative of the progressive, creative, representative industry we recognise.”

Facebook Share Twitter Share LinkeIn Share