Production Futures has grown exponentially since 2016, and recently concluded its busy ON TOUR series of events at Production Park in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, offering young people networking opportunities and industry insights: the event also celebrated young talent in the industry with the Breakthrough Talent Awards, supported by TPi Magazine.
The event consisted of workshops throughout the day from companies such as Vectorworks, Sennheiser, ChamSys, and CHAUVET Professional, including interactive tours of Production Park. Business leaders, nonprofit initiatives, key decision makers and industry professionals from the BBC, Rock Lititz, TAIT, 4Wall Entertainment and Riedel Communications held talks with a further networking lounge hosted by The Power of Events’ Sophie Beasor featured panel discussions with Recruitment Specialist, Richard Wear; SOS Global Logistics’ Bob O’Brien; Audio Engineer, Sofie Hunter and Stage Engage’s Chris Ablett.
Keynote Speaker at the Awards, Bob O’Brien and Production Manager at SOS Global, commented: “Production Futures is so important for the future of our industry. It is the only organisation that encapsulates every facet of the production industries and works to promote the interests of young, up-and-coming talent. It is without doubt the perfect platform to share experience and thereby not only sustain but grow our industry. SOS Event Logistics is proud to be a part of Production Futures and to be in the room, helping to navigate that future.”
“The biggest highlight for us is always how diverse the nominees and winners are, we are reaching a wide pool of talent. After 22 years in the events industry, it is a joy to see positive change and we are here to celebrate it,” Production Futures CEO, Hannah Eakins commented. “Breakthrough Talent Awards are also about creating a free networking event that newcomers feel welcome to attend and be part of an inclusive community.”
Representing newcomers in the industry, the latest rendition of the ceremony not only aims to recognise the hard work put in but to offer winners an opportunity to pick the brains of each award sponsor. Opportunities include paid work to mentorship and tours around their sponsors headquarters and offices. “We love this new concept because it means so much more than a medal. Having these links to industry-leading businesses is a prize that money cannot buy!” Eakins enthused.
“The future of this industry is in the youngsters, it’s so important that we recognise and champion this. As employers we need to open our doors and provide support through workplace apprenticeships or training,” said Lights Control Rigging’s Mike Oates. “Breakthrough Talent Awards is invaluable for nominees and winners, providing an opportunity to show their talents and spend some time with industry professionals in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.”
Reflecting on the past year of events, Eakins said: “It has been the best show of the tour yet. The panels and special guests were great, and our partners are now bringing the latest technology to create more engaging learning zones. Most importantly, the atmosphere was extremely positive.
“We know that if we build the show, people will come. We’re here to offer pathways to all newcomers because there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ method, we feel it is important that people understand the industry and the opportunities available, and this only increases as Production Futures gets bigger.”
Production Futures’ next ON TOUR event will take place in February at Fly by Nite Rehearsal Studios. “We cannot wait to make our next show bigger and better ever, with more partners, technology and guests.”
Words: Alicia Pollitt
Photos: Matthew Pittman