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Get Your Events Business ISO 20121 Certified.

Andy Robertson

Whilst the events industry goes through this lull in activity now is the perfect time to get your events business certified with ISO 20121. Previously called BS 8901 and created several years ago specifically to address the London Olympics the principles certify that your events business is improving the sustainability of events and related activities, products and services. 


The old British Standard BS 8901 has essentially been replaced by the International standard ISO 20121 which has three guiding principles:

  • Continue to be financially successful.
  • Become more socially responsible.
  • Reduce its environmental footprint.

The certification is aimed at any business operating in the events industry including caterers, lighting and sound engineers, security companies, stage builders and venues, independent event organisers and corporate and public sector event teams. With ISO 20121 certification your events business can differentiate itself in the marketplace and hence improve their chance of winning new business and potentially increasing ticket sales.

The benefits to your events business can also impact on internal factors with clarity of purpose and strategy resulting in a more energised and aligned workforce. In addition, management teams will be more efficient with simpler, clearer and more effective work systems and processes. There are social and environmental impacts to the events business too with an enhanced reputation among key clients, suppliers, partners and other external stakeholders. Overall there should be cost savings in material consumption, waste and energy plus reduced carbon emissions.

To get certified the events company must develop a management system to illustrate compliance, the standards are not the easiest to understand but there are guides to assist you if necessary. The certification is not about the actions taken in delivering the event or related services but revolves around the management process in place that the company should adhere to and this is an important distinction to understand. Evidence needs to be sufficient to demonstrate that the event sustainability management system is an integral part of the event management process and not an additional “add-on” component. 

The possibility to announce to your partners and potential audience that your events business is ISOI 20121 certified can be translated into a clear message about having a management system that considers key financial, economic, social and environmental issues relevant to its operations.

There has never been a better time to look into getting certified, in the normal course of business obtaining certification can be disruptive and time consuming but with almost all events cancelled it’s something that should be explored. If your business can obtain certification it's going to be something you can shout about and differentiate your business from the competition. There are consultants and agencies that can guide you through the process for a fee but it takes little effort to check it out yourself. You can get more detailed information form the dedicated ISO 20121 website that explains how to go about getting your events business certified.

Using an events management software solution like FestivalPro can make your events more efficient saving you money and time in planning and delivering your events working with your own specified process management system. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The FestivalPro platform is easy to use and enables event organisers of all sizes to manage every aspect of their event management enabling a trouble-free process. 

Andy Robertson
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