Powerful Thinking’s new look Board reflects the challenges and needs of sector

In his latest blog, Tim Benson announces a new Board for Powerful Thinking, the not-for-profit, think-do tank focused on reducing the environmental impact of powering festivals and outdoor events. New Board members will bring event power sector knowledge from both consumer and supplier perspectives, promoting collaboration for low carbon power provision for festivals and events.

On the consumer side, representatives on the Board are Steve Heap (AFO/EIF), Victoria Chapman (Festival Republic), Kevin Moore (From the Fields) and Kevin Mackay (DF Concerts). Representing suppliers and power professionals the Board has Sean Pearce (Pearce Hire), Dan Pratt (Greener UK), David Amos (Plus Zero), Ian Peniston (Power Logistics) and Nic Forsdike (Gofer Power).

“At a conference recently, that was attended by both event power users and contractors, I realised how ill-informed some of the power companies felt about the ever-growing array of alternatives to diesel generators. Whilst they recognised and wanted to invest in these new technologies and solutions, they expressed huge concern over investing in expensive equipment with a potential extended ROI. Concerns over how and where to deploy the kit were also raised and from some of the conversations I had, it was very clear that a lot of the old myths about sustainable power solutions, for example inverters performing poorly for stage loads, had not yet been debunked.

Powerful Thinking was originally conceived of as a conduit for sharing information on alternatives solutions to diesel generators, but mainly for the user/consumer side of our sector. It did a fantastic job and demand for hybrid and solar fleet grew exponentially. However, somewhere along the line, we forgot about the hirers and automatically assumed that they were all up to speed on the products and how to deploy them – we were clearly very wrong!  

With this in mind, we have a new look Board for Powerful Thinking, that better reflects the needs and challenges of both the users and the hirers. On the consumer side, I am pleased to say that we retain Steve Heap (AFO/EIF), Victoria Chapman (Festival Republic) and Kevin Moore (From the Fields), and on the hirer side, I am delighted to say that Sean Pearce (Pearce Hire) remains with us. Joining us for the first time as an organiser is Kevin Mackay (DF Concerts) with one other still to be confirmed. New hirer and power professional Board members are Dan Pratt (Greener UK), whose expertise on battery solutions will be most welcome, and David Amos (Plus Zero), one of the UK’s leading hydrogen generator suppliers. Also joining us is Ian Peniston (Power Logistics), who continues to lead the charge on fuel reduction solutions for large scale, high profile shows and Nic Forsdike (Gofer Power), an early adopter of many of the sustainable solutions now commonly used in the event sector. Graham Brown, Brown Fox Communications, will be our marketing and communications lead, ably assisted by Georgia Brown. Josie Curtis, Smart Power’s logistics manager (and my personal saviour), will also join us as an administrative assistant.

Looking ahead for 2023, we have begun putting together a new website, which we hope will go live in six weeks. We will also be busy writing a new version of our popular guide Smart Energy for Festivals and Events, with a planned launch in Q1 of 2024. The Sustainable Events Summit, hosted by Vision: 2025 at the Showman’s Show every October, will probably be the first chance our busy Board has to meet in person and Powerful Thinking members will be hosting a panel at the event.

Whether you are a power provider or an end user, we hope Powerful Thinking has something to offer you, so please do get in touch with me at tim@powerful-thinking.org.uk to find out more about how we can assist you, or drop Graham Brown a line at graham@vision2025.org.uk if you want to become a power professional member, with a profile on the new website.

Powerful Thinking will host a panel at the upcoming Vision: 2025 Sustainable Event Summit, Oct 18, 2023, at The Showman’s Show, to explore ways to reduce the costs and carbon through increased efficiency and alternatives for a lower carbon event industry.

This guest blog originally appeared in the May 2023 Vision: 2025 newsletter. Sign up to receive monthly event sustainability news, case studies and guest blogs direct to your inbowww.vision2025.org.uk