News Detail

Highlights from PASMA's 2023 AMM

Delegates enjoyed connecting with each other, experiencing magic sets, learning new approaches to safety, and trying out new training tech. 30/11/2023 – The two-day PASMA annual members’ meeting (AMM), held at the Delta by Marriott Worsley Park Country Club from 8 to 9 November 2023, was a chance for PASMA members from across the mobile access tower community to come together. More than 90 delegates, both familiar faces and new members, gathered to share their thoughts, hopes and expectations for a safer access tower industry. At this year’s members-only event, attendees had access to first-hand updates on the association’s steps towards a digital, net-zero future for our industry. They were also teased about the exciting milestone on the horizon – PASMA’s 50th anniversary in 2024! As delegates got to know more about innovations in safety practices and the tech now available to the industry, they also strengthened personal and professional ties. An impressive 98% of delegates who completed PASMA’s post-AMM survey said they’d learned something new at the event and over 94% of them made valuable new connections. Gareth Duffy, from new PASMA member Openreach, was left with a good impression: “This was my first PASMA event and I've been really impressed with how well the association communicates and shares information. It was great meeting people and hearing about what's coming in 2024. Thanks for making me feel so welcome.”

TowerSure & VR demo stands

With 2024 marking PASMA’s milestone 50th anniversary and celebrations scheduled for September (less than a year from now!), members want to make sure their businesses are up to date with the latest tower innovations in time for the party! With that in mind, PASMA set up this year’s TowerSure and virtual reality demo stands near the registration desk. That way, as they arrived, delegates had a chance to catch up with the state of the art in tower safety and training tech, respectively. On both days, members got to try on PASMA’s VR sets and experience a fall from height in a simulated environment – a valuable resource for a training scenario that, for obvious reasons, is not available in real life. Delegates also engaged with TowerSure’s web and mobile interfaces, having a go at the system’s digital on-site inspection tool. They were also able to take home sample inspection labels to become even more familiar with the technology.

Council & committee meetings

As part of the first day’s activities, PASMA’s council and committees held meetings not only to debate their projects and ideas but also, as is the norm in AMMs, to announce and ratify changes in who is part of them. Updates on PASMA's council and committees are available on our website.

CPD session for instructors

This year’s AMM included a CPD session for PASMA instructors keen to develop their tower knowledge and skills. The session incorporated the brand-new emergency and rescue planning workshop, launched at PASMA’s Middle East Symposium this October. Lead instructor and freelance instructor representative Craig Gorton (featured in the photo on the left) got attendees thinking about how they’d rescue someone who is unwell or injured at the top of a tower. Unfortunately, there's no step-by-step guide for this! Much like in Dubai, the practical thought experiment was very well received.

Drinks reception and chairman’s dinner

As the sun dipped down, the event’s main networking opportunity came about in the form of the drinks reception. PASMA members enjoyed a dedicated timeslot for making new connections and nurturing existing ones ahead of a night of food, even more drinks, entertainment, and a good time for everyone at the chairman’s dinner. A fun and informal night, the chairman's dinner was a time for lasting connections too but especially for the celebration of PASMA’s achievements this past year, led by outgoing chair Richard Fairfield (ET Hire). Retiring after a decades-long career marked by invaluable contributions to both PASMA and the industry itself, this year’s chairman’s dinner also stood for an enchanting send-off. Charged with a mesmerising atmosphere conjured by internationally renowned magician Ben Hanlin, the night of PASMA’s 2023 chairman’s dinner will not soon be forgotten. Known for his extraordinary illusions and charismatic stage presence, Hanlin left the audience in awe as he read minds, performed sleight of hand tricks, and engaged everyone in an interactive experience. One particularly fun moment involved ripping up photos of some of PASMA's most well-loved members and staff, Richard Fairfield, Andy Davie, Chris Smith and Peter Bennett OBE. The room erupted in laughter as Hanlin guided the audience in shuffling the pieces, throwing some at each other, sitting on them for a while and shuffling even more. After carefully following the magician's instructions, amazingly, delegates were left with matching pieces in their hands. The biggest laughs of the night, however, came during Ben Sly's (Pop Up Products) on-stage appearance as the magician's assistant (featured in the photo). After a good amount of banter, Hanlin successfully swapped around a couple of playing cards which they were each actively gripping with their own teeth! Earning the highest post-AMM survey rating, at an impressive 8.9/10 stars, this year’s chairman’s dinner concluded with PASMA managing director Peter Bennett OBE taking the stage. He thanked Richard Fairfield for his contributions and leadership as chairman and presented him with a gift-wrapped red wine decanter as a gesture of the association’s gratitude.


The event’s second day centred around PASMA’s annual members’ meeting. The first order of business was PASMA’s chairmanship, as the role changed hands from Richard Fairfield to Steve Booker (Kentec), who then addressed his peers. “As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of technology, safety standards, and industry demands, I firmly believe that our strength lies in unity and collaboration. Manufacturers, training providers, hirers, instructors, erectors, suppliers, and users alike must join hands to drive innovation, ensure safety, and elevate the standards that define our work.” – Steve Booker As the agenda carried on, each committee chair provided updates on the year’s work and their plans for the future. PASMA staff members also shared insights into the association’s digitalisation efforts, as well as actions already taken and planned towards adding even more value to PASMA membership. Each table of delegates filled in worksheets with their collective thoughts on the future of training over the next 10, 25 and 50 years. They were also asked to comment on projects led by the association’s council, committees, and staff that drive the industry forward. This exercise shed light on PASMA’s priorities and gave members a chance to give their input into our shared goals. “The speakers were all clear and informative. Great to know more about what's going on in the various committees, as well as the wider PASMA group.” – Christopher Bowman, from Euro Towers

At the AMM, PASMA's new chair, Steve Booker (left), shakes hands with retiring chair, Richard Fairfield (right).

The future, here we come!

Thinking back on all the valuable discussions, innovative showcases and the spirit of collaboration that defined this AMM, PASMA’s journey towards a safer access tower industry is clearly on track. Looking ahead to our 50th anniversary event coming up in September 2024, let's carry forward the spirit of this year’s event.