Lou Kiwanuka, founder of award-winning operational management company EventShaper and Vice-Chair of ESSA, has today announced the launch of a unique training programme specifically designed for the exhibition operation professional.

The Operations Foundation Course will take place on 29 June – 2 July 2020 at ExCeL London and offers junior operations staff the unique opportunity to learn the essentials of the trade.

Each course will be limited places, giving attendees the opportunity to learn from experts in each field. Students will be guided through all technical aspects, tapping into Kiwanuka’s 24 years of operational experience working for some of the biggest companies in the sector including Blenheim Exhibitions, Tarsus, OPEX (now Freeman) and Olympia.

Students will spend two days in the classroom, in a unique learning environment, covering the principals of operational management before spending two practical, hands-on and exciting days on the show floor, getting to grips with the technical aspects of stand build, graphics, rigging, electrics and AV.

Speaking about the launch, Kiwanuka explained: “The job remit of an operations professional is vast and takes a number of years to master. Whilst there are a number of courses available on the market covering some of the technical aspects such as safety, there is not one training course which offers practical professional development to junior operations executives and assistants.”

“Ongoing education is key for us as an event industry to ensure we have teams who are fully-equipment with the knowledge and competency they need to deliver excellence. The Operations Foundation Course will be a springboard for junior operations staff to learn the practical and unique aspects of the exhibition operational job function in order to become resilient and professional whilst allowing them to adapt to the changing landscape of our industry.”


Her role within ESSA – The Event Supplier and Services Association, has allowed Kiwanuka to become increasing involved in driving efficiencies and change, in order to create a more dynamic yet calmer, safer and more sustainable working environment within the events industry.