Essex 2020

Facilitation & Events



Essex 2020 is the UK’s biggest celebration of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).  A 12-month+ programme of STEAM-related events to take place across the county, inspired by the prestigious British Science Festival which comes to Essex in 2020 for the first time in its 189-year history.

always possible were commissioned to lead the programme, developing ideas and collaborations between Essex business and industry; schools, universities and colleges; arts, heritage and grassroots organisations to join in telling the story of Essex STEAM.



Exhibitions, festivals, performances, workshops, conferences, trails and more highlighted this (often misunderstood) county’s enterprising past and inspire the artists, scientists and engineers of the future.

Over 1,000 community events were published at the start of the year, covering every district of Essex, Southend and Thurrock – enabling collaborations and possibilities that were not otherwise likely. A bespoke website portal has meant that over 180 organisations have been able to directly submit expressions of interest, access fundraising and marketing guidance and request support to find partners, space or resources.

Flagship events, such as the Essex Book Festival, have used Essex 2020 as a stimulus to tackle major, sticky issues, such as the climate crisis and digital transformation, with new audiences.

The Covid-19 outbreak meant a complete redesign and restructure of the programme, but we worked with Essex 2020 stakeholders to reposition the offer as something focused on health and community, as well as the broader STEAM agenda.

From May 2020, the programme took a closer look at what we are learning about technology as an enabler, culture as a life-line, virology, sanitation, rapid engineering (car manufacturers suddenly making ventilators) and how communities in Essex can be more connected to the environment and life sciences around them.


  • Research
  • Stakeholder management
  • Web procurement and management
  • Facilitation
  • Curation and thematics design
  • Marketing and communications
  • Data collection
  • Community engagement


  • Over 1,000 events planned (pre-COVID pandemic) ✓
  • 491 events delivered (mostly during pandemic) ✓
  • 55  event organisers  ✓
  • Six geographical Hubs ✓
  • 49,000 website visitors ✓
  • 479,000 social media reach ✓
  • 14,000+ engagements on social media (100% positive) ✓
  • 2,000 podcast listeners ✓
  • Wide range of audiences ✓
  • New partnerships and collaborations ✓
  • Investment in grassroots participation ✓
  • £200k raised for commissioning and communications ✓
  • New £20k digital web educational resource ✓

“A few weeks ago, we put a camera on Mars, but generally people still don’t know who we are. I was more used to working with businesses and academia and getting to know people at a senior level. Our relationships with local and national government were realistically non-existent.

Essex 2020 has a wider impact, it’s an opportunity to be involved in interesting things that aren’t work. We have people in our businesses from apprentices to global PhDs, but if you type ‘engineer’ into Google, you still end up seeing a white middle-class man with a yellow hat. Society wants to be more inclusive. Society wants less barriers. Now we see it all the time. STEAM is a new way of thinking, and I think Essex 2020 is a part of that journey.”

Dr Miles Adcock, President of Space & Quantum, Teledyne E2V

Video commission from Aura Films