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AEV Annual Conference



Conference origins

Launched in response to member requests in 2016, the event now attracts over 250 attendees and creates a unique opportunity for venue teams to learn from expert speakers and panelists discussing relevant issues.

The content is created through consultation with members and delivered by a dedicated steering group. Our conference is designed to give venue teams a programme of content and a forum for discussion centred on the practicalities of delivering truly world class events.

In addition to compelling content, our conference provides excellent opportunities for getting together with peers from around the world to network and exchange ideas. The conference is open to all, including AEO and ESSA members.

Visit the conference website

2023 Conference


Held at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre on Friday 17 November we welcomed over 260 event professionals to get ‘Fit for the future.'

The icebreaker took place at the Old Queen Street Cafe on the evening before the conference.

Thank you to our speakers, sponsors, partners and exhibitors for their support and to our members for attending.

2022 Conference

The 2022 was held at the Harrogate Convention Centre on Wednesday 30 November, we welcomed over 160 event professionals to address the theme ‘The power of people.'

The event was preceded by an icebreaker at the Cold Bath Brewery.


2021 Conference

The 2021 conference was the first time we were able to get together for over two years.  

Held at the Business Design Centre on Friday 26 November 2021, we welcomed over 160 event professionals to address the theme ‘Disruption: the new norm.’






"The sessions were fantastic and provided great support to the theme and practical ideas"

" has always been about the networking opportunity and meeting face to face this year was a huge thrill."

"...Excellent content, professional and friendly event....Catering was excellent ... Lots of information, discussion -- great!"


2021 pre-conference interview from Dan Assor with Rachel Parker, AEV Director and Max Bull, AEV Chair.

The interview covers:

Introduction to the AEV • Discussion on the return of live events including changes to venue protocols, relationship with suppliers and organisers • AEV Annual conference 2021 on 26 November • where, when, what and for whom? • Central conference themes, Disruption "the new norm"• Sustainably• Life in a post pandemic world• Security•  What’s in store for AEV in 2022?


2019 Conference

We welcomed over 200 professionals and executives to the AEV Conference at Manchester Central on Thursday 4 July.

The theme 'New Horizons' invited delegates to consider the 15 years leading up to the event, and to look forward to the next 15 years, and all the ways the world and the industry will have changed in that time.

After the conference, delegates readied themselves for the AEV's 15th Anniversary Party at Dirty Martini, Manchester's premier city-centre cocktail bar. Props and costumes created an elegant 1920's theme, and party sponsors Freeman, provided "Freemantini" cocktails created especially for the occasion. 

Thank you to our host venue, sponsors Ungerboeck Software and our event partners.





"..loved catching up with industry colleagues who are fast becoming firm friends. Liked the fact it (the conference) was all contained in one room - didn't lose people!"

"Good quality keynote presenters, very topical and timely reminder of the value of the customer experience".

"Great to see the AEV team again, also our peers. Great to see everyone together"

"It was a really well put together event..found a good balance in content that would interest everyone. The quality of speakers impacted the quality of the sessions. The venue was great and it was a well organised day. The evening was a lot of fun too."

2018 Conference

Our 2018 AEV Conference was held on Thursday 28th June at ExCeL London, and the icebreaker at The O2 the evening before. Both were well attended. Thank you to our host venues, sponsors Freeman and Ungerboeck Software International, our supporters and those behind the scenes who made our 2018 conference the success it was. Coupled with record attendance you ALL make us very proud to be part of this Industry. 





"From start to finish, captivating content today - the future, tech and the direction of the well as the opportunity to dream big about what tomorrow's event world will perhaps become."

 "Whether you were attending as a manager or CEO there was something for all levels and as such was put together extremely well to achieve this."

"Very beneficial to attend the working group and networking event on the Wednesday and then the conference on the Thursday.  As a whole package it was a very well orchestrated couple of dates with great insights, networking and coming together as an industry."

2017 Conference

The 2017 conference was held on Thursday 29 June at the VOX in Birmingham and welcomed over 140 delegates.



2016 Conference

The 2016 conference was held in the Business Design Centre and was attended by 130 people from throughout the events industry. Talks included:

  • How to build a world class team
  • Project Griffin 
  • Tomorrow's technology for today
  • The role food plays in venues
  • Understanding your customer, audience and team
  • How change can impact business and brand


“It was a fantastic opportunity to host the inaugural AEV Conference, bringing other venues and suppliers together under one roof for a day of knowledge sharing and networking.

"We were very proud to be able to host so many of our peers at an event focussed specifically on the most relevant topics that we are facing as an industry and to allow other venue teams to come together to share their own experiences.” 

Kate Simpson, Head of Conference & Digital Operations,

Business Design Centre Ltd




Member Venues