AEV

Meet the Working Group Chairs

Get to know your working group chairs!

Chair icon

 

Here you you can delve (in no particular order) into the minds of our various Working Group chairs! 

Click on their names to visit their LinkedIn page.

Cross Association Technology Working Group - Amir Vered

Amir

Bio

Amir Vered heads up both the commercial and the corporate IT teams at Olympia London.

Having started his career in the hotel industry, Amir went on to to fulfil senior sales roles at Wembley Stadium followed by Twickenham Stadium, building his experience in both operational and commercial management.

Being part of initiatives to bring technology closer to the hospitality industry Amir has particpated in several initiatives to bring technology closer to the hospitality industry. As a result, he accepted the challenge to review and reshape eForce to ensure Olympia’s Commercial IT arm is run effectively and change client perception by delivering consistent excellence in delivery.

More recently Amir has joined up eForce with Olympia’s IT department to create a robust and responsive unit that's able to accommodate the vast majority of any connectivity requirement, whilst improving external and internal customer satisfaction.

1. What brought you into the event industry?

I was always drawn to the buzz of people from different countries and walks of life coming together to push a mutual agenda. The sound of various languages and inspiring destinations always appealed to me and played a crucial part in choosing the events industry to pursue my career in. More recently, working at Olympia I particularly love the diversity of events, no day is the same making it fascinating to walk through the door every morning.

2. Why did you get involved with the association working groups?

Sharing a platform with like-minded people benefits everyone. I have learnt earlier in my career that you gain more from working closely with your peers as well as your competitors. Being able to update the eGuide and set an industry standard is a significant contribution to the industry and I sincerely hope Emma and I will be able to champion similar initiatives over the next couple of years.

3. What advice would you give young people pursuing a career in the events industry?

Work hard, learn from the more experienced, have patience (I sure didn’t) and most importantly enjoy this fantastic fast industry.

4. What would be yourtop three Desert Island Discs?

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV, David Bowie – Changesbowie and a Buddha Bar compilation for contemplation.

5. What are you passions outside of the event industry?

My main passion is my family, I love spending time with my children and making them laugh. Food has always been a hobby, cooking, eating, presenting etc., I enjoy everything about it.

6. Do you have a favourite holiday destination or activity?

Beach holidays are my bag. Working hard throughout the year I look forward to a couple of weeks with the family in basking in the sun, eating and drinking far too much.

7. Do you have a favourite motto, saying or inspirational quote?

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.…

8. Which two well-known personalities, past or present, would you invite to your perfect dinner party?

Richard Branson and Shimon Peres

9. What book or film do you hold dear and why?

I have recently read the Tattooist of Auschwitz. This is a true story about sheer determination to hold on to life. It is also about love and dedication. The main character manages to navigate through impossible situations by trying to remain positive and optimistic constantly assessing and adjusting his actions in order survive.

10. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Never think you are indispensable in a work place. Someone once told me “if you leave tomorrow we won’t hang your picture in the corridor”. At the time I thought it harsh, however I have always made sure to bring meaningful, vital contributions to any role I fulfil.

The Event Industry HR Group - Cheryl Busby

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Bio

Cheryl's career started in media field sales, quickly leading her into sales management and leadership. She moved into Learning and Development and became an independent Sales and Leadership Trainer. Cheryl  joined Clarion Events in 2006 as Learning and Achievement Manager, and was promoted to HR Director in 2010. Cheryl is results driven and has made successive improvements in individual, team and business performance at the company. She is a change manager, people developer and a strong communicator who inspires and motivates.

 

 

1. What brought you into the event industry?

Previously I was an independent training consultant with a customer base mainly in publishing. I decided that I needed to diversify and chose to target the events industry and found that Clarion was looking for L&D Manager to work in their HR department and the rest is history…


2. Why did you get involved with the association working groups?

I am passionate about sharing and learning best practice and I believe that a peer group forum is a great way of sharpening the performance and addressing common issues of HR across the industry. The whole is greater than the sum of parts.


3. What advice would you give young people pursuing a career in the events industry?

            •  Go visit exhibitions and conferences to get a feel for the environment, talk to the organisers.

            •  Take a look at the videos on the AEO website.

            •  Be open minded about what function you join .

            •  Ask for an informal chat with a few event companies to understand how they operate and where your skills are best placed.

 

4. What would be your top three Desert Island Discs?

            • "Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & The Waves This is my go to “feel good” track - might need to lift my spirits when my fire and shelter building skills let me down

            •  “One Love” by Bob Marley - This track will help me to visualise my husband and children laughing and dancing together.

            • Vivaldi’s "Four Seasons” - this will help to remind me to value the time to be and not having focus on my to- be- done list

 

5. What are you passions outside of the event industry?

Generally it’s my family and friend but currently it is getting back into my tennis club and praying for muscle memory.


6. Do you have a favourite holiday destination or activity?

I love visiting new places, exploring different cultures, eating exquisite cuisine and lazing on a beach …. India had it all.


7. Do you have a favourite motto, saying or inspirational quote?

 I asked my team, and they said there are many:

            •  “Seek to understand before you seek to be understood” 

            •  “Remember that the problem is a gift” 

            •  ”Does that work with our values?” 

            •  “Fake it till you make it” 

            •  “Don’t email – go speak to them”

8. Which two well-known personalities, past or present, would you invite to your perfect dinner party?

            •  Richard Attenborough – such an amazing voice and presence – he can tell me about the things and places that I have not seen.

            •  Dawn French – oh how we would laugh!

9. What book or film do you hold dear and why?

The Chimp Paradox – Dr Steve Peters – This book helps us to understand why we do things we do even when we know that behaviour doesn’t really help.


10. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given? 

Just do it!
 

Cross Association H&S Working Group - Paul Brough

Bio

Paul joined the event industry after 23 years with the Royal Air Force Fire & Rescue Service, latterly taking control of health & safety for the fire department. Paul joined Olympia London in 2003 as a fire auxiliary, and when he completed his service in the RAF in 2008, he was offered the role of fire & safety officer at the venue. By 2010 Paul had been promoted to the role of venue health & safety manager, and again to group health & safety manager in 2015. In 2017 Paul assumed the chair of the AEV/AEO/ESSA Health & Safety Working Group.

1 . What brought you into the event industry?

I was in the Royal Air Force Fire & Rescue Service for 23 years and was asked to take control of the H&S for the fire department. I started to work for Olympia London in 2003 as a fire auxiliary, and then when I was due to finish my service in the RAF in 2008 a fire & safety officer’s position came up at Olympia London, with my fire safety and H&S background I was fortunate enough to get the role. I was then promoted to venue H&S manager in 2010 and then promoted again in 2015 to group H&S manager, so I guess you could say I stumbled into the role of H&S within the events industry, but I wouldn’t change a thing now.

2 .Why did you get involved with the association working groups?

I have always liked being involved with the working groups, as I am very keen to help to make the industry as safe as possible and to be at the forefront of helping to implement new and improved safety procedures and policies.

3. What do you think the best show, exhibition or conference was last year?

My favourite every year is the London International Horse Show.

4. What will be the next big change in venues?

The challenge as always is ensuring that all venues and contractors are coordinating SWP, so we are all singing from the same hymn sheet. The industry working groups are definitely part of that overall goal.

5. What piece of event tech is going to be indispensable in the future?

The iPad, it's currently what we use at Olympia London by the venue fire and safety officers. Having all of the shows information on the iPad allows us to monitor the show through each stage of the shows tenancy, and it also allows us to communicate directly with the organisers while the fire and safety officers are on the show floor.

6. What's your favourite quote, saying or motto?

We never leave anyone with a problem; we will always try and leave them with a solution!

7.What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Always be polite and courteous, it’s difficult for someone to be angry with you when you are being extremely nice and helpful to them.

8. Which historical event would you most like to host at your venue?

We held the Volleyball competition during the Olympic Games at Earls Court, which was a fantastic experience, so I would love to hold a similar event at Olympia London for such a prestigious event.

9. What music are you listening to at the moment?

Rag’n’Bone Man.

10. If you could attend any event, in the past, present or future, what would it be?

I would love to go back and see the first Apollo mission to the moon take off from the Kennedy Space Centre in 1969.

Marketing & Communications Working Group - Jazmin Beale

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Jazmin Beale is the chair of the our Marketing & Communications Working Group. Eminently qualified for this role, Jazmin is the holder of a first class honors degree in marketing and has built her career within the events industry starting with Clarion, and now as Head of Marketing and Communications at Olympia London. Jazmin is also a winner of the Emprise Young Persons Award and was named as one of the industry’s 30 most influential people under 30 by EN magazine.
 

1. What brought you into the event industry?

While working at marketing agency DWC, I experienced my first ‘show campaign’ and was hooked.

2. Why did you get involved with the association working groups?

It's a unique chance to share best practice, which is important especially as our industry is actually quite specialist.

3. What do you think the best show, exhibition or conference was last year?

Gosh I loved BE:FIT - anything fitness or gym-related makes me very happy!

4. What will be the next big change in venues?

Top Secret. But you'll find out soon enough...

5. What piece of event tech is going to be indispensable in the future?

Smart wristbands. I think what Disney are doing with their MagicBand is incredible.

6. What's your favourite quote, saying or motto?

“Do, or do not do. There is no try" – Yoda

7. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

To enjoy work. I'm so lucky to be part of the Olympia London family, feeling like I am contributing to something amazing is very rewarding.

8. What film, book or TV series have you been recommending to others recently?

I'd much rather spend my time eating delicious food: so my restaurant recommendation would be Barrafina or Bocca Di Lupo.

9. If you could attend any event, in the past, present or future, what would it be?

I would have loved to attend the Adele concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Event Managers Working Group - Michelle Baldwin

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After graduating with a BSc.(Hons) in Product Management, Michelle joined Barclaycard Arena as a catering coordinator, before being offered a role as an event manager at NEC where she built her considerable expertise managing renowned shows including Spring Fair, BBC Gardeners’ World, The Motorcycle Show and MODA.

Michelle became a senior event manager in 2012, one of three running the NEC’s event management department, and since then her passion for the event industry has led to her heading up Team NEC’s education stream, working with schools and universities to nurture future talent within the industry and chairing the AEV Event Managers Working Group.
 

1. What brought you into the event industry?

I started working at the ICC at the age of 17, and I truly thought that Event Management was glamorous. After building up work experience in Event Management I decided it really was what I wanted to pursue, even after I discovered it wasn’t all heels and clipboards, so much as high viz and steel toe caps!

2. Why did you get involved with the association working groups?

I am deeply passionate about the Events Industry, the excitement, the variety and the amazing people who work within it. It’s great to be part of a working group of like-minded professionals that can help mould the industry and reflect on common issues and it’s the best way to share insight within our specialisms, so we all benefit.

3. What do you think the best show, exhibition or conference was last year?

Difficult question! I think there are many shows that really stand out. This year I have helped plan Commercial Vehicle, Autosport, Moda, BBC Gardener’s World and Summer Good Food to name a few. Gardeners was great as we had the weather and it was such a feel good show but I have to say I was excited by the Vapeshow and what the Organisers have achieved and the quality of stand build was excellent.

4. What will be the next big change in venues?

I think with the recent tragedies, especially in Manchester, I think we will see security levels increase. I would imagine that they are here to stay. Experiential offers and the visitor experience are a drive within the Industry so I believe there will be a much greater element of creativity coming back into stand design, and I think that there will be more broadly interactive events, as the future unfurls.

5. What's your favourite quote, saying or motto?

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi.

6. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

“Be careful what you wish for!”

7. Which historical event would you most like to host at your venue?

Live Aid would have been amazing, I remember watching it as a child and thinking "Wow!" - This event was watched by millions and millions, and unquestionably changed the world.
 
8. What film, book or TV series have you been recommending to others recently?

Versailles has been a great watch lately but if I am honest it seems to be all about “Love Island” at the moment (my guilty pleasure).

9. What music are you listening to at the moment?

My last music purchase was Rag N Bone Man’s debut album “Human” and it makes excellent listening.

10. If you could attend any event, in the past, present or future, what would it be?

Anything with David Bowie! He was a true musical hero I regrettably never saw live. I would love to be transported back in time to the early 80’s, or even to Live Aid, to see him perform.

 

eGuide Working Group -  Siân Richards

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Siân Richards began her career in the events industry as an exhibition organiser in 1987, and after building her event expertise through roles with P&O Events and SECC, she joined Olympia London in 1996 as a senior event manager.

Siân’s keen eye for detail and talent for project management led to her being offered the role of customer services manager at the venue in 1997, taking responsibility for designing and implementing systems and procedures, client entertainment, customer communication and staff training and development.

In 2015 Siân took on the role of business services and sustainability manager within the Venue Management team at Olympia London, where she now leads the organisation's sustainability development and compliance with ISO 20121 as well as developing user-friendly departmental systems and procedures and managing the department’s administration and reception team. A strong proponent of the AEV working groups, Siân also sits on the Sustainability Working Group and chairs the AEV eGuide Working Group.
 

1. What brought you into the event industry?

Cheese did! My first job after graduating involved organising a stand at the International Food and Drink Event at Olympia London. Looking around at Olympia Grand from my stand, I thought it would be great to organise a whole event and approached the organiser for advice. He pointed me in the right direction and I landed my first event industry job as an exhibition organiser with Philbeach Events.
 
2. Why did you get involved with the association working groups?

I believe the working groups offer an invaluable opportunity for industry professionals to exchange ideas and learn from each other. By collaborating in this way, I hope that we are able to improve the experience of all of our customers and make strides in innovation in our industry.

3. What do you think the best show, exhibition or conference was last year?

It’s almost impossible to pick out one event, but I always enjoy Spirit of Christmas. The show is well-designed and the exhibits are good quality; I can never resist a bit of ‘retail’ when Spirit is on site.

4. What will be the next big change in venues?

I believe that venues have to be even more focused on sustainability in the future.
 
5. What piece of event tech is going to be indispensable in the future?

I don’t believe the use of smartphones has yet realised its full potential.

6. What's your favourite quote, saying or motto?

‘Treat others as you would wish them to treat you’.

7. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Don’t get stressed about things you can’t control.

8. Which historical event would you most like to host at your venue?


The exhibition of Monet’s ‘Waterlillies’.
 
9. What film, book or TV series have you been recommending to others recently?

‘Broken’ with Sean Bean on TV is brilliant.

10. What music are you listening to at the moment?

I listen to a wide variety of music, from classical to heavy rock. Coldplay and Muse are my gym companions.

11. If you could attend any event, in the past, present or future, what would it be?

The first Shakespeare performance at The Globe theatre.

Electrics/Technical Cross Association Working Group - Chris Morrison

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Having completed his degree in Electrical Engineering, Chris is a registered Chartered Electrical and Building Services engineer. He has been with Earls Court & Olympia for over 20 years, and attained his current position as facilities director after serving in a number of senior engineering posts within the organisation. His previous roles outside the events industry include seven years with British Aerospace as an Electrical Engineering Manager on an eight hundred acre aircraft build site. Prior to this, Chris also gained experience in a number of other industries including textiles, nuclear energy, and steel in his capacity as an engineer.

Chris’ responsibilities at Olympia London include all technical, engineering, venue maintenance and facilities management elements of the business. He also has responsibility for all capital investment projects. In 2014 Chris was responsible for overseeing the closure and safe decommissioning of Earls Court which involved close interface with the deconstruction project team.

Chris is one of the most experienced engineering professionals in the UK venues industry, and heads up the industry association technical working group.

His personal interests include golf, classic cars, cinema and fine dining. He adds that most of his time is taken up with his children (although he considers this as more of a paternal hazard).
 

1. What brought you into the event industry?

Pure good fortune and a recruitment agent working his socks off! On my first day the venue director said "welcome to show business" (slightly tongue in cheek). I knew then I was in the right place.
 
2. Why did you get involved with the association working groups?

I was handed the baton of the EC&O rep from an old doyen of the exhibition contracting world, Les Overs, more than 20 years ago and I have been involved ever since.
 
3. What do you think the best show, exhibition or conference was last year?

The return of the Bookfair to its "ancestral" home, although my first visit to the Goodwood Revival runs a close second.
 
4. What will be the next big change in venues?

How we integrate joined up technology solutions into the experience for our clients, exhibitors and visitors.

5. What piece of event tech is going to be indispensable in the future?

The type of mobile information that is available to improve the overall experience of both exhibiting and attending.
 
6. What's your favourite quote, saying or motto?

Evolution rather than revolution, although sometimes you need a mini-revolution to take you to new level.

7. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

"Yes you should accept the job working for EC&O, it would be a great move!" Still here 24 years later! Also my Mother always said "Be true to yourself" and that's a pretty good code for life.

8. Which historical event would you most like to host at your venue?

The Ben Hur chariot race. It must have been the closest thing to a modern day Formula 1 Grand Prix race. We might have to scale it down a little though!
 
9. What film, book or TV series have you been recommending to others recently?

I always recommend the Shawshank Redemption, it’s a timeless story with superb acting.

10.What music are you listening to at the moment?

The latest Foo Fighters album Sonic Highways.

11. If you could attend any event, in the past, present or future, what would it be?

The 1966 world cup final, or see the cars of the future at the 2080 Geneva Motor Show (that is if I can still drive at 120!!)

 

Testimonials

  • “Through the AEV, and the working groups in particular, members can share best practice and formulate consistent responses to emerging challenges”
    Andy Coulson – Head of Airshow Operations, Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre
  • "“Great catering...is essential for a successful venue. The AEV provides a platform to establish consistent best practice in this field"
    Phil Wetz – Retail & Catering Manager, ExCeL London
  • “The AEV provides collective representation for its member venues, turning individual commitment into a group effort"
    Paul Brough – Venue Health & Safety Manager, Olympia London
  • “The AEV provides vital conduits for knowledge transfer and awareness amongst its member venues”
    Murray Dickson – Head of Business Engagement, Group IT, The NEC
  • “The AEV is essential to the venue sector’s ability to cooperate and collaborate"
    Jazmin Beale – Head of Marketing & Communications, Olympia London
  • "AEV is a powerful voice behind the venues that hold incredible events that enable the meetings of millions of people - an integral part of the experience economy"
    Julia Galbraith – Marketing Manager – Exhibitions, ExCeL London