60 seconds with the chair - Andy Coulson - Security Working Group


60 seconds with the chair - Andy Coulson - Security Working Group

15 Dec 2015

Andy joined the construction industry straight out of school and enjoyed a 21 year career working on projects ranging from hotels to hospitals to office blocks. After running a residential property development business for ten years, Andy was ready to take on a new challenge and joined Farnborough as site manager in 1992.

Now head of airshow operations, Andy's experience managing the emergency services, traffic planning, security and contractors at one of the world's most prominent airshows makes him a perfect fit as chair of the AEV Security Working Group.

What brought you into the event industry?

Chance. I was working in construction and property and was looking for something different. A friend of mine suggested the site manager position at Farnborough. Twenty three years later, I'm still here!

Why did you get involved with the association working groups?

As a company we think it's important to be involved, and feel we've got a lot to offer. Our Ops Director is on the board and there's three of us involved in Working Groups.

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

Farnborough Airshow. Maybe the most obvious answer, but it's unique and exciting and I think that's exactly what an event should be.

What will be the next big change in venues?

I think the flexibility of venues is becoming increasingly important. Farnborough international ltd. is currently undergoing a £30 million venue extension which will see it be able to cater for a wider variety of events, and maximise its potential as an event venue.

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

Visitor tracking. From an organiser point of view, being able to see where your visitors are, and where they're going, is invaluable.

What's your favourite quote, saying or motto?

“The business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” - Henry Ford

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

Something that I've always stood by, and something that I give as advice myself is: “Never ask or tell anyone to do something you wouldn't be prepared to do yourself.”

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

I think the most apt historical event Farnborough could host is one it's already hosted; The first flight ever to take off from British soil took off from Farnborough!

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

The Day of the Jackal by Fredrick Forysthe. The film is not bad, the book is excellent.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

The most recent album I bought was Dave Gilmore's, but I have a varied taste so I'm happy listening to anything from Adele to The Stereophonics.

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

I would have loved to attend the London Olympics in 2012 but unfortunately didn't make it.



  • "Great day hosting our first AEV working group event!..WOW did I learn a lot and some great insights into how other venues work and the challenges they are trying to overcome. If you are a venue looking to network with other like minded professionals I would recommend looking at joining the AEV".
    Danielle Worker
    Corporate Events Team Leader, Silverstone Circuits Ltd
  • "“Great 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
  • "Proud to be part of this Cross Association discussion. I am confident in our ability to improve and progress our working platform through conversation".
    Amir Vered
    Head of eForce and IT, Olympia London (Chair of Cross Association Technology WG)
  • “The AEV is essential to the venue sector’s ability to cooperate and collaborate"
    Jazmin Beale
    Head of Marketing & Communications, Olympia London
  • “The AEV undertakes crucial work on behalf of event venues up and down the country to ensure our voice is heard. They reinforce the important role our sector plays in delivering economic impact, increasing trade, providing jobs and driving the visitor economy.”
    Lucy Merritt
    Head of Marketing and Communications, ExCeL London
  • AEV Membership is a key part of our business strategy; it has and will continue to be a core elements of our plan to support knowledge sharing in the industry and to develop both our team and the venue.
    Kate Vandenburg
    Marketing Director - Business Design Centre
  • Our team at ACC Liverpool feel indebted to the substantial work that the AEV do for our amazing industry. As the pillar association for venues across the country it’s a real privilege for our teams to participate in many of the working groups, learning and contributing to new processes which helps drive our industry forward on a national scale.
    Colm Graham
    Senior Exhibition Account Manager, ACC Liverpool
  • We have benefited hugely from all of the insight, discussion, events and networking, but it has also meant that we have been able to give back to the industry by sharing our unique experiences and professional knowledge and allowing our employees to help lead and shape the Association from the inside.
    Mathew James
    Head of Brand, Telford International Centre
  • “The AEV has been an invaluable asset to us as a company and the wider industry, helping to lobby on the industries behalf, consolidating and distributing information and facilitating vital knowledge sharing.”
    Charlie Hodgson
    Managing Director at The Kia Oval