60 seconds with the chair - Chris Morrison - Electrics Technical Committee


60 seconds with the chair - Chris Morrison - Electrics Technical Committee

14 Oct 2016

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 yrs 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 !! )



  • "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