60 seconds with the chair - Emma Chilton


60 seconds with the chair - Emma Chilton

07 Jan 2016

Emma Chilton joined ACC Liverpool in 2007 as an events administrator. She has held the post of event manager since 2010 and, working with a team, is responsible for the operational and logistical elements of key events held at the newly expanded venue.

Since beginning her career in the event industry with a scholarship to the attend the AIPC academy, Emma has been involved in several projects at The ACC Liverpool Group, including the opening of two new buildings at the venue (the Echo Arena and BT Convention Centre in 2008 and Exhibition Centre Liverpool in 2015).

The venue has been voted the Best UK conference centre for three years running and has helped deliver many prestigious events including the Labour and Liberal Democrat annual conferences and BBC Worldwide Showcase. The inaugural chair of the AEV Event Manager Working Group, Emma is well versed in every aspect of event management from crowd dynamics to contract negotiation and all points in between.

What brought you into the event industry?

I completed my first degree in Leisure and Tourism at Liverpool John Moores University, during which I completed a module and a work placement in Events Management. When I graduated, I worked on a short term contract for a small agency where I realised that this was the industry I wanted to be in. I studied a Masters degree in Events Management at Leeds Metropolitan University and, whilst completing my dissertation, started working at ACC Liverpool.

Why did you get involved with the association working groups?

I wanted to be involved with others who work in the same or similar roles within the events industry. There are times when a client will compare procedures and policies between venues and I thought this would be a good opportunity to share best practice and learn from others.

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

Definitely the launch event for our new venue, Exhibition Centre Liverpool, in September. It provided us with the opportunity to showcase the capabilities of the new building and of our staff and to highlight how event organisers can stage exhibitions, conferences, sporting events and concerts. Entertainment included Craig Charles DJ-ing on the back of a truck, gymnastic and acrobatic displays, a flash mob performed by staff and dining areas.

What will be the next big change in venues?

As technology is increasing at such as rapid pace, it will be vital for venues to explore products and services in order to continually enhance the event experience for delegates and organisers.

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

Event related mobile technology such as apps for voting – our production team devised its Bring Your Own Device system for interactive voting at the NHS Confederation conference.  Innovative interactive online platforms were used which enabled delegates to ask questions in real time.

What's your favourite quote, saying or motto?

Carpe Diem (seize the day)!

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

Face your fears head on whether in your personal life or at work I believe you should confront your fears and overcome them.

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

Since we are in Liverpool I think I’d have to say the last ever Beatles concert.

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

I’m a few years behind everyone else but I’ve just started watching ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Homeland’ and loving them both.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

A bit of everything; Adele, The Weekend, James Bay, and my colleagues who are constantly singing!!

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

I think it would have to be Live Aid – so many amazing artists in one line up.



  • "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