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60 Seconds with the Chair - Michelle Baldwin - Event Managers Working Group

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60 Seconds with the Chair - Michelle Baldwin - Event Managers Working Group

22 Sep 2017

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. Its 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.

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Testimonials

  • "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 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
  • "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