60 Seconds with the Chair - Trevor Foley - Event Industry HR Group


60 Seconds with the Chair - Trevor Foley - Event Industry HR Group

06 Sep 2017

Built upon Trevor Foley's extensive network and long-standing relationships across the global events industry, tfconnect is a strategic partner for organisers, venues and suppliers.
Trevor is a mine of invaluable information with an address book that spans the globe. Since 2008, tfconnect has been committed to helping events businesses of all shapes and sizes achieve their goals and rise to the challenges of an ever-changing, global industry.
Trevor has over 20 years experience in exhibitions and conferences, as Group Chief Executive of the Association of Event Organisers (AEO), the Association of Exhibition Venues (AEV) and the Association of Exhibition Contractors (AEC) between 2006-08 and with a track record of launching and growing great events. This includes 10 years of developing and running events for event organisers - a tough crowd to please!

1. What brought you into the event industry?
My first contact with the events industry was actually developing exhibition attendance audit scheme in the mid-90s. I later became the Managing Director of the AEO in 1998 and have had many enduring relationships in the industry since.

2. Why did you get involved with the association working groups?
tfconnect was running its own quarterly group for events HR Directors, providing a really important platform for sharing and learning. By combining what we’ve already built with the AEV working groups – we’re creating something that’s stronger and more inclusive.

3. What do you think the best show, exhibition or conference was last year?
It’d be remiss not to talk about our sister company, f2f events, who had a fantastic year in 2016 as their co-located niche foodie exhibitions go from strength to strength - The Allergy and Free From Show, Just V and Love Natural Love You were all brilliant.

4. What piece of event tech is going to be indispensable in the future?
I’m backing robust digital research platforms to be indispensable to exhibition organisers.

5. What's your favourite quote, saying or motto?
For those who believe, no explanation is necessary
For those who don’t, no explanation is possible

6. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Don’t be Mr 85% (be 100%)

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

Leisure book: Bill Bryson, The Road to Little Dribbling.
Business book: Simon Burton at Exposure Communications has pulled together a highly compelling Events Professional’s Handbook from different industry thought-leaders. It’s a good read!

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

Electronic: Brandt Brauer Frick
Jazz: Bugge Wesseloft
Alternative: The Comet is Coming

9. If you could attend any event, in the past, present or future, what would it be?
Though not a fan of the films, I’m looking forward to seeing what Brand Events do with The Fast and The Furious.




  • "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