AEV 2017 conference programme announced


AEV 2017 conference programme announced

02 Jun 2017

The Association of Event Venues (AEV) has announced its finalised programme for the AEV annual conference, 29 June at the Vox, Birmingham. The programme features speakers from both inside and outside the event industry, with a wide range of experience, who will be leading the conference through a series of presentations oriented around creating world class events and experiences. New for 2017 is the opportunity for delegates to attend an icebreaker event travelling back 67 million years to experience the greatest safari ever, ‘Dinosaurs in the wild’.

Delegates will then congregate for the conference the next morning with Kathryn James, NEC MD starting the proceedings with a welcome presentation.

The keynote address will come from Stuart Johnston of Ascential Events, who will encourage delegates to take an organiser’s perspective, followed by Paul May, Trivandi chairman, who will examine venues and events in an international context.

After a short coffee break, delegates will reconvene for the third session of the day, featuring James Mark, independent venue consultant, chairing a panel session that will examine how healthy food stimulates performance, how to mobilise high street catering to the events sector and the future directions of event catering.

After lunch, the fourth session will take the form of a technology panel, with Murray Dickson, head of business engagements, Group IT – NEC Group, and Manish Chandak, president and CEO of Ungerboeck Software International, contributing.

Craig Dunkerly, head of Midway attractions, Merlin Entertainments presents the fifth session on experience and customer service from the world of attractions. Paul Kehoe chief executive of Birmingham Airport will present the final session drawing on his experience to provide an overview of airport operations, with particular focus on customer service, leadership, commercialisation of the consumer and working in a highly regulated environment.

Kathryn James will return to the lectern at the end of the conference proceedings, and wrap up the day’s events before delegates will be invited to post-conference networking drinks.

Revealing the conference program, Jeremy Rees, chair of the AEV board and executive director, ExCeL London, expressed his enthusiasm for the breadth of expertise represented by the speakers at the conference, saying, “We’re delighted to welcome so many leading exponents of world class events from such different disciplines and backgrounds, and I'm confident that our delegates will find their experience and insight compelling and relevant."

Venue professionals, and event venue teams in particular, are invited to register to attend the AEV Conference via the conference website



  • "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