AEV announces 2021 conference date, venue and keynote address


AEV announces 2021 conference date, venue and keynote address

30 Sep 2021 by: AEV Team

Today we are happy to announce that we will be holding our annual conference at the Business Design Centre (BDC), London, on Friday, November 26, 2021, with the theme ‘Disruption: the new norm.’

Max Bull, executive director of venue sales, BDC and chair of the AEV board, will welcome delegates to a full conference programme which will include the keynote address by Chris Paton, MD Quirk Solutions.

Paton will open the conference exploring the unchartered territory of disruption. The perfect guide given his incredible experience; a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Marines and advisor to the Cabinet and National Security Council on the Afghan strategy, is an expert in planning in fluid situations, strategy, planning, change management, and how to implement change effectively.

A raft of professionals will take part in panel sessions discussing sustainability — the race to net zero and recruiting and retaining talent in a post-pandemic world. Solo sessions will dive deeper into the forthcoming Commonwealth Games and an update surrounding Protect Duty.

Rachel Parker, AEV director, explained the importance of AEV’s 2021 conference, saying, “The last 18 months have sorely tested venues, and we need to find different ways of operating in an evolving environment. Our conference aims to equip delegates with the knowledge and inspiration to not only deal with disruption and uncertainty but to embrace it as part of their strategy. As our first full conference since July 2019, this year will also be an opportunity for all our members to meet each other in person again, something I know many are looking forward to.”

To view the full programme and register your attendance visit



  • "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