Our 2018 AEV Conference boasts an increase in delegate numbers


Our 2018 AEV Conference boasts an increase in delegate numbers

09 Jul 2018 by: AEV Team

We are delighted to report that on June 28, 2018, at ExCeL London, we enjoyed a 62% increase in the number of delegates attending our annual conference, with 71% of all member venues represented. 2018 also saw an increase in conference partnerships, bringing greater digital interactivity and improved face-to-face networking at the event.

The conference was opened and closed by AEV Chair, Jeremy Rees, and delegates enjoyed three presentations from experts looking at the future of events from different perspectives. Speakers included the noted futurologist Keith Coats, who gave the keynote address on the subject of leadership in a rapidly changing business environment. Coats gifted delegates a download of the first chapter from his book "Leading in a Changing World." Coats' keynote was received with great enthusiasm, and the applause continued on social media throughout the day.

Head of technology at Tottenham Hotspur, Sanjeev Katwa, and Adele Burns, entertainment team head at the7stars media agency also gave illuminating and well-received presentations from their sector perspectives of building a venue for the future and the changing consumer space respectively.

The conference included two panel sessions that generated a great deal of discussion and questions. The technology panel looked at how tech is going to affect events of the future, using a Glisser poll to ask the audience's opinion. The audience's predictions were clear, that event tech will deliver improved customer experiences during the next decade with AR and VR providing the greatest opportunity and threat to the industry. The events and environments panel focused on the pressing issue of plastic waste, and how the industry might best address ways of cutting down on the use of plastics through replacement, reuse and recycling.

Conference partners Glisser and Poken brought the conference bang up-to-date with digital interactive features, whilst Third Space installed their eye-catching and secluded meeting pods for use by delegates during the networking sessions. Levy UK catered the event delivering a sumptuous Middle Eastern menu that met with universal acclaim. At the end of the event, all delegates were presented with an AEV sustainable bamboo travel mug.

Summing up the conference, Rachel Parker, AEV director, said, "Once again, the AEV conference has grown in size and stature, and we're listening carefully to delegate feedback in order to build on our successes. This year saw us adopt the theme of 'Tomorrow's World' and we were treated to thought-provoking presentations and panel sessions exploring this subject from many different perspectives. I'm grateful to our sponsors, Freeman and Ungerboeck, partners, speakers and panellists, and of course to our delegates for making this conference a success."

Thank you to everyone who took the time out to share the day with us. It was fantastic to see a range of members from prospect to new, domestic and international. Thank you to the AEO and ESSA members who also supported the event by attending.

Looking forward to seeing you at 2019's conference..wherever that may be!





Crowded house



  • "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