Blog: Innovation Through Collaboration


Blog: Innovation Through Collaboration

16 Sep 2019 by: Kate Simpson - Marketing Director. Business Design Centre

 FOM busy

With a fiercely competitive industry that is constantly demanding the next best thing, the most engaging experience, increased sponsorship and footfall amongst other things, how do events industry marketers really keep up with it all.

It may seem peculiar to think that developing close relationships with your direct competitors in the industry and sharing best practice and ideas is beneficial for long term growth, but that is exactly the case with event venues. Both national and international venues can become members of the Association of Event Venues (AEV) with a range of key topics open for discussion, from Health and Safety, Sustainability and Marketing, to Technology and HR. Many groups also welcome cross-association participation from customers and suppliers in the form of Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) members.

The value of a membership organisation such as the AEV is integral to the development of the industry. This association in particular offers a model that allows us to build on that which we do on a day to day basis as event venues, and share key knowledge. With its own established conference for venues to attend there is so much opportunity to push the boundaries in the ways in which we operate and thrive. There are many streams at the Festival of Marketing that we discuss on a venue level, as it and more applies to the way we reach our own audiences and continue to improve our own brands and strategies.

The format creates more than several opportunities a year for the groups to come together for scheduled meetings at each other’s spaces. The Marketing and Communications Group not only brings together key leaders from around the country to debate the latest marcomms initiatives being applied in venues and the challenges we face as a community, but often invites key suppliers to talk on range of products, innovations and solutions.

Collaboration at this level has allowed the benchmarking of marketing activities to be undertaken in an open manner, with all sizes of venues benefitting from each other. Valuable insight has previously been garnered from those trialling ibeacon technology, looking into whether the application offers a solution for events, as well as from how comms can be personalised from first arrival at the venue through effective connectivity. Focusing internally, a subcommittee have developed a structure for venue teams to measure their own metrics against wider standards when looking at ways to promote their own offering, which will bring a level of value and knowledge not before seen in the venue marketing community.

Across the marcomms group you can find teams with a maybe one or two marketing professionals running their external comms, up to a large scale team offering both internal comms and a wider event marketing offering. This cross section produces some of the most innovative responses to brand promotion; from feature length film launches to passionate customer experience innovations. The arrival of the GDPR deadline last year proved the group to be a great support network in knowledge sharing with the full spectrum of owners and processors managing various levels of data, with open and honest discussions around top tips to takeaway.

The association itself brings education to the group, scheduling meetings alongside industry events and by inviting speakers to the table. As a venue and a brand, the value we get from our participation with them is priceless and this year for the first time it’s partnership with the Festival of Marketing will allow members to come together, applying learnings from the event directly back to the places we call home.


Don't forget AEV members can gain benefit from a £400 discount for a Festival pass.

Please contact Alden or Dani via for further info and your code.




  • "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