Marketing & Communications Working Group - 28 October 2015


Marketing & Communications Working Group - 28 October 2015

25 Jan 2016

The last meeting of the year for the Association of Event Venues Marketing & Comms Working Group took place at the ACC Liverpool on 28 October 2015. Paul Richardson, managing director of Vividink PR, acted as pro-tem chair in place of Jazmin Beale, the permanent chair, who sent her apologies.

The meeting began with thanks from the chair to ACC Liverpool for hosting the meeting, and a welcome to all new attendees. Round table introductions for the benefit of the new members followed the apologies and the group then went on to the formal business of the day by approving the minutes of the last meeting.

The chair then introduced the two guest speakers for the day, with James Bennett representing Vuelio, formerly Cision, and Michael Paradiso from Meltwater. Bennett and Paradiso outlined a number of media monitoring innovations that provoked considerable interest from members of the group. A brief discussion followed, and some members were able to recount their own varied experiences with media monitoring.

The group then moved to the next agenda item and discussed how they, individually, were measuring their PR and marketing activity. Some members reported that Advertising Value Equivalence (AVE) wasn't proving to be a useful measure of performance or value. Several members made the point that there was a certain familiarity with AVE at board level, having been the metric of choice for many years, that is mediating against adopting alternative measurements of PR and Marketing results.

The next topic for the group concerned corporate gifts, and there was a consensus around the table that whilst they were widely employed, there was little or no opportunity to measure any ROI. Some members revealed that they were actively investigating alternative models for corporate gifts that might be more measurable, or adopting a different approach altogether.

 The measurement of exhibitor feedback to venues was the next subject, and Richard Cotton of the Harrogate International Centre began the discussion by explain how the venue captures feedback in real time. The venue has contracted the services of a specialist company, whose personnel visit the exhibition in question, and use iPads with bespoke software to record and upload exhibitor feedback throughout the day. The live feedback, explained Cotton, means that the venue team is quickly alerted to any on-site issue. The group also heard that Manchester Central manages feedback using a similar method.

The next agenda item dealt with managing comments on social media. The group reported a variety of experiences, with some venues abrogating social media duties entirely to their PR and marketing teams. Others employed their customer service personnel in the event of complaints on social media, but handed over to PR and marketing if the situation escalated.

The round table news followed, and featured several notable announcements including the opening of the Exhibition Centre at ACC Liverpool and the opening of Resorts World at the NEC. Several opening dates were also announced, and the group heard that the AECC will open its new venue in 2018 and the new Intercontinental Hotel at the O2 will have opened at the time of writing.

The group then agreed some agenda items and dates for the next meeting. Two dates and venues were suggested for the meeting, Wednesday 2 March 2016, and Wednesday 6 July 2016 at International Confex, Olympia London and Ricoh Arena respectively. Two items were suggested for the agenda, some members were keen to invite a guest speaker to address the group on crisis communications, and the group also wanted to discuss the value of trade advertising.

Richardson brought the meeting to a close with thanks to the ACC Liverpool for hosting the group and providing and excellent lunch.




  • "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