Message from the AEV Chair


Message from the AEV Chair

09 Apr 2020

I hope you are all well and safe and in good physical and mental health as we adjust to the restrictions placed upon us.

It is an understatement to label the current time as challenging. We are facing difficult decisions almost daily and it will be months, if not years before we fully understand the global impact.

Closer to home and the importance of live events. COVID-19 has demanded we keep our distance from each other. The banning of mass gatherings and terms like isolation are the very antithesis of live events motivation. The cultural, intellectual, economic and spiritual uplift that occurs when people converge. We don’t just need it, we want it and this is why we’ll play a vital role in helping the wider economy rebuild.

We understand the role and value of venues, all sizes and types, not just as homes to great events. I have been inspired by the response across the world to this pandemic. Those that have been asked to become temporary medical facilities, transformed in days by an army of suppliers and contractors that have applied their well-honed skills to achieve the incredible.

I have been proud of the AEV, a small team but working hard to support members. We have aligned with our colleagues from the AEO and ESSA to lobby, research, interpret and share government communications and vital business support measures. Sharing insight and creating new formats for members to interact. To learn from others, or simply the reassurance that our own experiences, however uncomfortable, are common to all. A very clear reminder that “we are in this together”.

And to you, our members, who have shared your own experiences and insight so that others can benefit. This is the true value of association.

We have a challenging path to travel but you do so with the AEV, your fellow members and the broader EIA community to help you navigate.

With best wishes.

Dan Thurlow,

dan thurlow

Director of Exhibition Sales

Scottish Event Campus (SEC)



  • "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