New board appointments at the AEV


New board appointments at the AEV

30 Jun 2016

The Association of Event Venues (AEV) has announced that Graham Stephenson, chair of the board and chief operating officer at Business Design Centre (BDC), will be stepping down, with immediate effect. Jeremy Rees, executive director, ExCeL London and vice chair, will succeed him as chair, with board member and director of exhibition sales at SECC, Dan Thurlow, assuming the duties of vice chair.

Vacating the role, Graham Stephenson reflected on his time as chair, “It has been a very positive and eventful year for the AEV, and I am very proud of what the board and the association have achieved in that time, including the great success of the association's first conference. It is with the utmost confidence and some sadness that I am relinquishing the chair to Jeremy, and I know that his knowledge, experience, and commitment to championing the needs of the venues will serve the association well.”

Rees welcomed his new role as chair of the AEV board, saying, "Since being elected to the board in 2014, and to the position of vice-chair last year, I've worked with my colleagues on the board to ensure our member venues' needs are met by the association, through expanding the range of member benefits, developing the roles of the working groups and representing members at the regulatory and legislative level. As vice chair, I've worked very closely with Graham, particularly around the inaugural AEV conference and the success of that event is a testament to Graham's tenure. As I assume the chair, I would like to thank Graham for his sterling work at the helm of the board, and wish him every success in his new role."

Thurlow commented, “Having had the pleasure of working extensively with Jeremy as part of the AEV conference steering group, I'm looking forward to supporting him in the chair, and continuing our mission to deliver added value to our members and the wider events industry.”



  • "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