New board members for AEV


New board members for AEV

23 Sep 2019 by: AEV Team

We are able to announce a number of changes to the composition of our board, following its AGM at the Business Design Centre on 11 September.

Kathryn James, managing director – conventions & exhibitions, NEC Group, stepped down after 12 years service as a board member, chair and treasurer. Re-elected to the board were Jeremy Rees, CEO ExCeL London; Nigel Nathan group managing director, Olympia London; Steve Sayer, vice-president and general manager, The O2;  and Michael Watton, venue director, Farnborough International. Rees was also elected to the post of Treasurer, replacing the outgoing James.

Chris Hartley

The board also welcomed two new members, Chris Hartley, managing director, NAEC Stoneleigh, and Ian Taylor, venue sales director – conventions & exhibitions, NEC Group.

Taylor responded to his appointment saying, “The AEV is a powerful voice, and I’m honoured to step forward and join the Board, so I can contribute to the further development of this great industry.” This was a view echoed by Hartley, who commented: “the AEV board, through the work of the association, plays a significant role in shaping the future of the event industry, so it’s an exciting privilege to be a part of it.”

Ian Taylor

Following the board meeting, AEV director Rachel Parker (pictured left) welcomed Taylor and Hartley to the board and thanked Kathryn James for her service to the association.

Parker said: “I would like to extend a warm welcome to Chris and Ian, who now join the board for the first time. I know that their wide experience and energy for the industry will be great assets for the association. I would also like to thank Kathryn James, on behalf of the whole association, for her long service as chair, treasurer and board member. Kathryn’s commitment to the industry, and to the association, is an example to us all.”

Dan Thurlow, AEV chair and director of exhibition sales, SEC, added: “Chris and Ian possess a huge amount of venue expertise at the highest level and we’re very fortunate to have them aboard. We will miss Kathryn’s detailed understanding of the event industry which has played a huge part in informing the association’s priorities and strategy. On behalf of the board, I would like to thank her for devoting so much of her time and energy to helping the AEV build a better, brighter future for the whole 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