New chair and vice chair appointed to AEV Board.


New chair and vice chair appointed to AEV Board.

30 Sep 2015

The Association of Event Venues (AEV) has announced two key appointments to the AEV board, naming Graham Stephenson, COO of Business Design Centre as the new chair, and Jeremy Rees, executive director ExCeL London as the new vice chair.

Rachel Parker, AEV director, welcomed Stephenson and Rees to their new positions, “Both Graham and Jeremy have demonstrated their commitment to championing the needs and concerns of venues as vice-chair and board member respectively, and I'm looking forward to working with them in their new roles.”

Stephenson, a former chair and vice chair of the association, will be picking up the baton from Nigel Nathan, the outgoing chair of the AEV board and group managing director of Olympia, London. Rees will take over from Stephenson as vice chair.

Stephenson paid tribute to Nathan's work as chair saying, “Nigel has worked tirelessly for the association, building on its mission to provide leadership in the global event venue market. I'd like to thank Nigel for his sterling work over the last two years providing advice, leadership and direction to the association.”

Rees echoed Stephenson's comments, saying, “Nigel's tenure as chair has spanned an interesting time for the industry. His expert guidance and commitment to the association have been instrumental in defining how we have met the challenges and managed the changes that have affected our members. I am looking forward to working with Graham on his return to the chair, and ensuring the association continues going from strength to strength."

The board also welcomed new members, Andy Gibb, managing director of Ricoh Arena and Alison Griffin, sales & marketing director of The International Centre, Telford, and announced the re-election of board members Tim Banfield, commercial director at ACC Liverpool, Grahame Jones,  chief operating officer at FIVE (Farnborough International) and Simon Kent, director at Harrogate International Centre.



  • "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