Report: AEV Catering Working Group, November 30 2016


Report: AEV Catering Working Group, November 30 2016

05 Jan 2017

The AEV Catering Working Group assembled for its final meeting of 2016 at Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre, on Wednesday November 30th, with Phil Wetz of ExCeL London in the chair.

Wetz opened the meeting by welcoming the members, including new member Abbey Short from Olympia London and thanked Sarah Jones of Farnborough for hosting the meeting. After hearing the apologies, and approving the minutes of the last meeting, the group then began to discuss the agenda topics.

The first item on the agenda was a review of the draft paper promoting the Catering Working Group. The group was very positive about the paper, and agreed that it was ready to be distributed with a few minor amendments.

The chair then polled the group on future guests to the group and discussed the possibility of inviting venue caterers to attend meetings. After a detailed discussion, the group agreed that attendees to this group should be representing the venue, not the catering company.

After a brief debate about the relative merits of the ESSA discount card 2017, the group moved on to discuss the creation of a register of credible Food Safety Officers, in light of the fact that none exists at the moment. New member Abbey Short commented that Olympia is moving in this direction and would share further developments with the group.

The group then moved on to clarifying a member venue enquiry about the venue approval point in the catering section of the eGuide, how best to advise organisers and exhibitors on planning catering provision for new event and exhibition spaces, and the issue of problematic food and beverage suppliers.

The next discussion topic was the recently created Catering Working Group LinkedIn presence, and how to promote and encourage engagement and activity.

The group then touched on the topic of the Sustainable Cities Fish pledge. Group members felt that there is a general expectation that fish is sustainably sourced anyhow, and that a pledge to underline this fact may be surplus to requirements. This led to a wider discussion of food waste, and the group resolved to consult the Sustainability Working Group for ideas in time for the next meeting.

With the main discussion topics covered, the group then moved on to a busy session of round table news and general venue updates. The group heard of developments at Farnborough, where the new venue is scheduled to open in Spring 2018, a fourth hotel at Telford International Centre, and major refurbishments and three new restaurants at the NEC.

The group then suggested several agenda items for the next meeting before suggesting two dates for the first meeting of 2017, and asking members to indicate their preference as soon as possible.

With no further business to discuss, the Chair thanked all members for their contributions and closed the meeting.



  • "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