13 Aug 2018 by: Alden Arnold


UK EVENTS INDUSTRY BOARD TALENT TASKFORCE LAUNCHES RESEARCH TO ASSESS HOW THE SECTOR ATTRACTS, DEVELOPS AND RETAINS ITS TALENT. The UK Events Industry Board Talent Taskforce has today launched a research programme that will assess how the sector attracts, develops and retains its talent. Link to the survey here.

In support of the Government’s Business Visits and Events strategy, the research will examine current skills, training and education and HR processes. It will provide recommendations to the Events Industry Board as to how a sustainable, competitive, highly-skilled workforce can be developed in a post-Brexit environment.

Michael Hirst OBE, Interim Chair of the Events Industry Board said: “I’m delighted that representative bodies from the entire events sector have enthusiastically come together to collaborate on this project, which is a key part of DCMS’s work in promoting the competitiveness of the sector. This gives everyone the chance to inform the strategy that will help ensure the continued pre-eminence of the UK Events industry.”

Sarah Wright, Chair of the EIB Talent Taskforce said: “We believe the UK leads the world - both as a destination and as a provider of event management services - but it’s essential that our industry recruits and keeps the best people if we are to remain competitive on a global scale. Our research will seek evidence on everything from skills gaps to industry HR processes.”

The package of qualitative and quantitative research will be undertaken in collaboration with UK events industry trade associations whose members represent the exhibitions sector, business and corporate, and major international events.

Wright added: “We’ll be collating data from existing research and gathering new evidence from across the industry. Our research will take the form of an online survey to be completed by employers by early September, together with a series of round-table discussions.”

Around 30 in-depth telephone interviews will also be conducted with industry leading employers to explore the potential implications of a UK Events Industry skills shortage and impact of Brexit on the sector.

The research will also include a study on global competitiveness of the Events Industry workforce and the critical interdependencies with other sectors such as tourism and hospitality, catering, venues and hotels, which are currently outside the scope of the in-depth employers’ survey.

Among the events industry trade associations to be participating in the information- gathering exercise are ESSA (Event Supplier and Services Association) and HBAA (the Hotel Booking Agents Association), both of which are part of the EIB Talent Taskforce. Also, EVCOM (the event and communication association) and all members of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP). Additional input on events-specific education and training will be provided by AEME – the Association of Events Management Educators, as well as leading consultants and education specialists.

The EIB Talent Taskforce itself is made up of experts and opinion leaders who reflect and represent the broad spectrum of the events industry. Members are from events agencies, associations, HR functions, recruitment companies, independent consultants, education, academia and events support services.

It is expected that the final report will be completed early in the New Year and will also include input from a broader range of bodies including the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), Visit Britain and the Tourism Industry Council.

You can take part in this important industry research via this link


Media contacts
EIB Talent Taskforce: Sarah Webster: T 020 8744 0612 E -
EIB General enquiries: Robert Wright: T +44 (0) 1892 619100 E –

About the EIB Talent Taskforce
In 2015 the UK Government launched its Business Visits and Events strategy – to help identify and drive new international business to Britain. The initiative led to the creation of an Events Industry Board, to work with government on fulfilling the commitments within the strategy. The EIB reports to the Minister of Tourism. Board Members include Michael Hirst, OBE; Mike Rusbridge, former Chairman of Reed Exhibitions; Tracy Halliwell MBE, Director of Tourism, Conventions & Major Events, London & Partners; Chris Skeith, Chief Executive of AEO, Jennifer Jenkins, Chief Executive of EVCOM, Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive UK Hospitality and independent consultants Sarah Wright and Simon Hughes together with representatives from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In March 2018 the EIB formed two working groups, of which one was the Skills, Talent and Human Resources Group – subsequently renamed the EIB Talent Taskforce. Its purpose is to look at current skills gaps and the future skills and resources required in a post-Brexit environment. The other working group is looking at Infrastructure, venue capacities and connectivity and is chaired by Chris Skeith, Chief Executive, UK Hospitality.

EIB Talent Taskforce members:

  • Chair: Sarah Wright, Director, Sarah Wright Consulting
  • Vice Chair: Andrew Harrison, Director, Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA)
  • Steven Blake, Director, Storm4Events
  • Trevor Foley, Managing Director, tfconnect
  • Paul Grecian, Chairman, Gallowglass Group
  • Dr Caroline Jackson, Dept of Events & Leisure, Faculty of Management, Bournemouth University; Chair, Association for Events Management Educators (AEME); Vice Chair, Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP)
  • Josef Jammerbund, Consultant, Producer and Lecturer
  • John Kelly - Sr. Manager, Marketing EMEA | BCD Meetings & Events
  • Suzanne Oliver, Owner, Moneypennies
  • Raj Pragji, HR Director, QEII Conference Centre
  • Juliet Price, Chair, Hotel Booking Agents Association


  • "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
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    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