16th September 2011

Kathryn James elected chair of the AEV at AGM

The Association of Event Venues (AEV) held its AGM yesterday at Farnborough International Venue and Events (FIVE), where Kathryn James of the NEC was elected Chair of the association for the next two years.


The Association of Event Venues (AEV) held its AGM yesterday at Farnborough International Venue and Events (FIVE), where Kathryn James of the NEC was elected Chair of the association for the next two years.

Kathryn James commented: “I am delighted to be taking over as Chair of the AEV from Graham whom I would like to thank for steering the association through some challenging times. The association has delivered against its targets in the past two years and I am looking forward to working with the AEV Board and all its members to build upon this success.”

Also elected to the board were Simon Kent of Harrogate International Centre and Archie Glendinning from Royal Highland Centre. Graz Kalenik from the Barbican Centre, Steve Brice from O2 and Kathryn James from the NEC were all re-elected to the board.

In his final role as Chair of the AEV Graham Stephenson presented a strong position for the association, at the end of his term as chair, to an assembly of 35 representatives of leading event venues. The back to basics direction from the board at the start of his tenure has given the association a strong financial position, a greater number of venues and individuals participating in double the number of its working groups, and greater visibility in the events community.

Following the formal presentations and business of the AGM there were presentations from the associations working groups. These began with Simon Garrett of X-Venture who presented progress and plans for the association's eGuide and the forthcoming rewrite. In future the eGuide will include greater participation as sections are managed by sub-groups in order to speed the integration of new legislation.

Chris Morrison from EC&O Venues Ltd reported from the cross association Technical Committee on the progress of the electrical testing regulations and its testing at a number of shows. Plans are in place for implementation in time for the Olympics, and should provide the industry with a standard procedure that is both robust and workable, as well as consistent across a number of venues.

Gary Masters of the NEC presented the latest developments within venue and event security, highlighting the association's strong position, critically important with impending changes to the Security Industry Association and its regulatory role.

HR Working Group announced the next round of the annual AEV Salary Survey and encouraged all venues to participate. It is designed to provide participating venues with salary and benefit benchmarks against roles with their organisations. The survey is only available to participating venues and currently is used by 50% of UK members.

The Sustainability Working Group progress was presented by Emma Wellman of EC&O Venues Ltd who outlined the sharing of common best practice between venues in order to advance the cause for more sustainable events. And, that each working group provides an opportunity to learn something new from her peers.

Calls were made for member venues to join three new working groups – from Lee Holloway for members to join a Catering Working Group, Andrew Harrison for participants in a Communications Working Group and finally from Chris Skeith to join a cross association Technical Committee to look at provision of WiFi for live events.

AEV Director Chris Skeith said: “The attendance was, as usual, exceptional. To have the leading people from the top venues participating in the AGM ensures that it is a successful event. The working groups and technical committee presentations provided clear evidence of the value for members of the association. If this needs any further qualification, members travelled considerable distances to attend the meeting, including two who had made the commitment to travel from Scotland to attend and their input was very much appreciated.”