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AEV

Nigel Nathan - AEV Chair Group MD EC&O Venues

This is my second term as AEV Chairman and over the past decade since its inception and my involvement, I am continually inspired having witnessed the levels at which member venues continue to embrace the need to engage with each other. Ahead of my appointment and in the few months since taking over as chair, I have spent

REVIEW .13

much time formulating some key objectives that I hope will drive even more activity during my tenure. To help me with these endeavours we held AEV’s first strategy session just prior to the AGM in September which reflected the Board's views that the AEV is an organisation that helps its members provide leadership in the global event community. To ensure we achieve this, we will continue to focus on the value delivered by the working groups by identifying gaps and opportunities for new groups and disciplines. We will also review the format and style of existing working groups to ensure that they deliver maximum value for the attendees and their owner businesses. In addition, creating insightful research will be pivotal and remains a long standing objective across the associations. With that in mind we will be exploring what we can provide for our mem-

bers and the market at large to we have a voice. add even greater validation to the work we do. We have an established association in the AEV, and going Staying on the subject of work- forward we want to ensure that ing groups. In 2013 we took all activities undertaken are the total number of groups to 9, driven by the needs of our they met more often, had in- members. I look forward to becreased attendance from more ing able to update you on our venues, and their outputs grew. successes as they occur over This appetite for the groups to the next two years. achieve more is reflected in what will be AEV’s 10th working Finally, I’d like to thank you all group - for Event Managers - for your support. With special that will meet for the first time thanks to the Chairs and memin 2014. I look forward to mon- bers of the various working groups, the AEV Board and AEV itoring their progress. secretariat who perform a sterI will be combining my Chair- ling job behind the scenes on manship of AEV with that of our behalf. I am very much chair of the Events Industry looking forward to the next 12 Alliance and in this role I look months and seeing continued forward to supporting the secre- growth, engagement, collaboratariat to help ensure that we tion and representation. continue to work on common goals and challenges. Where possible we'll aim to collaborate Seasons best wishes, with other trade associations as well as government bodies to guarantee that, as an industry, Nigel.


We may not have had the buzz of the Olympics or the celebration of the Jubilee carrying the nations spirit on what seemed an endless high last year, but what we have seen on the back of 2012 is a year that brought renewed optimism, renewed outlooks and a definite bounce returning to the step of the industry as a whole. Glimmers of growth and recovery made appearances from time to time across a variety of sectors which As 2013 draws to a close I’d is a relief to see, let's hope these like to pass on my thanks to fragile indicators continue. the AEV Board, members and representatives on the ‘Reinvigorated’ has been much various working groups for the buzz word amongst those I your incredible support for have met as we stand and take AEV over the course of the in what appears to be a different year. event landscape than the one

AEV AGM+ 2013 Members of the Association of Event Venues (AEV) came together on 11 September for the 2013 AGM at Harrogate International Centre's Queen's Suite. Nigel Nathan, MD of Earls Court and Olympia London was appointed chair of the Association of Event Venues, succeeding Kathryn James, MD of The NEC. In his acceptance speech, Nathan expressed his thanks to James, who spent two years at the helm, and also thanked his fellow board members and secretariat for handing over the reins of the association. He added that he would seek to build on the association's mission to provide leadership in the global event venue market, promoting world class standards from AEV member venues.

Representatives from more than a quarter of the total association membership, and more than a third of UK members, attended the AGM. The meeting also saw the election of new board member Emma Dagnes of Alexandra Palace and the appointing of co-opted members - Tom Gray of The Southwater Event Group, Dirk Pittaway of Manchester Central and, by rotation, the re-election of Kevin Murphy of Excel,

that lay in front of us 5 years ago. As an association we have once again reflected the change in this landscape and had a record breaking year with regard to member activity and engagement. It is this energy and enthusiasm for collaboration and a collective approach from our members to achieving our goals and aims that sets us aside as an association that is going from strength to strength.

special chemistry that exists amongst participants of every group. This culture of sharing information, best practice and knowledge is for me the cornerstone of what AEV represents.

My thanks also go to the team here for their dedication and attention to detail, delivering the intense meeting schedule and additional member services and With more working groups than communications is no simple ever, greater attendance at task and they do it with flair and these groups than ever, the de- personality. sire for these groups to meet more often, it is simply inspiring Thank you. stuff and I have enjoyed seeing first hand the outputs and the Chris Skeith AEV Director

Simon Kent of Harrogate Inter- and again there was strong national Centre and Graz Ka- attendance at the AGM. lenik of The Barbican. “We begin another year in a “This year's AGM was a clear strong position in terms of fidemonstration that the associ- nances, membership and our ation is delivering what the proposition as an association, members and Board have re- which together with some new quested,” said AEV director key focus areas identified in Chris Skeith. “We have been the strategy session are lookmoving events and meetings ing forward to moving the asaround our member venues, sociation onto another level in doubling both the number of the year ahead.” meetings and engagement,


which to counter claims from cles travelling to and from the some stakeholders that suggest venues by trading journeys. This is a feature of the system that will The group has begun and hopes we are as wasteful as ever. allow exhibitors and contractors to conclude work in 2014 on a promotional document that will The group also looked at Earls to promote that they have an document the way the exhibition Courts new time slot protocol for empty or partially empty vehicle part of the event industry has build and break periods, with de- on either their arrival or departure improved its sustainability per- signers Carbon Voyage explaining journey and “sell” space to coformance in the last ten years. the sustainability benefits of the contractors and exhibitors, effecThe document, aims to provide system including the opportunities tively journey sharing. The sysis being introduced the industry with evidence with for reducing the number of vehi- tem

voluntarily at first and is available in a format that other venues may want to consider adopting. The group was also represented on the All Party Parliamentary Group for Young Disabled People “Access to Live Music” and discussed the way volunteers are used by the events industry.

Security

success of the Connectivity group with a number of the venue attendees requesting a venues-only forum to share views and insight on connectivity as well as broader technologies.

Sustainability

The group has also stayed close to NACTSO, firstly through securi2013 has seen the group discuss ty adviser Lee Doddridge and then exhibitor and contractor passes, a direct representative from the the Facewatch scheme for sharing security services. details of thieves and other offenders, the new SIA regime and Catering the technology behind vehicle number plate recognition with the In light of the threat of new food AA’s specialist team providing a legislation dramatically affecting well-received presentation. the events industry, the group fully engaged with the Food The latter covered the organisa- Standards Agency for guidance. tion’s range of equipment specifically aimed at the event industry. For those not aware, these new Themes included the system’s laws will require detailed informaability to interact with overhead tion on ingredients and nutritional electronic traffic signage to fore- values to be available for plated warn drivers of critical travel / food at events, affecting catering arrival information and the oppor- concessions and what organisers tunities to simplify parking ar- and exhibitors will be allowed to rangements and collect revenue do, including food sampling from where it wasn’t previously practi- individual stands. The group will cal to do so. These operational be reviewing the eGuide in relabenefits added to the general se- tion to this as well as in respect to curity advantages of pre-register- current drives on managing E.coli. ing vehicles to control access.

Food sustainability was another hot topic, particularly, reducing food waste, with some members sharing how they currently tackle the issue. Other topics of discussion in 2013 were, how to give away food to homeless charities to wider venue adoption of ESSA’s discount card for contractors.

Away from commercial influences this group was able to have a wide discussion on the feasibility of a common policy / approach for managing rogue hotspots at Communications events. This is when an exhibitor sets up their own wi-fi independThe scoping and launching of the ently from the authorised offering. digital benchmarking survey was one of the first key projects to be Moving on from wi-fi, the group is undertaken by the group with determined to review and discuss results of the anonymous survey other areas of venue technology distributed to participating venues including the application of CCTV in the summer. The group will and fire systems amongst others, look to repeat this for 2013 which with guest speakers playing a key will give them their first set of role in these sessions. figures to benchmark previous years analysis. HR In the same vein the group undertook a survey of each others PR The group cover a whole host of activity with an internal vs agency venue HR issues during the year perspective and the ultimate aim but their key focus and output is of getting the most from your the annual salary survey. budget. The survey provides anonymous There have been many other top- benchmarking data for participatics of discussion, ranging from, ing venues to help manage, atcommunication of work complet- tract and retain the best in the ed by other groups, customer sat- industry whilst providing invaluaisfaction surveys, internal ble insight for future planning. communications, measuring comms and setting KPI’s, venue ad- The group agreed that for 2014, vertising, social media and WAY the results of the survey will only Finding. be distributed to those venues that submit their own data. If Technology you’d like to find out how your venue can get involved, please The Technology Working Group email claire@aev.org.uk. was formed on the back of the


Connectivity Wi-fi and connectivity have sparked some of the broadest “cross-association” discussions over the last 12-18 months with organisers, venues and exhibitorfacing suppliers all keen to unravel the technology and allay end

eGuide At a time when event health and safety is facing HSE enforcement, fee for intervention and the impending implementation of CDM construction industry law, the work of the eGuide committee has never been more crucial. Welcoming Alexandra Palace and Glow Bluewater as official adopters this year, the total number of venues using the eGuide as their sole set of tenancy rules rose to sixteen. The group has started to discuss how it will incorporate CDM into the eGuide from the 2014/15 enforcement date, generating both a well-received panel session at October’s AEO Ops Forum.

user frustrations and set realistic expectations. The group has finalised the new “Connectivity” section of the eGuide, creating a concise summary of the wi-fi topic that has been circulated across the industry. It has identified the role that rogue hotspots and legacy tech-

nologies play in limiting the effectiveness of wi-fi and has shared strategies for coping with these. It has looked at the greater limitations of 4G technology, including a carrier’s mandate for dropping the service in favour of voice coverage in high use locations, and discussed how

The group also discussed continuity of implementation across the industry which has in part led to the secretariats decision to produce structured H&S communication to the organising community through AEO from January.

and discussions on how broader health and safety changes in the industry could affect electrical contractors on-site. The group also expressed that it felt the industry has focused to such an extent on the electrical integrity of an events core electrical infrastructure that it now needed to look at what was happening “at the other end of the plug”. This would relate to the use of multi-way adaptors (used extensively as mains prices have increased) and to the electrical integrity of exhibits and other equipment.

Electrics The group acknowledged the production of a standalone electrics section of the eGuide, which included an FAQ on the new electrical testing regime and felt that this completed the committee’s original reason for forming. Beyond this initial remit, the group took on the analyses of testing forms consistency, viability of electronic testing forms, questions from other working groups

AEV Board

secretariat is tasked with maintaining a seat at the table on all industry discussions likely to affect its members. This year, AEV has represented the association on the BSI Small Business Forum, Business Visits and Events Partnership, the IOSH Sports Grounds and Events Group, the HSE working group on TDS/CDM, the Cross Party Parliamentary Group on Accessibility at Events, the Safety Advisory Group in Entertainment and the Events Industry Forum. In addition to the above, many of the working group members have represented AEV at a range of additional technical forums, Seat at the table conferences and industry events and have regularly fed detail on In addition to running the nine this back to the other members. AEV working groups the

Working Group Chairs

Nigel Nathan (Chair) Group Managing Director Earls Court & Olympia

Dirk Pittaway Operations Director Manchester Central

Sustainability - Emma Wellman - Earls Court & Olympia

Graham Stephenson (Vice Chair) Chief Operating Officer Business Design Centre

Tom Gray Chief Executive Officer International Centre, Telford

Catering - Philip Wetz - Excel London

Kevin Murphy (Treasurer) Chairman ExCeL London

Simon Kent Head of Operations HIC

Electrics - Chris Skeith - AEV Director

Kathryn James Managing Director The NEC

Grahame Jones Operations Director FIVE - (Farnborough Int. Ltd)

Connectivity - Chris Skeith - AEV Director

Rebecca Kane General Manager The O2

Tim Banfield Commercial Director ACC Liverpool

HR - Adam Chircop - Excel London

Emma Dagnes Commercial Director Alexandra Palace

Graz Kalenik General Manager Barbican Centre

it can communicate this to exhibitors and visitors who may otherwise be disappointed if they are intending to use it for critical applications. It has also undertaken venue to venue benchmarking so that venues can quickly assess their wi-fi offering with other venues’.

Security - Andrew Coulson - FIVE (Farnborough Int Ltd)

EGuide - Jonathan Smith - FIVE (Farnborough Int Ltd)

Technology - Murray Dickson - The NEC

Communications - Claire Kenton - Earls Court & Olympia

The working groups met 23 times in 2013 with a total of 227 attendees. With the creation of the new Event Managers Working Group, we will see these number surpassed in 2014.

Your AEV team Chris Skeith Director T: 01442 285 804 M:07767 693422 E: chris@aev.org.uk Andrew Harrison Account & Communications Manager T: 01442 285 816 M: 07522 745580 E: andrew@aev.org.uk Claire Monk Membership Executive T: 01442 285 816 E: claire@aev.org.uk Lee Holloway Technical Adviser T: 01442 285 805 E: lee@aev.org.uk


AEV annual review 2013