Alden Arnold, Projects Manager of the Association of Event Venues (AEV), discusses the recent changes in leadership of its working groups and the future goals of the organisation.
The Association of Event Venues (AEV) has recently announced several new Chairs and Vice-Chairs of its working groups, with the Event Managers, Marcomms, Finance, and Diversity & Inclusion working groups all gaining new Chairs and Vice-Chairs. The working groups see a change in leadership every two years, a cycle which has just begun again. Alden Arnold, Projects Manager of the AEV, explains what the new blood means for the association.
How were the new Chairs/ Vice-Chairs of the working groups chosen?
The Chair position usually runs for 12 to 24 months depending on the commitments of the individual and the needs of the group. The Vice-Chair steps up into that position when the time comes. Members from the working group will then be invited to put themselves forward for Vice-Chair election.
What do the working groups do within the AEV?
By bringing together the best specialists in an area, our 14 working groups examine key issues, make valuable connections, share best practice, and suggest improved approaches to build and enhance their specialist areas for the benefit of the whole industry.
Through regular meetings, they examine key issues, make valuable connections, share best practices, and suggest practical approaches to develop and improve their specialist disciplines.
As well as running our own venue-specific working groups, we also facilitate cross- association working groups with AEO and ESSA members. These combined groups draw from the broader range of talent and expertise across all areas of the event industry.
What does the new leadership signify for the AEV?
Refreshing the group leadership every two years allows for renewed objective setting and strategy. The two years allow enough time for projects to be embedded and leave a legacy for the new Chair to pick up and mould into the next set of objectives for the new period.
What is the direction for AEV and how does the new working group leadership tie into that?
The working groups will feed into the relevant areas of AEV’s 2022 priorities. We aim to continue to respond to the government on current issues, ensuring we maintain the open status of the sector as well as continue to support our members through the current crisis within the industry. The groups with also decide on their objectives for 2022. Our association will be focusing on sustainability, focusing on the retention and recruitment of workforce, diversity and inclusion, and developing a deeper relationship with government to ensure further recognition and engagement post-pandemic.
The working group outputs allow us to keep an ear to the ground and the valuable information sharing enables us to identify challenges which are better addressed as a collective, and lobby government when necessary.
How will you achieve these future goals?
We will maintain the momentum and interaction AEV experienced in 2020/21, where we enjoyed over 4 years’ worth of meetings in one year. The working group Chair and Vices have given each group a clear focus to drive thinking and conversations in order to meet their individual group objectives which then feed into the overall 2022 priorities for AEV.
Pamela Newbould, Senior Event Manager, East of England Arena and Events Centre (Event Managers Group Chair): “I look forward to supporting my fellow event managers in my position as Chair, especially in these changing times. I have had to learn and adapt through the last year, experiencing many of the challenges that face our industry first-hand. I have always found the sharing of knowledge to be vital to success. I hope over the coming year to help to find ways to arm our current event managers for the reopen as well as continuing the work with education bodies to encourage the next generation.”
Kate Simpson, Marketing and Communication Director, The Business Design Centre (Marketing and Communication Group Chair): “One of the best things about the working groups is the ability to share knowledge in an open forum and I am certain we all welcome the opportunity to meet again in-person, but the collective experience we’ve had over the past year is one that will stay with us.”
Lucy Merritt, Head of Marketing and Communications, ExCeL London (Marketing and Communication Vice Chair): “Never has there been a more important time to stay connected and engaged with colleagues in the industry. The AEV working groups provide the perfect forum to share our experiences, information, and knowledge and to support each other through this challenging time.”