There was no stopping the buzz at the AEV conference last week, November 30, 2022, as delegates gathered at the Harrogate Convention Centre for the day’s proceedings following the popular icebreaker event at The Cold Bath Brewing Co. the evening before.
The day began at pace with a short rundown of the day’s schedule from conference ‘Emcee’ Samme Allen, followed by motivational speaker Marcus Child whose keynote address, ‘The Power of People’, fully captured the audience’s attention as he explained motivation, the science behind thoughts of success and achievement, and the importance of inspiration.
The morning session explored diversity, equality and inclusion, the political landscape for events and concluded with a wide-ranging ‘fireside chat’ between Kate Nicholls OBE, chief executive, UK Hospitality, and Shaun Hinds, chief executive, Manchester Central and AEV Chair.
The afternoon delivered a thought-provoking session on the future of venues from Ben Heath, Principal, Grimshaw. The sustainability panel followed, chaired by Anna Abdelnoor, CEO of isla, with three Net-Zero champions from member venues: Kate Vandenburg, Business Design Centre; Louise Day, Manchester Central; and Stephane Bazire, Silverstone Circuits.
Chris Holt MBE, chief executive of CHC Global – the AEV’s partner in risk management – gave a sobering assessment of the current environment of risk and how it is changing, with the venue perspective in mind. Finally, Max Fellows delivered the closing keynote address, showing why and how to make a success of personal branding.
AEV director, Rachel Parker, said, “My thanks go to Harrogate Convention Centre for making us all feel so welcome, our icebreaker sponsor Ungerboeck, and the supporters of our conference who make it all possible, CHC Global, nQ Legal, ASP, EventWell, CVent, the Barista, Perton Signs and Jonas Event Technology.”
Parker continued, “The power of people was evident in the room today, and I hope that every delegate and member venue will have found something to inspire them, to take back to their workplace and in their own personal development.”
There were several students among the delegates, including Lydia Shires, International Events Management student at The University of Huddersfield, who commented, “It was fascinating to hear from industry experts about sustainability and diversity within events. Additionally, I loved listening to Marcus Child and his motivational speech and also the tips on building a personal brand from Max Fellows. I am now feeling even more motivated to graduate from university and continue working towards my career goals”
Other delegates found the conference and icebreaker equally compelling, including Laurie Perfect, ExCeL London, who posted, “To be around so many experienced people with the same passion towards their work as me, was so inspiring. I look forward to attending the next one!”
While Carlo Zocalli, Farnborough International, commented, “Lucky enough to be at the AEV Conference at Harrogate Convention Centre and welcome Marcus Child with his keynote topic ‘The Power of People’ and it was so powerful to listen and learn.”