Murray Dickson, head of business relationships at the NEC Group has been elected as chair of the Association of Event Venues (AEV) Technology Working Group and Victoria Withy, head of communications at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) has been elected as vice chair of the Communications Working Group.
The AEV Technology Working Group was formed in 2012 in response to issues of connectivity, primarily via WiFi. The issue was felt across the industry and therefore the Connectivity Working Group was formed from all three associations, the Association of Event Organisers (AEO), the Association of Event Venues (AEV) and the Event Supplier & Services Association (ESSA).
It rapidly grew into one of the largest cross association working groups as the scope broadened to take in complex and wide reaching factors like visitor traffic peaks and visitors’ own technology. Eventually the group had grown to the point where members realised that there was a need to divide the group to address the issues that specifically affected venues, and so a new group was formed to meet this need and Dickson was elected chair. The group subsequently achieved its defined objectives and both groups agreed that the time was right for them to reform as a single entity. At the first combined meeting, held at UBM, it was agreed that Dickson would be chair of the reformed cross association group.
“Dickson commented, Although we’ve made progress, the WiFi issue for live events is still not solved, and there are a huge number of variables across venues, events and visitors that make a single solution impossible. The key task ahead of us is to ensure that we help all parties understand the issues and the potential solutions for their particular needs. We must adopt an educational role, developing common messages that are consistent whether they be from a venue, supplier or organiser, and to do this, we need an effective working group.”
The AEV Communications Working Group has also seen a new appointment in the form of a new vice chair Victoria Withy of the AECC. Tasked with identifying and sharing best practice in the communications discipline for venues, the working group is chaired by the NEC’s James Puxty and it was he who invited Withy to become vice chair.
The AECC has declared its support for the concept of working groups by its insistence that all of the venue’s senior team participate in one or more working groups and that other tiers of management are also involved.
“Withy said, AECC is a long way from other event venues and the Communications Working Group provides an excellent opportunity to meet our peers, share ideas and issues, and to keep pace with industry development in the venue comms arena.“On a personal level I really enjoy the shared learning and camaraderie as well as the opportunity to share experiences, both good and bad, in a non judgemental environment. And, James Puxty is an excellent chair. I am very keen to get more venues involved with the Communications Working Group so they can also benefit from this experience, it will be to the benefit of all venues if we all adopt best practice.”
IMAGES: Murray Dickson, head of business relationships at the NEC Group and Victoria Withy, head of communications at the AECC