BVEP - Business Visits and Events Partnership

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Chair and Vice Chairs

Simon Hughes, Chairman

Since May 2012 Simon has run a business consultancy specialising in providing strategic services to the events sector. Previously he spent 10 years as Director of Live Events at COI, where he worked on a number of high profile events for a diverse range of government departments and agencies. He has worked in creative industry management and production roles for over 30 years.  He is passionate about getting the end-to-end production process right for live events. He believes that bringing people together to share ideas, learning and experience remains one of the most powerful communication tools available today.  Widely recognised by the industry over the years for his varied contribution, he serves on the board of Evcom and is chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP).

Michael Hirst OBE - Immediate Past Chair

Michael Hirst has chaired the Partnership since its inception in 1999 until May 2020. Michael now sits on the BVEP Executive Committee as Immediate Past Chair.  He has fifty years' experience in the tourism and hospitality industry. He is a former board member of the Ladbroke Group Plc as Chairman and CEO of Hilton International.  Michael Hirst is a consultant to CBRE Hotels, the world's leading hotel real estate advisory firm. He served as Chairman of The Tourism Alliance, the industry's umbrella trade body and continues to be a member of its Board.  Michael Hirst was appointed OBE for services to tourism. He was voted "Personality of the Year" by readers of Meetings & Incentive Travel and awarded the Joint Meetings Industry Council Unity Award, recognising individuals who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of the Meetings Industry and its level of professionalism.

Dr Caroline Jackson, Vice Chair

Caroline has over 40 years of experience, designing, delivering, teaching and researching events. She is currently an independent consultant, researcher and educator and has been at the forefront of events education in the UK. She developed some of the first higher education qualifications in events management and established a successful Events & Leisure Department at Bournemouth University. She was a founding member of AEME, where she is on the Executive Committee. She is passionate about advancing the profile and performance of the valuable people within the events sector. She was a member of the Events Industry Board Talent Task Force (2018-19) and has also contributed to the ‘People’ content of the past and upcoming BVEP Events are GREAT reports. She actively supports people working in the industry, for example, she was a mentor on the award-winning Fast Forward 15 programme.

Nick Morgan, Vice Chair

Nick is CEO of We Are The Fair and We Are Placemaking. Nick, who founded the agency Group in 2000 has over 23 years’ experience across large-scale Event Production, Licensing and Health & Safety within public realm, large scale events and festivals. He is a council member of NOEA, sits on the AIF Board, is a member of the NTIA and strongly believes that the ‘informal events’ industry, an industry that brings in over £5 billion / year, should be championed, developed and supported by Government. The independent festival sector is close to his heart and The Fair are the largest independent festival production house in the UK working across 128 shows. Nick often speaks on and facilitates discussion on topics that include managing growth, independent festivals, The Experience Economy, Government advocacy, Placemaking, Licensing and Health & Safety.

Chris Skeith, Vice Chair

Chris has worked in the events industry for over 20 years, initially creating and developing exhibition audit schemes with media auditor ABC, and latterly holding Director positions with association secretariat company the Events Industry Alliance. As part of this secretariat he creates an environment which encourages engagement and interaction with the members and Boards whilst maintaining membership levels and association budgets. He has a particular focus on facilitating the resolution of industry issues and the creation and adoption of best practice. He also sits on numerous policy and planning groups, such as HSE, BS/ISO, and is a regular speaker at industry events and contributor and commentator in the press.