BVEP - Business Visits and Events Partnership

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Executive Committee

Susan Tanner, Vice Chair - Membership

Susan has been the CEO of NOEA for the past 11 years and their BVEP representative during that time. Her background is in large events; she was Event Director of the Bristol Balloon Fiesta for 16 years, dealing with all aspects of the event from sponsorship, marketing, operations, working with local authorities, and SAGS, to ensuring there were enough toilets! At NOEA, she has worked with their leadership to implement their BuildBackBetter campaign; getting talent back into the industry and providing educational resources for members. She has worked hard through the pandemic to get our industry’s issues heard by government, while supporting initiatives that benefit both. She is passionate about the industry and sits on the executive board for the Mid Somerset Agricultural Show and is Chair of the Livestock Committee.  

Michael Hirst OBE, Advocacy and Government Relations

Chair of the BVEP Advocacy & Government Relations Working Group

Michael has chaired the BVEP since its inception in 1999 until May 2020. He now acts as Advocacy & Government Relations and Secretariat liaison. With 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 and a former consultant to CBRE Hotels, the world's leading hospitality real estate advisory firm. He served as Chairman of The Tourism Alliance and continues to be a member of its Board. He was appointed OBE for services to tourism, 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. In 2021 he was awarded a fellowship by EVCOM.

Robert Wright, Special Advisor

A former journalist, Robert Wright is managing director at davies tanner, a PR and Brand Communications Agency supporting clients across the global business events industry. With almost 25 years’ experience, davies tanner are now the recognised leaders in providing communications services to the global meetings and events community and are proud to support some of the most well-known and trusted brands across the UK and Europe, North America, Middle East and Asia Pacific, including destinations and CVB’s, hotels, convention centers. exhibitions and trade shows and industry associations, helping them to navigate their way from recovery to revival. In addition to leading on a number of high profile client campaigns, Robert is also a Special Advisor to the UK Governments Events Industry Board, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Events, Business Visits & Events Partnership and the Events Industry Council.