Venues bodies agree the details of merger

The Exhibition Venues Association (EVA) has been folded into the Association of Event Venues (AEV) following more than eight months of negotiations.

The decision was finally reached on 16 May at a meeting of EVA members.

Following the vote, outgoing EVA chairman Paul Lewis said: "EVA members acknowledged the best way forward was to have one truly representative association that enjoys the support of the whole sector. It will have the resources to provide activities to assist members in a very competitive media marketplace."

As part of the agreement, former EVA executive secretary Robin Anderson will be retained by umbrella body Events Industry Alliance (EIA) as media relations manager.

EIA group chief executive Trevor Foley responded positively to the decision: "This means that a fully representative venues sector is in an ideal position to support the EIA in its mission to promote the whole industry to important and influential third parties. This is a major step forward."

Although the legalities of the agreement may not be finalised until the autumn, the 10 remaining EVA members are invited to join the AEV.

- The Association of Exhibition Organisers has appointed a new director following Trevor Foley's promotion to group chief executive of the EIA.

Phil Woods previously served as sales and marketing director for equipment manufacturer Sterex Electrolysis International. In addition, Marie Peck replaces Mervyn Ramsey as business development manager and Simon Brown temporarily replaces Tim Banfield as AEV director.

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