Academic Venues Solutions (AVS) have welcomed in 2022 two new members to the Board: Emma Willis, Business Development Manager, Warwick Conferences and Helen Davenport, Head of Commercial and Visitor Services, Lancaster University Conferences and Events+.


In 2021, AVS has seen a growth of 30% in new membership, supporting member venues throughout the pandemic with guidance, advice and online learning to help position venues for their commercial return to conferences and events.  Now, as 2022 begins a new era for academic venues, the Board are focussing on key objectives to position the consortium and its members to raise awareness of the breadth and depth of space and experience within the world of academic venues.


Rachael Lee, Director Sales and Membership on 2022 commented: “Like many organisations, the past 18 months has been the most challenging for our industry, however, our outlook is positive, and we are focussed on building a strong platform of members.  This will strengthen the organisation financially and continue to provide our membership with a programme of engagement and targeted sales and marketing activities to position AVS in front of conference and event organisers.”


The Board are made up of six individuals from senior roles within the membership venues, in addition to four external industry professionals.


Joining the Board, Emma said: “I have great passion for academic venues, the AVS community and brand so I’m delighted to be joining the existing diverse board of directors and the AVS team.  I’m looking forward to developing and implementing the ambitious business plan whilst delivering on the core mission and purpose for its members and stakeholders.”


By contrast, Helen has said her appointment to the board: “AVS has gone from strength to strength over recent years, and I am really excited to be joining the AVS Board at this time as we emerge from Covid. Our members are passionate and knowledgeable, and I’m looking forward to working more closely with them as one cohesive group and to continue to raise the profile of Academic Venues and the great benefits we offer to our customers.”


On the appointment of Emma and Helen to the Board, Clare Forster, Board Chair said: “I am thrilled that Emma and Helen are joining the board of Academic Venue Solutions. They both bring a wealth of experience from both the Higher Education sector and the Events Industry. They’ll strengthen an already dedicated and enthusiastic board as we look to emerging from the last couple of years in a stronger position.”


Being within universities, academic venues benefit from fantastic facilities designed for educating our students with the latest technology and they also have the reassurance for event organisers of maintaining covid- safe environments in which to hold events. Emma and Helen both represent excellent venues and I look forward to welcoming them to the team.”


Academic Venues who are looking to join a consortium to be supported in sales and marketing, as well as attending networking events with industry colleagues can find out more about membership here.

Latest from the Blog