The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP), the umbrella body and advocacy group for the UK’s £70bn events industry, has approved Simon Hughes to be its new chair, 21 May.

Hughes, previously vice chair of the BVEP, replaces Michael Hirst OBE, who has served as its Chair since the partnerships formation in 1999 and who will continue to chair the UK Events Industry Board. Hirst will also join the partnership’s new executive committee.

On his appointment, Hughes said: “It is a real privilege to pick up the BVEP baton from Michael and I’m very grateful for the support and commitment shown by all of our partners. The obvious challenges we all face at the moment means that collaboration, clear communication and a relentless focus on ensuring that our collective voice is both heard and acted upon is now more important than ever.

“The breadth and depth of Michael’s work for the BVEP has always been remarkable, so I definitely have a lot to live up to. On behalf of all of us in the UK events community, I would like to say a massive thank you to him for his tireless commitment to the industry, which of course will continue as we all work together to ensure that events are fully recognised as a significant driver of both economic and cultural value as we move towards a period of recovery and rebuilding.”

At a meeting, 21 May, the partnership also voted to create a new executive committee, to help develop and drive the future strategy of the BVEP, which will consist of Chris Skeith, treasurer; Caroline Jackson, membership; Nick Morgan, commercial & sponsorship and Michael Hirst, immediate past chair.

Hirst commented: “I am delighted that Simon will be leading the Partnership to even greater success in promoting the causes of the UK Events Industry during this very testing time. He has enormous experience within the industry and is highly regarded for his leadership. I wish him, and rest of the Partnership, every success over the coming years and thank all of them for the support they have given me over the past 21 years.”