Parliamentary Group for Events chair Theresa Villiers is to headline the National Outdoor Events Association’s (NOEA) annual convention on 24 November.

The Conservative MP and former secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, has proven to be an advocate for the events industry. She will be joined later in the day by Matt Ashton, director of Public Health, Liverpool, who was heavily involved in the Event Research Programme test events earlier this year.

NOAE said both Ashton and Villiers will be holding Q&A sessions with delegates attending the event as the organisation looks to continue its theme of #BuildBackBetter, and address how a more stable events industry can be created post-pandemic.

The convention will also involve a session on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion. Other scheduled sessions include a discussion around the changing roles of Local Authorities, and what the industry can learn from heritage events.

NOEA said the event will be streamed on a “high production platform”.

The organisation’s president Tom Clements said, “Convention has always been about getting the right speakers, to share new thinking and discussion, great education and networking; and we have it all in abundance this convention. We’re also investing in production as well though this year, so guests get more than just a Zoom, and can enjoy a really interactive and engaging experience that they are a very real part of, despite not being in the room.

“Our speakers represent how far up the food chain NOEA has been operating this year and it’s critical that we get these ‘friends of events’ in front of our members to talk about their thoughts on how we, as an industry, can build back better.”