Meet the Board is our new feature, designed to help you get to know the AVS board a little more. We start this new series with.... 

Sam Glenister-Batey

Name | Sam Glenister-Batey

Job title | Head of Conferences and Events, University of Leeds

Date you joined the board | January 2023

Why you wanted to join the board?

It is a fantastic opportunity to personally develop, learn more about our wonderful industry and network with industry colleagues.

What do you bring to the party?

I bring drive, enthusiasm and ideas to serve AVS, it’s members and to support it’s vision, which is to be the leading collection of academic venues providing unique and ethical event solutions! 

My background has been in events and venues for nearly 20 years now and I bring experience from a wide range of venues from the academic, sport, heritage and museums sectors as well as spending five years as a board member of Unique Venues of London, the largest marketing consortium of unique venues in London. It is this varied experience that gives me a unique perspective to support AVS.

What do you hope to achieve in the next 12 months individually and collectively?

Over the next 12 months AVS plans to better support it’s members through a closer partnership with ICCA, more events both in person and on-line and grow the membership to offer a broader perspective from the academic venue sector. I hope to be involved in as much of this as possible, particularly activity around member engagement, which I will do through supporting work on the member survey and annual AVS Conference (7th & 8th December at Nottingham Venues – get the date in your diary!). Outside of AVS, we are launching a new venue this year at the University of Leeds called Cloth Hall Court.

Cloth Hall Court is a dedicated conference centre in the heart of the city and I couldn’t be more excited about this project, it is going to transform our events offer and enable us to work with even more event professionals!

What’s the best thing about being on the AVS board?

The chance to work and interact with leaders from across the sector who are well-connected, intelligent and fun to work with! Also it’s a chance to see more of our member venues at in-person board meetings – it’s a great opportunity to get ideas to take back to Leeds with me!

What advice would you give to others thinking of joining a board?

Do it – I don’t know anyone who has regretted this kind of work; whilst it might seem scary for your first meeting, most boards (including AVS) are very welcoming, friendly and we were all new once!

What do you love about working in the industry?

There are many reasons why I love working in our industry - events are about bring people together and that is when magic happens; when we meet, we come up with new ideas, we inspire one another and within the academic work these meetings can often change the world. It’s amazing to be part of that and to contribute to positive change!

Furthermore I think people that work in the events industry are the best – we are a very resilient bunch, always able to problem solve the impossible problem, have really creative minds and are great to socialise with!