Executive Committee

Michael Hirst OBE, Advocacy and Government Relations

Chair of the UKEVENTS Advocacy & Government Relations Working Group

Michael has chaired the BVEP since its inception in 1999 until May 2020. He now acts as Advocacy & Government Relations and Secretariat liaison. With fifty years' experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, he is a former board member of the Ladbroke Group Plc as Chairman and CEO of Hilton International and a former consultant to CBRE Hotels, the world's leading hospitality real estate advisory firm. He served as Chairman of The Tourism Alliance and continues to be a member of its Board. He was appointed OBE for services to tourism, voted "Personality of the Year" by readers of Meetings & Incentive Travel and awarded the Joint Meetings Industry Council Unity Award, recognising individuals who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of the Meetings Industry and its level of professionalism. In 2021 he was awarded a fellowship by EVCOM.

Simon Hughes, Immediate Past Chair

Since May 2012 Simon has run a business consultancy specialising in providing strategic services to the events sector. Previously he spent 10 years as Director of Live Events at COI, where he worked on a number of high profile events for a diverse range of government departments and agencies. He has worked in creative industry management and production roles for over 30 years.  He is passionate about getting the end-to-end production process right for live events. He believes that bringing people together to share ideas, learning and experience remains one of the most powerful communication tools available today.  Widely recognised by the industry over the years for his varied contribution, he serves on the board of Evcom and was chair of the BVEP.