CVC - experts in venue location

Key Personnel

...think conference venue think CVC


Gill SmillieGill Smillie has spent thirty years working in the conference and meetings sector.

After acquiring a BA in History from the University of Bristol, she worked in the conference offices of a number of major hotels in the Midlands.

Gill then moved into sales and marketing, in the role of Conference Sales and Marketing Manager for the Grand Hotel, Birmingham which had just been acquired by Grand Metropolitan and was its flagship property outside of London.

Gill then worked for a Surrey based hotel group to handle its sales and marketing and also to set up an agency to outsource surplus business.  In 1984 she established her own conference agency Conference Venues CountryWide (CVC). 

CVC works with clients in the UK and overseas, placing their conference enquiries into hotels, dedicated conference centres and other venues throughout the UK, mainland Europe and the USA.

Throughout its development CVC has worked particularly closely with the dedicated conference centre product and it was her involvement with a number of centres during the 1980s that led her to instigate the formation of a marketing consortium known as Conference Centres of Excellence (CCE).  The consortium now in its eighteenth year currently has thirty six members throughout the UK (

CVC has been a member of the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) since 1990 and Gill has travelled extensively throughout Europe, the USA and Australia visiting numerous conference centres, to the benefit of CVC clients.   She has also been a Board member of IACC Europe and currently sits on the Board of IACC UK.

In 1987, she helped to co-found the Meetings Industry Association which is the professional umbrella body for the industry and which now has over 400 members.  Gill was Honorary Secretary of the Association from its inception until she stood down in 2007, and sat on its Board of Management throughout.  She was also responsible for developing training initiatives for Association members, and worked closely with consultants on the development of NVQs for the Events Sector.  She was recently involved in the development of a new Accreditation Standard for all MIA members.

Gill also undertakes consultancy work within the conference industry and is currently a Non-Exec. Director of Ashorne Hill, the training centre of Corus plc.

In 2007 Gill was voted “Conference Industry Personality of the Year” by readers of Meetings & Incentive Travel magazine, and was listed as one of the fifty top influential people in the Conference Industry by C & IT magazine.

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