James Rees

Executive Director, ExCeL London

James Rees

James has over 25 years’ experience in event organisation and major venue management. 

He began as a conference organiser for UK-based Water Research Centre organising national and international events then made a move into venue management, joining Wembley Stadium Ltd as an event manager across Wembley’s Stadium, Arena and Conference & Exhibition Centre venues, managing international conferences and exhibitions, concerts for artists such as Madonna and Michael Jackson and also the FA Cup. After 3 years he moved into a commercial role, focusing on the exhibition and conference side of the business. 

Subsequent roles included London Arena as Sales & Marketing Director then Hilton International as Director of Hilton Direct. 

He is now a member of the executive team of ExCeL London, responsible for the commercial strategies of its Conference and Events Division, developing a strong national and international clientele in London’s largest convention and exhibition centre.  

As a venue owned by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), he is also responsible for helping to promote the Middle East region to international event planners. 

James is a passionate volunteer leader in the industry and held the prestigious role of President of ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association, from 2018-2022. 

In addition to his role at ExCeL London, James now serves as President of JMIC, the Joint Meetings Industry Council, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium and continues to serve ICCA as Immediate Past-President.