Michael Hirst was appointed chair of the Events Industry Board by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in 2018, having served as deputy chair since its inception in 2016. The board is tasked with finding ways to improve and promote the UK events sector by increasing effective cross-working across government departments, advising on barriers to growth, supporting events with potential and encouraging international engagement. It reports to the Minister of Tourism within DCMS. He was past immediate chair of British Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP), an umbrella organisation representing leading trade and professional organisations and government agencies in the sector. In 2021, Hirst became a member of the Challenge Panel, Independent review of Destination Management Organisations. He is highly experienced in the industry, having worked a number of high-profile roles such as CEO of the Hilton and managing director of Ladbroke hotels and leisure division. Hirst was appointed OBE for services to tourism and voted “Personality of the Year” by readers of Meetings & Incentive Travel.