AEO - Association of event organisers

AEO Conference - Artificial or Reality?


AEO Conference - Artificial or Reality?

30 May 2018

AEO Conference - Artificial or Reality?

Brighton has emerged as a technology hub for cool creatives, which is why, with the theme “Technology – Artificial or Reality?” this year’s AEO Conference will be returning to the city on 6th and 7th September.

Over the course of the two days, the Grand Hotel on Brighton’s seafront will play host to over 250 event industry professionals set to debate the role technology will play in delivering future event experiences. On the morning of the first day this year’s Chair, leading technology journalist and presenter, Georgie Barrat, will set the scene for the AEO Conference and introduce the keynote, Stephan Jung.

Conference delegates can expect the usual high quality mix of event industry and external speakers who are specialist in technology that has an impact on the industry. CEO, Chris Skeith, says: “We’ll be starting the Conference with a view on the mega trends that will affect how businesses operate. Our keynote, Stephan Jung, is an expert at predicting trends and identifying ways to make the most of them to ensure your business is sustainable. It should be a fantastic overview to set the scene for the rest of the Conference.”

The second session of the day promises to be one of the most insightful sessions of the Conference. Over the past few months, AEO Business Technology Innovation Group members have been industriously working on the answer to every organisers’ prayers and the results are remarkable. By September they will be in a position to present what the current state of affairs is in terms of enabling technologies and how they are being applied in the events industry. Then comes the big reveal – what is the ideal and how can you achieve it? From the floor examples of progress in achieving the Holy Grail will be shared with the audience.

Other sessions on the first day will show how immersive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality are being used in industry and how, thinking above and beyond visitor engagement, this technology can be applied to events.  This will be followed by the “Mindset over Matter” brand experience session where panelists will discuss why event organisers need to look beyond using technology as a novelty.

Chris continues: “Delegates will definitely leave the Conference with a fantastic overview of the latest trends as well as actionable learnings to take back to the office. It’s not all work though, we do, as is customary, have our icebreaker event the night before the Conference, a fantastic dinner and networking drinks plus a surprise interactive session that will be revealed on the day.”

“The second day is also not to be missed. There will be a session covering business development and event launches at home and abroad from well-known industry leaders, plus a final presentation on technology, this time AI, why it’s important, how it can be used and what that means for the future of UK industry,” concludes Chris.

To warm up for the AEO Conference, AEO and tfconnect are inviting the industry to get involved in an Events Industry London to Brighton cycle ride on Thursday 23rd August as this year’s fun fundraiser for Events for Namuwongo. To find out more and register your interest contact    

The headline sponsors of this year’s AEO Conference are Freeman, Hiscox and RAI Amsterdam.

The early bird deadline for AEO Conference tickets is Friday 15th June so, before heading off to the AEO Excellence Awards, make sure you’ve booked your AEO Conference places!

Follow our news and updates @aeonews and be part of the conversation by using #aeoconference

  • "Broadway Events joined the AEO on the Enterprise Membership. We’ve already taken advantage of the many benefits including the excellent FaceTime Masterclasses and training guides for exhibitors."
    Emma Barrett
    Broadway Events
  • "We are a member of the AEO because it is a proactive association for the events industry. As an organiser it provides us with high value ideas, networking, guidance and information."
    David Harrison
    PPMA Group
  • "This year, the association has led working groups to address industry issues and put on some amazing events full of insightful content for both organisers and, through the AEOs FaceTime initiative, exhibitors. In addition, the AEO has represented the industry at a Governmental level to raise awareness of the importance of events to the UK economy."
    Paul Byrom
    Upper Street Events
  • "I genuinely believe that if you’re involved in organising events you should become a member of the AEO."
    Simon Kimble
    Clarion Events
  • "Our membership of the AEO represents real and tangible value for UBM - it provides fantastic networking opportunities, practical training for our team as well as valuable insight into the state of our industry."
    Simon Parker
    Informa Markets
  • "As an Association business, we appreciate the excellent work the secretariat of the AEO do for our community. From the events side of our business, the AEO provides an excellent return on investment, providing thought leadership, fantastic networking, brilliant awards, excellent research and FaceTime, a valuable tool to tell our markets why exhibitions and events should be an essential part of the marketing mix."
    Neil Felton
  • "AEO’s networking and member meetings are valuable for individuals at all levels within our organisation. The promotion of our sector to the outside world, to government, authorities and business at large is another vital aspect of the AEO’s purpose for members, many of whom, like my company, work on events throughout the world."
    Stephen Brooks
    Mack Brooks Exhibitions
  • “Knowledge is power and the AEO dinners are certainly powerful, there is always a wealth of knowledge at the table. Insightful presentations make for a constructive and extremely social way to learn from the experts who’ve done it before. I attended the Japanese evening and gained really valuable insight about the culture and how best to communicate with a local audience.”
    John Whitaker
    Vice President Marketing, Data & Digital , dmg events
  • "We have the opportunity to contribute positively to the industry as well as gaining valuable insight and advice. There’s no need to spend valuable time and money reinventing the wheel when you have so many experienced professionals in AEO membership to learn from”
    Emma Cartmell
    CHS Group
  • "JOINING THE AEO HAS BEEN FANTASTIC! Being able to gift our customers with free places at the FaceTime masterclasses, learn alongside industry peers and seek advice to common challenges is invaluable”
    Sharon Azam
    GovNet Communications
  • I just wanted to send my most sincere thanks for everything that you and the AEO team are doing to help navigate the events industry through the pandemic. The working groups and communication from the AEO have been excellent and I’m really appreciative of being part of such a wonderful organisation.
    Simon Burns
    ICHF Events
  • I think what the AEO has been doing during this tough time has been exceptional.
    Greg Cherry
    QD Events LTD
  • It is so useful to hear from your peers at this time. Please pass my thanks to Ruth and the BTIG panel
    Dan Assor
    CloserStill Media
  • Just wanted to thank you and Ruth this morning for the Zoom meeting - it was really interesting to hear how things are moving along in the virtual/hybrid meeting/exhibitions. All very new to me, so a lot to digest.
    Maureen Wright
    Optic UK
  • The session this morning was fantastic. We are right in the midst of this and the information was so useful. We can apply it immediately
    Claire Adams
  • The AEO provides an opportunity to make a difference, to work with other companies for the good of the industry as a whole, but beyond that, it provides it’s members with valuable insight and tangible benefits to grow your business, upskill and engage your teams. For those reasons, our membership is in indelible ink on the each annual budget. In short, if you aren’t a member, you are missing out.
    Ed Tranter
    73 Media




AEO news