AEO - Association of event organisers

AEO Forums Attracts Record Numbers


AEO Forums Attracts Record Numbers

30 Jan 2018

Over 330 marketing, ops and sales professionals from 90 event industry organisations attended this year’s AEO Forums at BDC London on Friday. Under the theme of Tales of the Unexpected, the Forums speakers covered everything from customer experience, GDPR, incident management, storytelling, sustainability, teamwork, trends and real-life examples from the industry.

Chris Skeith, Chief Executive of AEO, says: “We’re absolutely delighted with the breadth of attendees we had at the Forums this year, 70% of AEO members were represented which is absolutely fantastic particularly as event season is now in full swing. We work hard to balance the sessions, providing some food for thought for each of the audiences as well as including practical, industry specific learnings from the panel sessions.”

“We ran some poll questions via the AEO Forums app this year and found that 35% of the sales professionals, 31% of the marketing professionals and 24% of the ops professionals in attendance have already been involved in the management of a critical incident or emergency in the course of their work. This highlights the importance of incident scenario planning and crisis management training for all of the functions involved in staging events.”

Here is some of the feedback received from this year’s delegates:

“There was some inspirational information from the sessions by Marc Priestley, Steve Kemish and Richard Robinson that will encourage me to focus on the detail and embrace change”

“Phil Boas and Rob Nathan had some interesting thoughts about exhibitor co-marketing which were valuable takeaways”

“Having group discussions in the Think, Don’t Panic session was good as it encouraged networking within the room and provided an opportunity to find out more about CMP best practice which can readily be applied to our own companies”

“It gave an opportunity to be inspired and provide some key takeaways which can be applied back to business”

“I attended some very interesting and insightful talks and discussions which have made me re-evaluate the way things are run within my own organisation, allowing me to bring some new suggestions to the table”

“Excellent day, a great opening speech, I was engaged throughout and took home several learnings”

“A worthwhile day out of the office given the high expectation attached to an AEO event”

“Found the speakers very interesting and engaging, I have taken a lot away from this year”

“I enjoyed the sessions by Marc Priestley, Brian Neil and Chris Ginnelly, I thought they were very inspirational. I took a lot of notes and learnt new approaches”



To find out further information about the AEO please visit the website at and follow us on Twitter @aeonews

  • "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




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