AEO - Association of event organisers

AEO Forums delivers its 2022 edition - Reset: A new chapter


AEO Forums delivers its 2022 edition - Reset: A new chapter

15 Feb 2022

The AEO Forums 2022 attracted more than 250 event professionals to the Business Design Centre on the 11th of February. 

Following a jump from 2020 to 2022, industry professionals arrived at the forums eager to learn more about how to navigate their roles as the events industry awakens to  ‘A NEW CHAPTER’, with Julia Danmeri from TranslateAble chairing the ops stream, Rob Nathan from Media 10 Ltd, the marketing stream and Greg Sewell, from Clarion Events, the sales stream.

In line with the theme; RESET: A NEW CHAPTER, Jez Rose, inspirational keynote set the tone with his high energy presentation on ‘Changing the way we think about change’. Jez’s core message was about giving in to our natural resistance against change and embracing it to be better. By asking more questions about where we are, and why we are there; we can help ourselves to move through each period of change. The two he encouraged most often were: “Why do we do it this way?”, and “How do we make it better?”.

Darren Johnson, business adviser b2b media, events and business services and overall AEO Forums chair said: “Having a forum to share our collective experience and learn from each other is so important as we look to restart our industry, and this year the AEO forums provided exactly that. The content was well received across all streams and the panel discussion format was conversational and engaging. It was great to see a lot of new faces sharing their experiences – it really did underline both the growing collaboration we see across Sales, Marketing and Operations, and the fresh thinking being developed in everything from sustainability to what makes a great sales team. Momentum is growing for the year ahead!”

Some of the learnings that came out of the ops stream focussed on the importance of using your network and utilising your resources for mentorship and relationships. The stream also discussed the challenges suppliers have been up against and how better to support them.

Interesting revelations came out of the sales stream too. When discussing the ‘Great Resignation’, polls highlighted that staff were less likely to move for more money if they had a clear career path, more empathy and more attention.

The marketing stream looked at the need to reset pre-pandemic expectations with an emphasis on quality customers over quantity. Speakers also discussed how central the marketing function was to the business, with marketers encouraged to be bold and speak up – particularly at the decision-making table.

The AEO also featured important topics like diversity & inclusion and sustainability on the programme as it looks to make huge strides on these topics over the coming year.

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

I thought Jez and Jim were really interesting and very engaging presenters

Varied and inspiring content

I liked the variety of speakers and it was very relevant for today's world

I was impressed with the sessions - better than I expected and the content was good across the board

  • "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