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06 Feb 2020

AEO Forums delivers on working smarter, sustainability and more

AEO Forums delivers on working smarter, sustainability and more

The AEO Forums 2020 attracted 300 event professionals to the Business Design Centre on the 31st  January. 

Industry professionals arrived eager to learn more about how they could “work smarter, not harderâ€', with Matt Wozniak from The Event Lab chairing the ops stream, Caitlin Read, Communications Director from Comexposium, the marketing stream and Carly Walker, Sales Director from Forum Events, the sales stream.

Chris Skeith, chief executive of AEO said: “We couldn't be happier with the mood and turnout on the day. Delivering valuable content to our members and the industry is paramount.  In an age of burnout, a focus on implementing greater day-to-day efficiencies and working more collaboratively felt like a necessary topic to address. It was well-received too!â€'

There was a big emphasis on using more sustainable practices as Nalan Emre, chief operating officer, at the IMEX Group, delivered her keynote on; “A case study of collaboration and successâ€'.

IMEX Group is a company driven by one of its five goals to work more efficiently in a sustainable way.

Emre said: “My keynote address at the event was designed to pass on solid and practical sustainability practices based on our own experience.â€'

Emre added: “As I said in my address- 'sustainability is not a sidebar issue any more' - and I hope event professionals will take action.â€'

To further promote sustainability, the AEO provided reusable water bottles for delegates to fill up at the water stations and trialled its first vegetarian lunch.

A variety of other topics were covered in each of the three streams, with the day ending in an afternoon panel discussion, which looked at the importance of the relationship between the three functions.

Key areas for improvement across the functions were highlighted as follows:


  • Better planning, so timelines match up across functions for optimum results
  • Communication
  • Understanding each other's priorities
  • Stopping the blame culture
  • Looking for exhibitor solutions like “sponsorshipâ€' together


The session also uncovered the mutual desire to work more closely together, have more empathy, share information, and keep a customer focus.

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


Really liked the enthusiasm and engagement of the speakers.

The information and content presented was informative and most importantly inspiring.


Lots of ways to make our exhibitions and company more sustainable, tips for making our social and email content more emotive.


I liked that there were professional speakers in many different areas of the industry. Gave a good insight into the challenges faced from one job role to the next.


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