AEO - Association of event organisers

AEO launches the AEO Centenary Party & Awards


AEO launches the AEO Centenary Party & Awards

12 Aug 2021

The AEO (Association of Event Organisers) is delighted to launch its AEO Centenary Party (& Awards) hosted by the NEC Group at the Vox on the 10th December, to celebrate turning 100 this year.

Attendees can expect a 20s themed afternoon of drinks and networking, as the host reveals the winners from the Classic and Centurion Awards.

While the industry will recognise some familiar favourites from the AEO Excellence Awards under its ‘Classic Awards’, a range of new categories have been created under the ‘Centurion Awards’, as a special nod to this momentous milestone.

Chris Skeith OBE, chief executive of AEO says: “We are thrilled to be celebrating 100 years of service to the industry, with the industry and honoured to be working with the NEC Group to bring you the party of the century.”

“We recognise the value awards bring to organisations, so in the absence of this year’s AEO Excellence Awards, we are excited to introduce the Classic and Centurion Awards to the event. These awards reflect how businesses and individuals have evolved, embraced virtual and stepped up in the face of adversity over a very tough period. Bring it on.”

Ian Taylor, managing director for conferences and exhibitions at the NEC Group said: “It is an honour for the AEO to choose the Vox as the host venue for this momentous occasion. In its time, the AEO has continued to provide unrivalled representation for our sector, encouraged talent and offered countless networking and educational opportunities for our community. Here’s to raising a glass to the centenary of the association, plus the incredible efforts and determination of our friends and colleagues throughout the pandemic. I look forward to welcoming you all to the Vox for the celebrations.”

The following awards categories are now open for entry, with a deadline of the 8th October 2021:

Classic Awards

  • Best Trade Show Activation – a trade show can be hybrid, digital, virtual, omni channel or live and of any size in the UK or international.
  • Best Consumer Show Activation - a consumer show can be hybrid, digital, virtual, omni channel or live and of any size in the UK or international.
  • Best Conference
  • Best Use of Technology
  • Unsung Hero
  • Inspiring Leader
  • Indomitable Spirit Award
  • Best Lockdown Initiative


Tickets for the event will go on sale soon but if you’d like to register your interest in attending, please contact


To find out more, visit:

  • "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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