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28 Feb 2023



The inaugural AEO People’s Awards in association with Aztec Event Services & Whitespace Group attracted more than 250 attendees to the Business Design Centre on the 27th of January, as the event welcomed finalists from marketing, ops, sales, finance and HR functions and their teams.

The event was hosted by Zoe Lyons, host of BBC2’s Lightning and Live at the Apollo, and guest co-host of Sunday Morning Live (BBC1) and The Frank Skinner radio show (Absolute Radio). A regular on Have I Got News for You (BBC1), QI (BBC2), and Mock the Week (BBC2).

Chris Skeith OBE, chief executive of AEO says: “We were over the moon with the reception the People’s Awards got. An incredible number of entries and attendees for a launch event. To recognise those on the ground – the heartbeat of our industry, just felt right. The mood in the room on the night was palpable - the smiles on people’s faces, the energy – just incredible. Zoe did a brilliant job of matching the mood.”

“A huge thank you to every supporter, for helping us turn this event around at lightning speed, from concept to execution. It was a herculean effort, from the judges to the sponsors, partners, and of course, the AEO team.”

To view the gallery from the day, click here:

To view the showreel, click here:

To view the winners pictures and categories, click here:

Judges’ comments – while all comments have not been included, a few have been highlighted below.

‘Indomitable Spirit’ award - Kevin White

“Sunshine, loyalty, positivity and my favourite - authenticity. Some engaging and strong reasons for nominating Kevin.”

“Rare finds like Kevin are special. The positivity he brings to the role stands out a mile from his nomination.”

Best HR Exec / HR Manager of the Year - Hannah Husseini

“Hannah has clearly led a number of innovative schemes and programmes to improve education around diversity, employee wellbeing, mental health and life skills, and is obviously highly respected by the most senior people in the business. Very impressive.”

Best Finance Exec / Manager of the Year - Mark Turner

“Mark has clearly made the role his own and has a good balance in supporting the wider team and ensuring he knows the products and bigger picture. He is also driving his own career goals by still developing his learning and obtaining qualifications.”

Best newcomer to the industry award - Melina Mavoungou

“Stunning resume, this is a candidate whose impact has been very wide reaching, way beyond the scope of her designated role. I was extremely impressed with her approach to streamlining processes and overhauling the finance function, the success of which now guarantees a healthy future for the business for years to come. It is also inspiring to see her push beyond and position herself as a voice to be heard within the industry.”

Ops Exec of the Year - Larelle Brown

“With such positivity underpinning this entry, with clearly demonstrated results too. A fantastic candidate for this award.

Great results on budgets and great to see smiley faces when dealing with difficult tasks!

A broad undertaking and nice to see such positivity.”

Sales Exec of the Year - Emma Coyne

“It sounds like Emma really is a rising star with a unique set of skills combining a passion for both sales and marketing! From new business, to increasing account spend and to contributing to the team’s performance outside of sales it sounds like Emma has a really exciting career ahead of her.”

Sales Manager of the Year - Judith Nowell

“What a set of numbers?! Fantastic achievement, demonstrating not just personal contribution but also that of the team. Really impressive. Consistent effort and energy have led to amazing results.”

Senior Sales Manager of the Year - Mauricio Montes

“Mauricio's entry brings to life a dedicated and professional sales manager who delivers to the whole show. He clearly knows his show floor well, and uses his experience of his event to foster success.”

Senior Ops Manager of the Year - Daniela Dos Santos

The judges praised this entry – “clearly a valued member of the team, making positive changes and taking ownership particularly when challenged.”

Ops Manager of the Year - Libby Hazelwood

“Outstanding commitment to the business and her team.”

Marketing Exec of the Year - Rachel Wong

“A strong work ethic and an infectious go-getter attitude are both great qualities when transitioning from uni to work. I would be pleased to hear comments of being the "next generation of marketing event professionals that the industry needs" and to be able to thrive in a fast-paced environment is good to hear too given the recent climate.”

Senior Marketing Exec  of the Year - Nathan Stovell

“Great feedback, Nathan sounds very hardworking, dedicated and committed to his role. Creative, resilient, innovative... these are traits that require more than the day job. The last paragraph is a wonderful piece to read about a person.”

Marketing Manager of the Year - Hannah Sykes

“Hannah has demonstrated the power of data and intelligent, flexible strategies that have clearly paid dividends.”

Senior Marketing Manager of the Year - Maisam Rattansi

“Some really impressive stats and results here, as Maisam tested new ideas and introduced new strategies for a well-thought-out campaign.”

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