AEO - Association of event organisers

New Chair for AEO International Organiser Group


New Chair for AEO International Organiser Group

28 Mar 2019

Simon Foster, CEO of Comexposium, has been appointed Chair of the AEO International Organiser Group, taking over from Stephen Brooks.

With 25 members, the AEO International Organiser Group aims to help shape the events industry by examining the issues and opportunities for organisers who operate, or are looking to expand, outside of the UK market. Today, almost 50% of AEO members operate globally.

Chris Skeith, chief executive of AEO, says: “I’d like to personally thank Stephen for chairing the International Organiser Group so effectively for the past two years. His insights and experience have helped the Group further its agenda, broaden its reach and strengthen international relationships.  Going forward, we are pleased to have Simon’s guidance of the Group. Having worked for two major global businesses, 19 years with UK based organiser, UBM, and now as CEO of Comexposium, a French based organiser, Simon will bring a new perspective to the Group.”

Over the past two years, the International Organiser Group has set up the International Organiser Network (ION), between AEO and SISO (Society of Independent Organizers), which is engaged in discussion around best practices with the new Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Centre.

The Group also launched its International Dinner series, which, so far in 2019, has seen a successful discussion on the opportunities in the Nordic region. This will be followed by dinners on the US market, 10 June, and the Mexican market, 14 Oct. 

Simon says: “I am really looking forward to chairing the International Organiser Group.  The events industry connects people from all over the world.  It is critical that as organisers we also come together to connect and discuss.  We all face common issues and opportunities as we continue to try and meet the needs of our customers globally.”

As usual, the AEO International CEO Summit, held in January, sets the scene for each year with discussion on the current trends and topics of the industry.  Following the summit, the International Organiser Group continues advancing its activities with several new projects being developed, as well as the recommissioning of projects, such as the Global Event Study, notable for its 2018 finding that 23 AEO members generate revenues in excess of £2.1bn in overseas activities.

To find out further information about the AEO please visit the website 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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