AEO - Association of event organisers

Simon Parker and Carina Bauer voted in as new Chair and Vice Chair of the AEO


Simon Parker and Carina Bauer voted in as new Chair and Vice Chair of the AEO

06 Oct 2020

The AEO Council has officially elected Simon Parker, executive vice president of Informa Markets, as the next Chair of the Association of Event Organisers.

The election, which took place at the AEO Council meeting held on 23rd September via video conference call, also sees Carina Bauer, chief executive officer of IMEX Group, become Vice Chair. Former Chair, Darren Johnson will now assume the role of Past Chair for the forthcoming year.

Parker said: “I’d like to thank Darren for his leadership and support in navigating the AEO and our industry through these truly uncharted waters. Darren has crystalised the very essence of what an association is about – collaboration, innovation and resilience through unity.

It’s an honour to step into such a crucial role at such an important time and I’m looking forward to working closely with the AEO and some of the most competent and talented event professionals the industry has to offer, as we see this crisis through to the other side.”

Johnson said: “When COVID-19 hit, the industry saw its darkest hour – first to close and seemingly will be one of the last to open. But, during this time we have also achieved things that had long been part of our mission.

Our collective lobbying efforts have raised awareness of our industry with the highest level of government and simultaneously brought our economic contribution to surface. The AEO has also seen greater collaboration and more engagement than it’s ever had. Simon is the perfect candidate to support the AEO in continuing that direction - congratulations.”

Chris Skeith, chief executive of AEO, said: “This year has been unlike any other. The pandemic galvanized working groups into action, which saw the creation of the All Secure Standard industry guidance.

We have raised awareness of our industry through lobbying and media in a way we never thought possible. We have seen unity and leadership which has been nothing short of remarkable.

I’d like to personally thank Darren for chairing the association so diligently, supporting the groups, team and myself in progressing the AEO’s strategy, while remaining calm and collected through this crisis. I look forward to working with Simon on getting the industry we all love so much back on its feet.”

The AEO will also be welcoming Julie Driscoll from Hyve Group, while Emma Barrett (Broadway Events), Emma Cartmell (CHS Group), Lee Newton (Media 10), Mark Moloney (TE Trade Events), and Ed Tranter (73 Media) were all re-elected to 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




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