AEO - Association of event organisers

The AEO Conference talks tech…


The AEO Conference talks tech…

13 Sep 2018

The AEO Conference returned to Brighton on 6-7 September, covering the theme; ‘Technology – Artificial or Reality?’

The Grand Hotel in Brighton hosted 231 attendees, an overall increase in delegates of 13% and 31% more organisers than 2017.

The two-day conference was chaired by leading technology journalist and presenter, Georgie Barrat and delivered sessions that focussed on how technology can transform events for both events’ professionals and their customers.

Keynote, Stephan Jung kickstarted the first day with an insightful session on mega-trends that will impact society over the next 10 years, with a particular focus on connectivity, mobility, individualism and community. He shed light on the diminishing lifeline of new companies, going from 75 years in 1955 to just 12 years in 2018.

This was followed by the System Reboot session, led by key members of the Business Technology and Innovation Group (BTIG). It took a look at the power of data and discussed a blueprint event organisers could use to link their internal systems to maximise efficiency and effectiveness.

Other sessions covered; using tech to adapt environments and create unique experiences, using AR imaginatively and utilising more affordable VR opportunities like Facebook spaces.

Chris Skeith, Chief Executive at AEO said; “The AEO Conference has always been a fantastic opportunity to draw together key industry players to learn, share ideas, network and have some fun. Georgie did a fantastic job of weaving it all together and helping us deliver that. A great couple of days down in Brighton!”

Some highlights that came through in the feedback were as follows:

 “I enjoyed the panel discussions and found the future tech conversations and examples really interesting. I enjoyed the treasure hunt session. It was great for networking and thinking about how tech can be used in a more fun way.”

“The balance of networking and education was spot on.”

“The venue was superb, the dinner also. Really enjoyed it. The panel focused on event launches was worth attending alone. The event was well run, there was a nice friendly atmosphere and I had a useful time and would attend again.”

The conclusion drawn from the AEO Conference was that while technology demanded respect and should be embraced rather than feared it is ultimately strategy and not technology that should drive your business forward.

The headline sponsors of this year’s AEO Conference were Freeman, Hiscox Event Insurance and RAI Amsterdam.

  • "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




AEO news