AEO - Association of event organisers

Winners announced at the AEO Excellence Awards 2022


Winners announced at the AEO Excellence Awards 2022

27 Jun 2022

This year’s AEO Excellence Awards saw event professionals from across the industry flock to Grosvenor House Hotel, for the first time since 2019.

Nigel Nathan was named as the Outstanding Contribution to the Industry winner, with members commenting on his passion, determination and commitment to the industry since he started in the business as a porter for a show at Wembley Conference Centre, aged 16.

Nathan launched and sold various shows including International Confex, went on to lead Olympia, London (who were recognised as venue of the century at the AEO Centenary Awards) and spearheaded some of the biggest research projects in the industry including Sasie (the size and scale index for events report).

Kevin Bridges, comedian and celebrity host, brought fun and laughter to the room before revealing the winners.

Chris Skeith OBE, chief executive of AEO, says: “Leading a business or a team to success is a big challenge, particularly in a tricky climate. But plenty of event professionals do that day in, day out. The AEO Excellence Awards is the perfect opportunity to recognise and showcase some of that hard work and it was a pleasure to see 22 deserving winners take to the stage to collect their trophies last Friday. A very big well done.”

Skeith added, “Thanks to all the attendees for coming along – was great to see so many of them weave the mid-summer’s day theme into their outfits – the energy in the room was just magic.  A huge thanks also goes to our partners, sponsors and judges. Putting on an event like this just wouldn’t be possible without them. Last but certainly not least, I’d like to pass on thanks to the AEO team who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes - not only delivering this class leading industry event, but also driving change, support and insight through all other AEO activities - the industry and I is grateful for your commitment and continued efforts. We look forward to seeing you all again next year.”

Other winners included Informa Markets – Decorex 2021, who picked up the Marketing Campaign of the Year award for trade, Quartz Business Media Ltd – World Vape Show Dubai who picked up the award for Best Event Launch and Katherine Parkhouse from FESPA who picked up the Unsung Hero award.


For a full list of winners and judges’ comments please see below:


Informa Markets – Decorex 2021

The judges were impressed by the delivery of two editions of this huge event within 6 months, a strong marketing campaign with good materials and an excellent use of content creation resulted in stunning returns.



National Outdoor Expo – Raccoon Events

The judges commented that the results were outstanding showing a highly successful multi-channel marketing campaign, they recognised the different audiences and built a community where inclusivity and sustainability shone through.



Quartz Business Media Ltd – World Vape Show Dubai  

The judges commended how this tricky environment was well navigated, through their creative advocacy and media campaign which overcame advertising restrictions, the delegate satisfaction was excellent, and they exceeded their pre-launch targets.


Africa Oil Week – Hyve Group

The judges were impressed with the conference objectives, which demonstrated solid and deep industry research, navigating and manging their challenges successfully.



FESPA – FESPA Global Print Expo 2021 (including European Sign Expo 2021)

The judges remarked on the adaptability and residence of the show, which showed real determination from the team.  They overcame the challenge of Covid19, after the show was cancelled four times, and strove successfully to hold an in-person event.



IMEX Group – IMEX America 2021

The judges said on every level this show has over performed against targets set. Under extremely challenging conditions the show delivered value for visitors and exhibitors consciously mindful of environmental impact whilst also highlighting the desire to support and look after their team and the broader business events community.



Informa Markets – Arab Health Exhibition and Congress

The judges praised the stand-out performance against ambitious objectives, well executed with good ESG initiatives - an event that set the bar high and delivered against it in a big way.



dmg events – dmg events (UK) Operations Team

The judges commented on the great team spirit and energy. Fearless, fun, revenue generating, value enhancing, results orientated and caring. A team who are able to pivot quickly and overcome obstacles and challenges thrown in their way (including the celebrity keynote speaker getting Covid the day before the event!).



SEC – Venue Operations Team
The judges praised the SEC Venue Operations Team, who have had a monumental year – they rose to the incredible challenges and delivered great results with resilience and professionalism. Their impressive clients gave the SEC team a lot of work to do, and they delivered it with great success.




The judges said that GES’s achievements are phenomenal. Despite all the labour shortages and challenges post pandemic, GES delivered safe and inspiring events across the UK. While their strong teamwork and commitment to sustainability is impressive.




The judges commented on their adaption, excellent growth, and expansion to meet demand – they are a great service provider for many organisations, and have helped to keep the industry moving, especially during Covid. 



Raccoon Events – National Outdoor Expo

The judges said that this was an outstanding show against the most challenging of backdrops, well planned, well delivered and very professional, they succeeded in creating and uniting a community and delivered against all their objectives.


BEST UK TRADESHOW less than 2,000SQM         

Media 10 Ltd – Design London

The judges were really impressed with the show’s objectives, and delivering over and above their aims, whilst innovating during Covid with creative solutions.


BEST UK TRADESHOW between 2,001SQM - 8,000SQM 

CloserStill Media Ltd – Tech Show London

The judges commented on the very positive results, a strong event that worked hard to match buyers with sellers and drive attendance with some exclusive speakers and a diverse panel of experts.


BEST UK TRADESHOW more than 8,000SQM      

Nineteen Group – The Emergency Services Show 2021

The judges said this was a fantastic example of a well governed conference that achieved fantastic results.  Their clear objectives and approach capitalised on this industry, and they delivered excellent exhibitor engagement and visitor experience.


VENUE OF THE YEAR - less than 20,000sqm

Coventry Building Society Arena

The judges commented on the excellent customer satisfaction levels, very strong testimonials, the versatility of the venue, well delivered services and their ability to run innovative events. Taking customer service and sustainability seriously they have achieved strong results at a time of turbulence.


VENUE OF THE YEAR - more than 20,000sqm      

P&J Live

The judges noted how P&J Live have redesigned the gold standard for event spaces. Their state-of-the-art venue, with a truly future-focussed sustainable approach, a one-stop-shop for all organiser needs, and a personal support service!



FESPA – Katherine Parkhouse

The judges said FESPA’s Katherine Parkhouse is a very worthy winner.  An individual who goes far above and beyond the remit, and highly recognised by her team members.  Katherine is excellent at her job, but also brings the right attitude - kindness, commitment, humour, and modesty.



Olympia London

The judges praised Olympia London on their sustainability programme and strong zero waste to landfill stats.  The excellent sustainable initiatives are core to their grand plan and communicated well to their stakeholders – well done!



Media 10 Ltd UK – Construction Week: Construction Buzz powered by CaboodleAI

The judges commented that this was an amazing way to engage with their audience, using tech to cleverly engage in their target market, delivering some incredible results.



Clarion Events Ltd – Customer Centricity Project

The judges were super impressed by Clarion’s Customer Centricity project - a commendable response to a challenging environment with a strategic position of becoming more customer-focused and with the use of data analytics, understanding the environment what can be done to reinforce confidence and retention, whilst also recognising the need to up-skill people across the business as well as enhancing their marketing – contributing to a really successful company initiative.


A link to the gallery from the day can be found here:

For more information about the awards ceremony and the winners please go to

  • "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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