AEO - Association of event organisers

An overview of the AEO Forums by Tia Thornhill from the BDC


An overview of the AEO Forums by Tia Thornhill from the BDC


Last Friday I attended the Aeoforums by the Association of Event Organisers here at the Business Design Centre. This forums theme was based on #Reset which couldn’t be more appropriate as we welcome back events to our everyday lives.

✨The engaging Keynote delivered by the awesome Jez Rose focused on change and how even though we as people encounter change every day, we still do not have a thorough understanding on how to combat change and use it to our advantages rather than viewing it as a hindrance. How can we provide and maintain an environment that promotes change, because any change is progress and change of any kind “starts and begins with us”.✨

The operations stream allowed the opportunity to meet with new industry professionals to reflect and discuss where we are now and what we can learn as a consequence of the past 2 years. Eye opening panels on “one-stop-shop” exhibition companies compared with individual suppliers, strategic planning your tasks to improve productivity, as well as Racoon Events, ecollective and NEC Group detailing how they are fighting the war on #sustainability.

💕 #Diversity and #Inclusion is something that I am extremely passionate about so this opened my eyes to how as industry professionals, we should actively aim for having a diverse leadership as this consequently enables a more diverse employee base and therefore allows the company to hire the best people for the job. From following the recruitment process all the way through reviewing who makes up the company boards, the panel detailed brilliantly how diversity helps promote workplace culture and consequently staff retention. A diverse environment not only encourages creative and innovative staff but it has proven to make the company 25%-30% more profitable and successful, so why more aren’t companies taking D&I more seriously?

🎉Overall, the talks were fantastic, the panels were expertly chosen and the event was smooth running and memorable.

A massive thanks to everyone involved as the copious notes that I have scribbled down will definitely be ideas that I take forward in my career. Getting back in a room discussing experiences and overcoming the challenges is something that I believe is essential when working in any industry and I feel lucky to be a part of an environment that encourages this type of peer-based learning. 

  • "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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