AEO - Association of event organisers

Celebrating International Women's Day


Celebrating International Women's Day


International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world each year, shining a light on the achievements of women, with an emphasis on the importance of gender equality. 

We've gathered some words from #eventprofs who continue to advocate for the advancement of women in the industry and at large.

“Keeping our heads down is no longer an option. I’m asking everyone in the exhibitions industry to call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping every time you see it. Will you join me? #breakthebias”  - Julie Driscoll, AEO Vice Chair and Divisional Managing Director at Hyve Group plc       

"The events industry is brimming with talented women who bring collaboration, intuition and empathy to the table. We must openly support, empower and celebrate them to unlock their full potential at every level." - Carina Bauer, AEO Chair and CEO of IMEX Group  

"It’s not easy to #breakthebias. I’m exhausted. I know you are too. When it all feels too much and too hard, remember there is a strong and supportive community of women out there rooting for you. Every time you fight to have your voice heard, to be included at the table, it’s a win for us all. So, even when you feel like it’s not making a difference, and that it's never enough, please keep going. We are together in #breakingthebias."  - Caitlin Read, Director of Concise Comms      

"The best protection a woman can have…is courage. The brave woman is not she who does not feel afraid, but she who conquers that fear." - Oana Cipca, Founder of Women in Exhibitions and Business Development Manager Exhibitions at MECC Maastricht 

"For those who need to see this, there are women of colour in Senior Leadership positions in the Events Industry. For those who need to hear this, there aren’t enough." #BreakTheBias - Catherine Beck, Vice Chair of Cross Association D&I Group and Head of Customer Success and Operations at Quartz Events Ltd

“Let’s break the mould. No longer must we strive to be carbon copies of those who went before us in order to progress in our careers. It’s time to celebrate authenticity and diversity and recognise how everyone has a part to play in creating success.” #BreakTheBias - Soraya Gadelrab, Managing Director at Venn Media

"Diversity drives innovation. When we limit who contributes at the top, we limit what we can achieve. That’s why I support the advancement of Women in Exhibitions alongside the AEO Development Board and D&I group." - James McGough, Vice Chair of the AEO Development Board and Managing Director, Imago Techmedia Group, Clarion Events   

Taking action - Pillars of Inclusion coming soon

Our cross-association Pillars of Inclusion, which will provide a framework for the industry to ensure that organisations are implementing a good level of DEI in their business is soon to be released.

The pillars will help measure and identify if there are any areas needing particular focus and will cover:

  • Recruitment and hiring
  • Developing talent 
  • Company culture
  • Partners and suppliers
  • Leadership and employees 

Our D&I hub signposts some insightful content on gender inequality. Take some time to check it out.   

  • "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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