AEO - Association of event organisers

Q&A from the sales roundtable with Ranju Singh


Q&A from the sales roundtable with Ranju Singh


What challenges did you face in the wake of coronavirus?

  • Understanding which events to postpone (depending on the availability of the venue), which had to be cancelled or moved to the following year.

How did you address those challenges and what impact did they have on your customers?

  • The ones earlier on in the year when COVID 19 hit us are the shows where the customers were most upset, as we didn’t have a choice but to cancel the event. The teams have spent and are continuing to spend time with our customers to see what we can do to offer them value. Understanding their needs and finding solutions to help them come out of this situation when we return to the new normal.

What opportunities has this uncovered for your business?

  • New ways of thinking, understanding our customers, leveraging technology, the digital experience we can offer our clients.

What worked and what didn’t? Have there been any surprising results in the process?

  • Some great teams that have put together some digital offerings – however, we have not managed to monetise these – this didn’t work from a commercial side of things. Our ATM platform, however, which expected 1000 meetings a day, saw 3 x as many requests in the meeting platforms, which made us increase the event by an additional day. This worked and we monetised it too.

How do you see implementing this as part of your long term strategy?

  • As more people are getting used to working from home and using digital platforms to engage with meetings – it is a great opportunity for new engaging products to be developed. As part of the launches team, I am looking at how to commercialise some of the offerings going forward and we may not launch new physical ones but could potentially launch new verticals or sectors which may complement existing events.

Are you exploring monetising digital content? How?

  • Yes for sure, looking at things like cost of leads per acquisition, what the value of these leads would be to clients.

How does this strengthen your offering?

  • Like most things, as soon as we can get proof of the value we offer our buyers and suppliers and provide engaging opportunities this will strengthen the offering.

What advice would you give other organisers looking to bridge the gap with digital/ virtual?

  • Look for the window of opportunity!

What are the top three things you would tell any organiser trying to create revenue through virtual events during this period?

  • Test markets – different industries react to different offerings!
  • Understand what the value of the digital offering is. What are companies looking to get out of the digital platforms.
  • Recognise that this may be the best opportunity we will ever get to see how this will grow in the future and the source of revenue it can provide.
  • "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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