AEO - Association of event organisers





POINT3 Wellbeing supported the AEO (Association of Event Organisers) Forums in January 2019 with a series of wellbeing talks focused on stress and how to find flow at work in the context of performance - understanding that not all stress is bad stress.

The AEO is the voice of the event organising community. It serves and promotes the interests of event organisers and the events industry at large. This year’s AEO Forums delivered a holistic mix of intellectual stimulation, social networking, physical health and emotional wellbeing. Held at the BDC (British Design Centre) London, the AEO Forums brought together 94 businesses from across the events industry.

Sarah Mayo and Siôn Stansfield, two of the co-founders of POINT3 Wellbeing delivered three talks to the three different streams of over 310 event industry professionals spanning marketing, sales and operations.

The talks explored stress in the context of the events industry - one that is consistently ranked as one of the most stressful industries to work in - (behind the military and the emergency services) - before unpacking the science and symptoms of stress, providing some hacks to help the audience better manage the effects of stress and sharing insights into the benefits of having the right level of stress to perform at your best.

Hailing from the events industry themselves means both Sarah and Siôn understand first-hand the high-pressured nature of the industry. This enabled them to empathise better and share some of their own experiences and practices that have worked for them.

Chris Skeith, chief executive of AEO, said: “POINT3 Wellbeing’s talks were interactive and insightful, and left the audiences with some practical tools to use and reference day-to-day when it comes to managing the effects of stress. I particularly enjoyed seeing people laughing and smiling one moment, and calm and still the next, through the movement and mindfulness exercises. The energy in the room changed markedly in the space of 10 minutes, demonstrating the power of these practices for inducing focus or adding a bit of oomph to a meeting.”

During the sessions, the audience were invited to take part in three polls providing some insight into the industry in terms of stress and how this is currently perceived and managed by those in attendance.

The highlights from the polls were as follows:

  • 70 percent of the audience (across all three streams) ranked the events industry at a 7 or more on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is not stressful and 10 is highly stressful.
  • The operations stream found the industry the most stressful of all streams, with 49 percent ranking the industry at an 8 or more.
  • Physical exercise is the number one means that the audiences currently manage their wellbeing on a week-to-week basis with 54 percent selecting this option.
  • Just 5 percent of the audience said they currently had a regular mindfulness/meditation practice.
  • And as many as 18 percent of the audience currently don’t have a regular means of managing their wellbeing at all.

The final findings from the poll were around wellbeing in the workplace.

  • 49 percent of the audience would like to see their workplace provide more opportunities for them to build their personal wellbeing needs into the working day.
  • And 38 percent said they would like to see more flexible working conditions, including hours of work, and location.

Here is some of the feedback received from the delegates following the sessions:

"I really enjoyed the speakers who specifically benefited my work i.e. improving my wellbeing at work and learning how to be more persuasive."

"I'm going to begin practising mindful breathing and attempt to be more active at work."

"LOVED the wellbeing workshop by Point3. We have already had the whole office up on their feet for 60 seconds of squats!"

  • "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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