AEO - Association of event organisers

We’re getting engaged!


We’re getting engaged!


What did the big telephone say to the little telephone? You’re too young to be engaged.

Aaarrrrrr yes I know, a terrible, awful, dreadful, unforgivable, dad joke; what was I thinking?

Well, I was thinking about engagement. In the twenty years or so that I have been involved in the AEO, I have observed that the incredibly talented and brilliant leaders of our industry have built their careers and businesses by networking, engaging and working with their peers.

And so much of this engagement has happened around the AEO.

Now I want you, yes you, to do the same.

Engage, take part, turn up, join, network with the AEO.

Use the AEO to build and grow your career AND help the AEO to build and grow the industry.

The AEO has transformed over the last couple of years with Chris Skeith at the helm and we can now genuinely say that whatever role you have, at whatever level, there is something that will help you. Over the last four years, for example, the number of Working Groups has grown from two to 12. These are now the engine room of the AEO – where 254 industry professionals like you come together to share problems and find solutions to make their events, career and customer relationships a success.

There are also opportunities to learn with the recent annual AEO Forums proving to be a great success and the Leaders of Tomorrow online training hitting the spot for marketing, ops and sales teams across membership. If you’re the shy retiring type, if there are any in the industry, you don’t even have to leave your desk for this.

Most of us also like to have fun while we work, and why not? We’re at the office or onsite for a long time and work hard so we deserve to let our hair down. The AEO run some amazing events where you can get together with likeminded colleagues and peers from other event organisers. The AEO Excellence Awards is an obvious one but the AEO also supports the Exhibition Network which is a social get together three or four times a year. The most recent one was just after the AEO Forums in January but keep an eye out for the next one towards the summer.

AEO has always been a catalyst for building careers, growing your network, making friends and growing hugely successful businesses. The industry is buzzing, we are flying, it’s our time and it’s your time to make a difference.

So, what can you do? Look around you. Who do you admire in the industry? What are they doing that you’re not? Who do they know that you don’t?

If the company you work for is an AEO Member, you’ve got a fantastic chance to get ahead. If it’s important to your business, it offers an opportunity for you.  

Speak to the AEO to see how you can get involved and help grow this wonderful industry of ours.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

That’s why you should get engaged.

Austen Hawkins

AEO Chairman

  • "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




AEO news