AEO - Association of event organisers

What’s the attraction?


What’s the attraction?


If you’re reading this, you’ve already been bitten by the event industry bug but what about the talent that’s swimming in a different pool or doesn’t yet know which pool to dive into?


Many of our members are already involved in the initiatives we offer to support the career development of their staff and teams. We have Working Groups to provide insight, foster best practice and develop connections; learning events such as the AEO Conference and AEO Forums; and, the awards, for celebrating success, but what, as an industry, are we doing to attract talent that hasn’t dived into our pool yet?


At past industry events, when speakers have asked ‘who chose events as a career choice?’, almost without exception the wonderful world of exhibitions was a happy surprise rather than a conscious choice. So, there’s work to be done and the industry is once again coming together to tackle the challenge.


Last year, we set up the Talent Group to support members in demonstrating that events are an attractive and sustainable career, specifically looking at retention and how we can attract more talent into the industry.


First things first, we need to understand what the attraction is. What do people who already work in the industry love about their jobs and are there character types that are suited to particular roles? Then we can identify the possible routes into the industry for the talent that is likely to be attracted by the career and lifestyle opportunities the events industry currently has to offer. Finally, we can see if there’s anything we may be missing, which would make the events industry stand out head and shoulders above other career options, for positions and skillsets that have been difficult to fill.


Of course, everyone may have a different recruitment need or issue so the Talent Group is looking into what top challenges and gaps need to be addressed first so that plans can be put in place for targeting the right type of candidate. This could be a campaign to promote the opportunities afforded by the sector to career starters such as graduates or business apprentices or to established professionals who may be thinking of switching sector or having a complete career change. Alternatively, it could involve working in partnership with universities to develop their courses to ensure they are relevant and current to the needs of employers.

So, that’s the science bit and the Talent Group is well on the way to setting the initial objectives which will be shared in due course. What we can share now is the Talent Hub on the AEO website. This is where we’ve looked in the mirror to see what people love about the industry and what makes it attractive as a career. The Hub contains video show reels which highlight what it’s like to work in the different functions which make up an event team - specifically event management, marketing, operations and sales roles. There are also infographics on the career progression you can expect to follow and real members’ stories of how they got into the industry, what they love about their role and the type of lifestyle they lead. The Hub also links through to the job page which is one of the most visited pages on the AEO website. 


We’re hoping content within the talent hub will resonate with people considering their new career or indeed a career change! To keep the content fresh, relevant and useful, the Hub will evolve over time in line with the Talent Group’s objectives but could include details on universities/colleges that our members work well with, details from members on ‘try before they buy’ work experience opportunities and much more.


Take a look at and feel free to host the videos or use any of the information on your own jobs pages or reference the resource hub in conversations with recruiters, professional bodies, education establishments etc.


If there are any gaps to fill, let us know and we’ll discuss it at the next Talent Group. In addition, we are encouraging the use of #makeeventswork and #eventsworkforme.


Finally, if you’re a member of AEO, don’t forget you can post your vacancies for free on the jobs page via the Member Zone and let us know of any work experience opportunities – we’re often contacted by individuals looking to get involved.


Chris Skeith, Chief Executive, AEO 

  • "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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