AEO - Association of event organisers

Let's Be Counted


Add a SIC code to your business and let the events industry be counted

One of the (many) reasons that many parts of the industry have been excluded from support by the government is because from a statistics point of view, the industry is “invisible” with a lack of relevant Standard Industrial Classification of economic activities (SIC) codes. Equally, most of us have been unaware as to how important they are when it comes to the government analysing businesses.

EIA has been working with other BVEP Partners, including Beam, PLASA and  Evcom, campaigning for some changes to these codes to make them more relevant. However, that is going to take between three to five years as they are agreed upon internationally.

In the meantime, to create our own yardstick that we can monitor and use to inform the government in the future, we are asking every company to include at least one code from the selection below in addition to that which you currently use.

List as many of the following as possible!

In the UK, you can list four codes on your return to Companies House, although most businesses only use one, and for many, this is not always relevant as the descriptions are not well matched. Equally, by using more than one, you can retain any existing key sector category such as manufacturing or transport but use the additional codes to flag your connection to the Live Events sector.

The idea is to get all companies involved in ALL aspects of the events industry to use these codes – to help create data and visibility and to demonstrate how financially significant the industry is.

We are aware that the descriptions that go with these codes are unlikely to be totally accurate to many of your businesses and we are campaigning to get the descriptions made ‘wider’. But in the meantime, we believe they will help achieve our aim of improving data and visibility.

We urge all venues, agencies, suppliers of conferences, meetings, and exhibitions – basically, ANYONE involved in live or recorded conferences, events, exhibitions etc – to do this.

Currently classified as: Activities of exhibition and fair organisers.
This subclass includes the organisation, promotion and/or management of events, such as business and trade shows and conventions, whether or not including the management and provision of the staff to operate the facilities in which these events take place. Click here to find out more
Currently classified as: Activities of conference organisers.
This subclass includes the organisation of conferences and meetings, whether or not including the management and provision of the staff to operate the facilities in which these events take place. Click here to find out more


Currently classified as: Letting and operating of conference and exhibition centres


Currently classified as: Support activities to performing arts

This subclass includes support activities to performing arts for production of live theatrical presentations, concerts and opera or dance productions and other stage productions; activities of directors, producers, stage-set designers and builders, scene shifters, lighting engineers etc.; and activities of producers or entrepreneurs of arts live events with or without facilities. Click here to find out more


Currently classified as: Event catering activities.

This class includes the provision of food services based on contractual arrangements with the customer, at the location specified by the customer, for a specific event. 

Click here to find out more

  • "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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