Building communities

It’s been an extremely busy but rewarding 12 months since I became chief executive of the AEO. Firstly, I’d like to pass on my appreciation to Paul Michael who has done an excellent job as chair of the AEO.

 

We’re in a great position to build on the good work we’ve achieved over the past year with new chair Simon Kimble, executive chairman of Clarion Events, who is supported by vice chair Paul Byrom, managing director of Upper Street Events.

 

The AEO has a strong, loyal membership of leading event organisers from a variety of commercial backgrounds and we’ve welcomed a further eight new members so far this year. Although they differ in terms of their offer or audience, they all quite rightly have one thing in common, a desire for an industry association that delivers value to their business, staff and customers.

 

This year we have asked the same question many times - what does success look like for your business?

 

The response has naturally depended on a number of different factors whether it’s the maturity of the business, expansion plans, market challenges, audience engagement or challenges faced by internal teams.

 

In representing our members’ interests, we’re not just here to listen, we have to do something about it - make necessary changes and spearhead causes that will support our members’ growth and development.

 

Having focused on gaining recognition for the importance of the industry to the UK economy, we very much hope to have secured a seat on the ‘soon to be formed’ DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) Event Industry Board – which reports into the Interministerial Group on Tourism. This will enable the events industry to have a voice at a governmental level to respond to challenges and provide insight on future industry growth opportunities both in the UK and internationally.

 

At our international dinners, members share experiences, thoughts and suggestions on operating in overseas markets, which helps them make important business decisions to reap the rewards and avoid pitfalls of international expansion. Our next international event is an American lunch on 20th November; contact sarah@aeo.org.uk if you are interested in attending.

 

All groups that we run throughout the year are continually future gazing to identify potential issues that could affect our members’ businesses and, in order for AEO to use its precious resources to best effect, it is ultimately our members, working groups and council who decide the route to facing challenges and benefitting from opportunities.

 

This year, for example, the creation of the new Ops and International Ops Working Groups, has contributed to cross industry collaboration which provided clarity on how the new CDM regulations affect all event industry stakeholders before, during, and post implementation.

 

The FaceTime Group has focused on industry promotion and delivering great value to help members’ customers maximise their investment in events by holding four one day conferences, launching new guides and webinars. Some of the guides will soon be available in different languages and the next webinar titled “grow your business” will take place on 18 November, members can get their customers to register through the website facetime.org.uk.

 

We’ve also been building on the events industry community feel by reviewing and improving our own signature events. Content has been critiqued to within an inch of its life, making sure it is insightful, thought provoking and relevant and offers plenty that the industry can take away and put into practice.

 

We know through post event feedback that our networking opportunities are also delivering the right connections at the right time and in the right place so that delegates can network, learn and hopefully have fun without impacting on the day job. The AEO Conference in September was a great example of the progress being made via the Events Working Group.

 

Building communities is also the theme for the forthcoming AEO Marketing and Operations Forums which is taking place at BDC on 29 January.

 

This article was first published in the November issue of EN. Any comments? Email Annie Byrne

Chris Skeith
Posted by Chris Skeith
PopularComments
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World, the sister magazine of Exhibition News, has launched the inaugural Global Exhibitions Day Awards, celebrating the diverse creative initiatives occurring globally around 7 June.

Movers & Shakers 26/04/17

People moves at Blitz|GES, Gallowglass, Mojo Barriers and more.

Multiplay launches event hardware rental arm  

Mutiplay, organiser of events such as MineCon, Insomnia and BRICKLIVE, has announced the launch of Multiplay Rentals, its new event hardware rental arm.

Others on EN

Apps – what are they good for?

Apps – what are they good for?

Exhibition apps are about as useful as a chocolate teapot, says Reftech’s Simon Clayton.
Fit for the 21st century

Fit for the 21st century

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director, says we should always fight to bring talent into the industry and encourage an appetite for success.
I'm a believer

I'm a believer

Sam Cande, group commercial director at Centaur Media, says no secret sales technique can compete with belief in a product.

CONFEX 2017 LIVE

Most Read Stories

Fit for the 21st century

Fit for the 21st century

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director, says we should always fight to bring talent into the industry and encourage an appetite for success.
I'm a believer

I'm a believer

Sam Cande, group commercial director at Centaur Media, says no secret sales technique can compete with belief in a product.
Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry, director of Easyfairs UK addresses the science behind operations and the profile of our audiences.

Latest News

IGNITION to return to the SEC

IGNITION to return to the SEC

Following a successful inaugural event in 2016, IGNITION Festival of Motoring will be returning to the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) on 4-6 August.
Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World, the sister magazine of Exhibition News, has launched the inaugural Global Exhibitions Day Awards, celebrating the diverse creative initiatives occurring globally around 7 June.
Future In 15 episode 3: ExCel London's James Rees on co-operation and using space

Future In 15 episode 3: ExCel London's James Rees on co-operation and using space

In Episode Three of Future In 15, James Rees, director of conferences & events at ExCel London, shares how the venue repurposed under-utilised space to create CentrEd.

Latest Features

Alt Venues: Stamford Bridge

Alt Venues: Stamford Bridge

In our monthly Alternative Venues feature, EN pays a visit to Stamford Bridge.
Breaking barriers

Breaking barriers

The London Muslim Lifestyle Show is bringing Muslim businesses to the world stage, despite the occasional far-right protest.
My Working Life by David Chalmers

My Working Life by David Chalmers

The senior marketing director, Europe, at Cvent discusses how he got into the industry, his inspirational children and why he’s called The Doctor.

Latest Galleries

A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

Some of the industry’s leading event organisers were treated to an exclusive preview of Somerset House’s largest and most versatile indoor event space at an open house event on 19-20 April.
EN Awards 2017

EN Awards 2017

The best of the exhibition industry were out in force on 30 March at ExCeL London for the 11th annual EN Awards.
Natural & Organic Products Europe 2017

Natural & Organic Products Europe 2017

The 2017 Natural & Organic Products Europe celebrated its 21st edition earlier this month (2-3 April) as well as attracting its biggest attendance yet to ExCeL London.