This year’s AEO Excellence Awards was extra special because it was the 25thanniversary of the awards ceremony which was introduced with a bang as AEO Chair, Damion Angus, took to the stage.
Andrew Evans was named as this year’s Outstanding Contribution to the Industry winner which, during a heartfelt tribute to a fantastic industry personality, was delivered by Simon Parker from UBM.
With a nod to the nineties, Take That Live! provided the entertainment by getting the party started with three favourites that perfectly reflected the occasion – Never Forget, Could It Be Magic and These Days.
Chris Skeith, Chief Executive of AEO, says: “There are always a few surprises at the AEO Excellence Awards which is what makes it a fun afternoon for the industry.
“For the 25thAnniversary we wanted to make it extra special and with the entertainment, pyrotechnics and the amazing activations our sponsors provided we think we achieved it. We’d like to thank everyone for taking part and congratulate all of the winners.”
In addition to Andrew Evans, other winners on the day included debut winner Raccoon Events who won Best Consumer Show Launch. Clarion Events, CloserStill Media, New Scientist Live and the NEC all won two awards but the big winner of the day was GES who took away a hat trick with Best Use of Technology, Sustainability and Innovation awards.
Other organiser winners included Ascential Events, Brand Events, f2f Events, FESPA, Forest Exhibitions, Informa Exhibitions and UBM. Clarion Events won the Most Influential Company of the Last 25 Years.
In addition to the NEC, other venues who took home a trophy included QEII Centre and Manchester Central Convention Complex who took home the award for Unsung Hero sponsored by Circdata. This was won by Duncan Leavitt who attended to pick up his award despite having a very early start the next day – a well-deserved winner.
Winning suppliers included the aforementioned GES plus LiveBuzz, Nimlok and Thorns Group.
Here are some thoughts from the headline sponsors:
James Ormiston, managing director at Circdata said: “What a fantastic awards ceremony the AEO put on for their 25thyear! Congratulations to them, and to all of the winners and finalists. We are proud to continue our headline sponsorship of the AEO Excellence Awards; it is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the best
events, spotlight the latest innovations, and recognise the brightest talent in our industry. Thank you to everyone who took part in our #TwerkwithCirc karaoke competition! It was fun to watch the Who’s Who of the industry belt out some tunes and tweet their photos. We look forward to doing it all again next year!”
The winner of the #TwerkwithCirc competition was Gemma from GES.
Chris Preston, Managing Director Freeman EMEA, said: “We support the AEO Excellence Awards because the AEO is part of the core fabric of the industry and does great work in promoting best practice, networking and live face to face engagement. We believe in challenging boundaries and resetting the benchmark with every event and experience Freeman delivers and award ceremonies play an important role in this.
“The AEO Excellence Awards gives teams the ability to shout about what they’ve done, it’s a forum for recognition and because of the diligence incorporated into the judging process, they’re valuable awards which everyone aspires to win. Congratulations to the winners of the awards Freeman sponsored – the NEC who won Venue of The Year Over 20,000sqm and the QEII Centre who won Venue of The Year Under 20,000sqm.”
The winner of the Freeman Predict the Winners competition was Helen from Govnet Communications.
Martin Clarke, NEC Marketing Director said:“It’s been fantastic to celebrate 25 years of the AEO Awards this year not just through our sponsorship of this, the main event in the industry calendar, but by capturing the action live on the day – bringing live-to-life through art. Twenty fiveyears is a special milestone and our gallery shows how the industry has evolved through those years – and continues to develop in the most exciting ways. Hope you all got your caricatures drawn!
“Well done not just to the winners but also to everyone who committed the time and energy to enter the awards, demonstrating the many different ways that companies strive to be No.1in their categories. We can all draw inspiration from each other. That’s what makes the UK exhibition industry so very special.”
The winner of the social media competition to win a 2 day ticket to Disneyland Paris sponsored by FaceTime will be announced next week.
For full details of all of the winners and to see images from the day please visit the website www.aeoawards.org