This year’s AEO Excellence Awards saw event professionals from across the industry flock to Grosvenor House Hotel, for the first time since 2019.
Nigel Nathan was named as the Outstanding Contribution to the Industry winner, with members commenting on his passion, determination and commitment to the industry since he started in the business as a porter for a show at Wembley Conference Centre, aged 16.
Nathan launched and sold various shows including International Confex, went on to lead Olympia, London (who were recognised as venue of the century at the AEO Centenary Awards) and spearheaded some of the biggest research projects in the industry including Sasie (the size and scale index for events report).
Kevin Bridges, comedian and celebrity host, brought fun and laughter to the room before revealing the winners.
Chris Skeith OBE, chief executive of AEO, says: “Leading a business or a team to success is a big challenge, particularly in a tricky climate. But plenty of event professionals do that day in, day out. The AEO Excellence Awards is the perfect opportunity to recognise and showcase some of that hard work and it was a pleasure to see 22 deserving winners take to the stage to collect their trophies last Friday. A very big well done.”
Skeith added, “Thanks to all the attendees for coming along – was great to see so many of them weave the mid-summer’s day theme into their outfits – the energy in the room was just magic. A huge thanks also goes to our partners, sponsors and judges. Putting on an event like this just wouldn’t be possible without them. Last but certainly not least, I’d like to pass on thanks to the AEO team who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes – not only delivering this class leading industry event, but also driving change, support and insight through all other AEO activities – the industry and I is grateful for your commitment and continued efforts. We look forward to seeing you all again next year.”
Other winners included Informa Markets – Decorex 2021, who picked up the Marketing Campaign of the Year award for trade, Quartz Business Media Ltd – World Vape Show Dubai who picked up the award for Best Event Launch and Katherine Parkhouse from FESPA who picked up the Unsung Hero award.
For a full list of winners and judges’ comments please see below:
MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR – TRADE SHOW
Informa Markets – Decorex 2021
The judges were impressed by the delivery of two editions of this huge event within 6 months, a strong marketing campaign with good materials and an excellent use of content creation resulted in stunning returns.
MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR – CONSUMER SHOW
National Outdoor Expo – Raccoon Events
The judges commented that the results were outstanding showing a highly successful multi-channel marketing campaign, they recognised the different audiences and built a community where inclusivity and sustainability shone through.
BEST EVENT LAUNCH
Quartz Business Media Ltd – World Vape Show Dubai
The judges commended how this tricky environment was well navigated, through their creative advocacy and media campaign which overcame advertising restrictions, the delegate satisfaction was excellent, and they exceeded their pre-launch targets.
Africa Oil Week – Hyve Group
The judges were impressed with the conference objectives, which demonstrated solid and deep industry research, navigating and manging their challenges successfully.
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHOW- EUROPE
FESPA – FESPA Global Print Expo 2021 (including European Sign Expo 2021)
The judges remarked on the adaptability and residence of the show, which showed real determination from the team. They overcame the challenge of Covid19, after the show was cancelled four times, and strove successfully to hold an in-person event.
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHOW – AMERICAS
IMEX Group – IMEX America 2021
The judges said on every level this show has over performed against targets set. Under extremely challenging conditions the show delivered value for visitors and exhibitors consciously mindful of environmental impact whilst also highlighting the desire to support and look after their team and the broader business events community.
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHOW- MIDDLE EAST, AFRICA & ASIA-PACIFIC
Informa Markets – Arab Health Exhibition and Congress
The judges praised the stand-out performance against ambitious objectives, well executed with good ESG initiatives – an event that set the bar high and delivered against it in a big way.
ORGANISER TEAM OF THE YEAR
dmg events – dmg events (UK) Operations Team
The judges commented on the great team spirit and energy. Fearless, fun, revenue generating, value enhancing, results orientated and caring. A team who are able to pivot quickly and overcome obstacles and challenges thrown in their way (including the celebrity keynote speaker getting Covid the day before the event!).
VENUE TEAM OF THE YEAR
SEC – Venue Operations Team
The judges praised the SEC Venue Operations Team, who have had a monumental year – they rose to the incredible challenges and delivered great results with resilience and professionalism. Their impressive clients gave the SEC team a lot of work to do, and they delivered it with great success.
SUPPLIER TEAM OF THE YEAR
GES – GES EMEA
The judges said that GES’s achievements are phenomenal. Despite all the labour shortages and challenges post pandemic, GES delivered safe and inspiring events across the UK. While their strong teamwork and commitment to sustainability is impressive.
SERVICE SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR
The judges commented on their adaption, excellent growth, and expansion to meet demand – they are a great service provider for many organisations, and have helped to keep the industry moving, especially during Covid.
BEST CONSUMER SHOW
Raccoon Events – National Outdoor Expo
The judges said that this was an outstanding show against the most challenging of backdrops, well planned, well delivered and very professional, they succeeded in creating and uniting a community and delivered against all their objectives.
BEST UK TRADESHOW less than 2,000SQM
Media 10 Ltd – Design London
The judges were really impressed with the show’s objectives, and delivering over and above their aims, whilst innovating during Covid with creative solutions.
BEST UK TRADESHOW between 2,001SQM – 8,000SQM
CloserStill Media Ltd – Tech Show London
The judges commented on the very positive results, a strong event that worked hard to match buyers with sellers and drive attendance with some exclusive speakers and a diverse panel of experts.
BEST UK TRADESHOW more than 8,000SQM
Nineteen Group – The Emergency Services Show 2021
The judges said this was a fantastic example of a well governed conference that achieved fantastic results. Their clear objectives and approach capitalised on this industry, and they delivered excellent exhibitor engagement and visitor experience.
VENUE OF THE YEAR – less than 20,000sqm
Coventry Building Society Arena
The judges commented on the excellent customer satisfaction levels, very strong testimonials, the versatility of the venue, well delivered services and their ability to run innovative events. Taking customer service and sustainability seriously they have achieved strong results at a time of turbulence.
VENUE OF THE YEAR – more than 20,000sqm
The judges noted how P&J Live have redesigned the gold standard for event spaces. Their state-of-the-art venue, with a truly future-focussed sustainable approach, a one-stop-shop for all organiser needs, and a personal support service!
FESPA – Katherine Parkhouse
The judges said FESPA’s Katherine Parkhouse is a very worthy winner. An individual who goes far above and beyond the remit, and highly recognised by her team members. Katherine is excellent at her job, but also brings the right attitude – kindness, commitment, humour, and modesty.
SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE AWARD
The judges praised Olympia London on their sustainability programme and strong zero waste to landfill stats. The excellent sustainable initiatives are core to their grand plan and communicated well to their stakeholders – well done!
TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION AWARD
Media 10 Ltd UK – Construction Week: Construction Buzz powered by CaboodleAI
The judges commented that this was an amazing way to engage with their audience, using tech to cleverly engage in their target market, delivering some incredible results.
BEST COMPANY INITIATIVE
Clarion Events Ltd – Customer Centricity Project The judges were super impressed by Clarion’s Customer Centricity project – a commendable response to a challenging environment with a strategic position of becoming more customer-focused and with the use of data analytics, understanding the environment what can be done to reinforce confidence and retention, whilst also recognising the need to up-skill people across the business as well as enhancing their marketing – contributing to a really successful company