The Association of Event Organisers (AEO) Council has elected Simon Parker, executive vice president of Informa Markets, as its new chair.
Carina Bauer, chief executive officer of IMEX Group, have been elected vice chair. Former chair, Darren Johnson, has taken on the role of past chair for the forthcoming year.
On his election, Parker thanked Johnson for his role in navigating the AEO and the wider industry through what he called “truly uncharted waters”.
“It’s an honour to step into such a crucial role at such an important time,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to working closely with the AEO and some of the most competent and talented event professionals the industry has to offer, as we see this crisis through to the other side.”
Johnson described Covid-19 as being the industry’s “darkest hour”.
He said: “[The events industry was the] first to close and seemingly will be one of the last to open. But, during this time we have also achieved things that had long been part of our mission.
Our collective lobbying efforts have raised awareness of our industry with the highest level of government and simultaneously brought our economic contribution to surface.”
Chris Skeith, chief executive of the AEO, also said that 2020 has “been unlike any other”.
“The pandemic galvanized working groups into action, which saw the creation of the All Secure Standard industry guidance,” he said.
“We have raised awareness of our industry through lobbying and media in a way we never thought possible. We have seen unity and leadership which has been nothing short of remarkable.
I’d like to personally thank Darren for chairing the association so diligently, supporting the groups, team and myself in progressing the AEO’s strategy, while remaining calm and collected through this crisis. I look forward to working with Simon on getting the industry we all love so much back on its feet.”
The AEO confirmed that Julie Driscoll from Hyve Group was newly elected to the board, while Emma Barrett (Broadway Events), Emma Cartmell (CHS Group), Lee Newton (Media 10), Mark Moloney (TE Trade Events), and Ed Tranter (73 Media) were all re-elected.