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AEO Excellence Awards celebrates 25 years, QEII Centre wins major award

The 25th AEO Excellence Awards took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. The signature event for the events industry was this year hosted by comedian and writer Robert Webb.

The QEII Centre was named Best Conference Venue (under 20,000sqm). Chief executive of the QEII Centre Mark Taylor said: “I am absolutely delighted that the QEII Centre has been recognised by our industry peers and awarded the title of Best Conference Venue – a category with extremely tough competition. The centre has come a long way in the past five years and I am immensely proud of all the team for all their hard work and dedication, which has led to our awards success. This is a fantastic achievement and a credit to everyone’s commitment and contribution.”

Chris Skeith, chief executive, AEO, was pleased with how the awards ceremony went. He said: “There are always a few surprises at the AEO Excellence Awards which is what makes it a fun afternoon for the industry. For the 25th Anniversary 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.”

GES took away a hat trick of awards with Best Use of Technology, Sustainability and Innovation awards. Other winners on the day included debut winner Raccoon Events, which won Best Consumer Show Launch, while Clarion Events, CloserStill Media, New Scientist Live and the NEC all won two awards each. Andrew Evans, MD, Thorough Events, was named as this year’s Outstanding Contribution to the Industry winner.

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 that took home a trophy included QEII Centre and Manchester Central Convention Complex who took home the award for Unsung Hero sponsored by Circdata.

Winning suppliers included GES, LiveBuzz, Nimlok, and Thorns Group.

James Ormiston, managing director at Circdata said: “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.”

Chris Preston, MD, Freeman EMEA, said: “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.”

Martin Clarke, NEC marketing director added: “Twenty-five years 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.

“We can all draw inspiration from each other. That’s what makes the UK exhibition industry so very special.”