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AEO appoints MD of Raccoon Events, Mike Seaman as chair of the UK Organiser Group

Mike Seaman, managing director of Raccoon Events, has taken on the role of Chair of the UK Organiser Group at AEO (Association of Event Organisers), one of the four Working Groups run by AEO on behalf of its members.

Seaman told M&IT: “I’m very action orientated and will do my best to ensure that the group delivers a quantifiable output for AEO members.

“I’ve been working in the events industry for 16 years and I’m a firm believer in the work that the AEO does. Our business (Raccoon Events) has benefitted greatly from AEO support programmes and I hope that I can now contribute something meaningful in return.”

AEO also manages the AEO Council, the Development Board and the International Organiser Group; all of which aim to represent, support and develop the needs of those involved in the meetings industry through a focus on community, talent, insight and face to face conversations.

The UK Organiser Group has played a vital role in representing the events industry to the UK Government through lobbying and providing major insight into the size and scale of the industry.

In addition to helping the industry become recognised as a major economic player, one which contributes £12 billion to the UK economy, AEO has also promoted the need for dialogue between organisers and venues to ensure the best visitor experience.

Seaman added: “I believe that it’s crucial for organisers to engage in a constructive and meaningful dialogue with our venue partners, suppliers and other key stakeholders and I hope that we are able to do that collectively through the outputs of our meetings.”

The AEO UK Organiser Group also acts as a conduit for other groups, with close links to the UK Operations Working Group and the Cross-Association Working Groups responsible for health, safety and electrics.

Chris Skeith, chief executive of AEO, said: “Coming together at a strategic level is important for both organisers and venues. To date, Farnborough, Olympia, the NEC and the SEC have all delivered presentations to the Group which have proved to be beneficial to both parties.

“As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved – so by increasing and improving dialogue, organisers and venues will be in a great place to continue to deliver even greater events with fantastic customer experiences.”

Prior to Seaman’s appointment, AEO announced Simon Foster as chair of the International Organiser Group. This branch of AEO works closely with international organisations such as UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry), AAXO (Association of African Exhibition Organisers) and EXSA (Exhibition & Event Association of Southern Africa) to ensure the UK meetings industry is represented on a global level.