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 AEO’s Chris Skeith awarded OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Chris Skeith, chief executive of the UK’s Association of Event Organisers and treasurer of the Business Visits and Events Partnership, has been included in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List, recommended for an OBE, for services to the events industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“I am overwhelmed by this recognition. I honestly could never have imagined something like this when I started in the events industry 20-plus years ago,” Skeith said.

“I am incredibly grateful and honoured, and I truly believe this tribute is a reflection of the work of our entire industry during the pandemic.

“Every organiser, venue, supplier, in the business events community as well as our partners within the government, came together when we needed to protect and assist our industry.

Simon Parker, chair of the AEO, said: “On Behalf of the AEO, and the wider events industry, I would like to thank Chris for all of his work during the pandemic and to congratulate him on the tremendous honour. These campaigns were made possible with a large amount of dedication and support from many people, however, in particular, we have Chris’s consistency, responsiveness, and positivity to thanks for ensuring that through each new tier programme, reopening date, furlough scheme, and health and safety discussion, the events industry was part of the constructive dialogues with appropriate officials. We are incredibly fortunate to have had Chris’s steadfast leadership during this critical period.”

Skeith added that he “very much hoped” the recognition of the events industry in the Honours List further contributes to the strong foundations the industry has built to date. He said: “I hope it helps as we go forward, restarting the industry and begin our recovery journey.”

The AEO said it would build on its enhanced relationship with the government to help drive key economic development priorities for the UK, deliver policy ambitions, and help the industry become data rich to demonstrate the economic impact, and potential, of business events.

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