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December 21, 2008
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AEO director quits




Hilary Lawson is to leave her role as director of the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and has begun her period of notice, which concludes in March 2009. Lawson has decided to pursue freelance opportunities outside of association activity, and will depart having dedicated in excess of two years to the role.

Armed with broad trade association experience, Lawson joined the AEO executive as Director in October 2006, almost immediately conducting a major review of the association's service to members. Equipped with extensive member feedback, she set about delivering their call for increased peer networking opportunities, overseeing the rapid rise of the AEO Marketing Forum and successfully launching events targeted at AEO members' event directors and operations teams. Lawson also succeeded in furthering AEO's established event brands – the 'Excellence Awards' and 'Conference' – providing well-received editions of each in 2008.

In response to AEO's demand for increased and improved industry promotion, Lawson has laid the foundations for a landmark campaign, to be driven by the association on behalf of the Events Industry Alliance (EIA) in 2009. Lawson has also spearheaded the development of key association peer 'interest groups' that focus on specific elements of the AEO community, including 'international', 'association' and 'owner manager' member companies.

“I'm very upset that Hilary has decided to leave us,” said AEO chair Philip Soar. “Her contribution over a difficult two-year period has been enormous, in particular everything she has done to put on the conference and awards in the last year. It will be difficult to replace her."

AEO will now conduct a thorough recruitment process in order to appoint the right person to take the association forward.


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