Matthew Butler appointed as AEO Chair

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The AEO Council has appointed Matthew Butler, group managing director at CloserStill Media, as the next chair of the Association of Event Organisers (AEO).

The appointment, which took place at the AEO Council meeting, also sees Rachel Swann, chief operating officer – energy division at dmg events become vice chair. Former Chair, Carina Bauer, chief executive officer of IMEX Group, will now assume the role of past chair until September 2024.

Butler’s key focus will be on accelerating the change within organiser businesses to run sustainable events as the industry works towards its “net zero by 2050” pledge.

Butler says: “I am honoured to be stepping into the role of AEO chair, following the exceptional leadership of Carina. As sustainability continues to punctuate headlines, it is an extraordinary time to play such a key role in driving that change in our industry. Some major developments will be coming out of the newly formed AEO sustainability working group – watch this space.

I look forward to building on the progress made by the AEO and the accomplishments of my predecessors.”

Bauer says: “It was a pleasure to step back into the AEO chair role, following Julie Driscoll’s move to Olympia London and I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to work with the AEO Council once again.

The recent release of the Size and Scale Index for Exhibitions report, confirms the industry is on an exciting path to growth and recovery. I’ll leave safe in the knowledge that Matthew will work tirelessly to ensure sustainability is embedded in the industry’s success story during his tenure.”

Chris Skeith OBE, chief executive of AEO, said: “I’d like to pass on a huge thank you to Carina. Her progressive approach has been an inspiration and will leave a lasting and positive impact on the industry. A huge welcome to Matthew as he steps into the AEO chair role and Rachel Swann, who becomes vice chair. Exciting times ahead!”