New Board announced for AAXO


This year’s AAXO AGM, on 30 June 2021, was opened to the broader industry of associate members and organiser members. All stakeholders attending had the opportunity to review the work AAXO has been intensely engaged in during this past year.

The team revisited the multiple hybrid events, webinars, and campaigns that the association has initiated or participated in and proposed strategies to take the association forward in a climate of uncertainty.

From proof-of-concept events, industry update sessions, global exhibition day celebrations to insightful webinars, media interviews and social media campaigns. It is clear that AAXO has not missed a single opportunity to drive home the message that exhibitions mean business. In the coming year, AAXO will continue to stand as a symbol of credibility, professionalism, and reassurance for its members.

Nominations for the new AAXO Board began at the end of May 2021 with online voting from 17-23 June, concluding in time for the announcement to be made at the AGM. The election brought a few changes to the 2020/2021 Board. Projeni Pather from Exposure Marketing was reelected as chairperson together with Devi Paulsen from DMG Events as vice-chairperson. Mark Anderson of Specialised Exhibitions remains as treasurer and Chantelle Hingston of Clarion Events as director.

AAXO welcomes new board members Adele Hartdegen of Dogan Exhibitions and Events, Tiisetso Tau of Synergy Business Events and Charles Wilson, CEO of Gallagher Convention Centre. Charles was elected chair of the new AAXO Venue Committee towards the end of 2020 and joined the board in that capacity. Exiting the board are members Carol Weaving of Reed Exhibitions and Suzette Scheepers from Messe Muenchen, whose dedication and commitment to AAXO, during the pandemic, was outstanding.

The newly formed AAXO Venue Committee has been a welcomed addition to the sssociation. This committee aims to promote safety and security at exhibitions, ensure adherence to international standards, encourage professionalism and ethical behaviour, and foster a collaborative environment for all stakeholders to grow the industry.

The AAXO board is focused on growing the association’s membership and scope whilst delivering value to the exhibitions and events industry as a whole. In these tumultuous times, it is imperative that all members have a clear understanding of the Association’s strategy around growth and recovery and have opportunities to participate in the effort to distinguish the exhibitions and nusiness events industry as a professional regulated industry and distinct from mass/social gatherings.

“AAXO would like to wish our board members all the best and thank them in advance for their services at the helm as we navigate these difficult times for our industry,” says AAXO Chair Projeni Pather. “Our AGM advocated the approach of ‘playing the game you have been given, rather than the game you would like to have, which undoubtedly holds true for the AAXO board as we continue into the second half of 2021. We have little tangible information around which to plan for our businesses as we advance, so we need to remain flexible and adaptable. If we stand together with the industry’s best interests as our primary consideration, we are on the right track to recovery.”

The new board’s first meeting will be held on Thursday, 22 July 2021, via Zoom.