Chris Skeith (pictured) will replace Karim Halwagi as chief executive officer of the Association of Event Organisers (AEO).
Skeith has served as the director at Event Supplier & Services (ESSA) for seven years and AEV director of four years. He’ll take up the post at AEO in November 2014 and continue to be based at the Event Industry Alliance (EIA) headquarters in Berkhamsted, where AEO, ESSA and AEV all have their secretariat offices.
“I have been privileged to work with many inspiring, successful individuals and companies in both ESSA and the AEV, and I am pleased to leave both associations in rude health,” Skeith said. “The time has come for me to take on new challenges, but I am delighted to say that these will be within the industry and I will be working with friends and colleagues old and new.”
Departing CEO Halwagi will be taking on a consultancy role, he told Access, with a view to remaining in the experiential and exhibitions fields, and is in talks with foreign governments about boosting their exhibition offerings.
Skeith’s appointment was made by a selection committee made up of AEO board members – including association chairman Paul Michael, international chairman Doug Emslie, conference committee chairman Simon Kimble, marketing chairman Andrew Evans, and association treasurer Andrew Reed.
“It was important to appoint an experienced individual who has an in-depth knowledge of the industry, the right connections inside and outside the industry, and within the community of key influencers with whom we engage,” Michael said.
Halwagi, who will hand over the role to Skeith in just over a month, offered his “warmest congratulations to Chris on his appointment as the CEO of the AEO.
“The role certainly has its challenges but I am sure that with his years of experience heading up ESSA and AEV, Chris will have no problems acclimatising,” he told Access.