Soar on board of AEO following a reshuffle

Waypoint and Spearhead Exhibition Groups chairman Phil Soar took his place on the board of the Association of Exhibition Organisers (AEO) last month in a reshuffle that has brought in three new members and seen the retirement of Montgomery Exhibitions chairman Sandy Angus from the 20-strong committee.

Waypoint and Spearhead Exhibition Groups chairman Phil Soar took his place on the board of the Association of Exhibition Organisers (AEO) last month in a reshuffle that has brought in three new members and seen the retirement of Montgomery Exhibitions chairman Sandy Angus from the 20-strong committee. Andrew Manly from Manufacturing Technologies Association and Mark Griffin from Expo Management were elected along with Soar in September. Soar has been an outspoken critic of many industry practices, including ABC show auditing – a requisite for AEO membership – research and the way the exhibition industry is promoted as part of the marketing medium. Waypoint and Spearhead organise the National Venue Show and military defence show DSEi respectively as part of their exhibition portfolios. “The AEO board needed to accept that we can’t subject the defence show to an ABC audit and release its data because the Military of Defence would never allow it,” said Soar. “Once that was clarified and accepted I could take my place on the board. All our other shows will now be audited and I hope to learn from AEO members as well as make a contribution on my main interest, which is the best way to market exhibitions.” AEO group chief executive Trevor Foley welcomed Soar by insisting he would bring “enormous gravitas”. He further confirmed that Soar had been asked to play a key role in the trade body’s research group. “The quality of research in the exhibition industry is at best comical,” said Soar. On the departure of Montgomery’s Angus after 23 years of service to the AEO board, Foley said: “I have learnt a vast amount from a great mentor and I know he will remain in touch on a consultancy basis.” Angus was unavailable for comment.

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