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AEO AwArds 201116 celebrated at the aeO awardsexhibition and events companies were in the spotlight at the aeO excellence awards 2011. EN reports on the highlights of the gala ceremony and this year's winners' listhe industry's finest joined together to take part in the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) Excellence Awards 2011 at Excel London's Capital Hall on 1 July. The event was attended by 1,200 individuals from across the exhibition and event community and was hosted by comedian Dominic Holland. Guests were entertained by Got to Dance stars Chris and Wes, as well as comic dance act Stavros Flatley, while indulging in a three-course lunch. This year's theme was a summer garden party. More than £8,000 was raised for the AEO's adopted charity the Lord's Taverners during the event.The AEO Outstanding Contribution to the Industry award was presented to Quartz Group chairman Keith Harris for his 40-year career and achievements. Twenty awards were then handed out across a range of venue, organiser and supplier categories."I couldn't have wished for a better event. This year we recognised the achievements in every area, from organisers to venues to suppliers," AEO chief executive Austen Hawkins said. "Congratulations to all the winners."Excel, Leith's, Beyond Media Services and our other event partners really went to town."Check out highlights of the celebrations in our EN gallery on page 44.TAbove: The Capital Hall in all its fineryright: An Outstanding Contribution worthy of an award (from left): Quartz's Paul Michael, former dMG world Media's Mike Cooke, Quartz's Keith Harris and reed's Justin TadmanBest Consumer Launch Show The Big scuba show, Bluestone EventsBest Trade Launch Show Farm shop and deli show, william reed Business MediaSupplier Team of the Year CEVA showfreight ITVenue Team of the Year Earls Court and Olympia MarketingOrganiser Team of the Year Fresh rMStand Design and Build Supplier of the Year Communication by designBest Tradeshow Exhibition Under 2,000sqm - Lunch, diversified Business CommunicationsUnsung Hero dave Freeman, goods receiver at Manchester Central Convention ComplexOfficial Contractor of the Year CEVA showfreightMarketing Campaign of the Year Labelexpo Americas, Tarsus GroupVenue Sustainable Initiative of the Year 'Plan-It green', Edinburgh International Conference CentreBest Consumer Live Event Jameson Cult Film Club, Miss Jones and CoBest Trade Live Event The Oracle retail week Awards, Emap InformInternational Venue of the Year AdNECEquipment Supplier of the Year Penny BanksBest Consumer Exhibition The Gadget show Live, Upper street EventsService Supplier of the Year Melville Middle EastUK Venue of the Year Excel LondonBest Tradeshow Exhibition Over 2,000sqm - Ipex, Informa ExhibitionsThe Excellence Award Media 10 EventsThe winners