This time of year, we’re all looking back at the highlights and anticipating all that the next year will bring.
As AAE goes through this exercise, we’re energized and eager to dive into all that 2023 has in store, and we see an abundance of milestones, awards, and experiences to be grateful for as we look back at 2022. Here are a few of them:
A year of great events, with in-person demand surging back
It was a strong year for events, especially in-person events. The trend that we anticipated going into 2022 was that in-person events were on the upswing thanks to the easing of COVID-19 safety measures. With every passing month, in-person events increased their lead over virtual.
So far this year, in-person events have made up 56% of all our bookings, with virtual events coming in at 44%. For some perspective, last year in-person events were at just 19.2%, and virtual made up a whopping 80.8% of bookings.
Some of the most popular topics for events in 2022 were mental health and mindset, diversity and inclusion, and future of work, to name a few. Take a look ahead at five speaking topics that we anticipate will be major talking points for our speakers in 2023.
Most importantly to us, our clients were overwhelmingly satisfied with AAE’s services. After each event, we ask clients to rate their experience with us. So far in 2022, the average score is 4.9 out of 5 stars.
Creating our 2022 Speaking Industry Speaking Industry Benchmark Report
AAE surveyed nearly 700 event professionals and keynote speakers to generate greater visibility and insight into budgeting, speaking topics, booking timelines, and so much more.
We heard from corporate, university, and organizational event strategists, most with 10 years of experience or more. We also heard from more than 130 speakers and talent managers who gave feedback on their own preferences and processes when considering speaking opportunities. In case you missed it, you can download the full report here or take a look at just the highlights in the executive summary.
We’re already hard at work on our 2023 report. You can share your insights through our 2023 Speaking Industry Survey starting in January 2023! Follow AAE Speakers on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram and be notified as soon as this survey opens.
An award-winning year for AAE
In May, Inc. Magazine announced that AAE would be featured on its annual Best Workplaces list. Each company took part in an employee survey, which included topics such as management effectiveness, perks, fostering employee growth, and overall company culture.
In August, AAE received a pair of workplace awards. Business North Carolina Magazine named AAE its 2022 Best Employers list, which celebrates the top workplaces throughout the state. Additionally, AAE came in at #1 on the Triangle Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in 2022 list for the small businesses category.
And our very own Director of Event Logistics, Edie Boan, was named a 2022 recipient of the Triangle Business Journal’s Women in Business Award for her tireless work supporting our clients and for advocating for support of our local community.
Speaking of our community…
In May, we partnered with Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI), sponsoring its Annual RISE Breakfast through a donation of speaking fees and services to present Bakari Sellers as the keynote speaker.
On October 25, AAE and The Blood Connection hosted a blood drive at our North Carolina office. Not only did we exceed our blood donation goals, AAE also donated $10 to the Compass Center on behalf of each person who participated in the drive.
As we wrap up 2022, AAE is excited to launch a new donation drive for Oak City Cares, which is an organization that works with people who are homeless or on the brink of homelessness. We’re partnering with Oak City Cares to donate crucial items like hygiene products, clothing, and more as AAE continues to find ways to lift up our community.
Getting to know our speakers better and helping them tell their stories
Each year, we get to work with hundreds of keynote speakers, each of whom bring their own unique styles, abilities, expertise and stories to our clients’ events. One of our favorite things to do is to dive deeper into those stories. In 2022, we got to do a lot of that:
- We had a conversation with spoken word educator, high school English teacher, and author Peter Kahn about his career in education, spoken word poetry, memorable moments, and his passion for public speaking.
- CEO and Founder of Motion Infusion Laura Putnam shared with us about going beyond moving more and sitting less — how we can translate that movement into action and improve the health of the communities and spaces around us.
- AAE was joined by award-winning Latina activist, author, social justice warrior, and founder of Urban Light, Alezandra Russell. We heard the unique and inspirational story of her life and how she continues to advocate for marginalized populations.
- Comedian, writer, LGBTQ+ advocate, and best-selling author Sophie Santos had a conversation with us about her book “The One You Want to Marry,” getting her start in comedy and what she thinks is next for her promising career.
- Having spent the last 10 years establishing herself as a thought leader and influential voice on women in business across multiple mediums, speaker and event moderator Angelica Malin spoke to us about that journey.
Celebrating our 20th anniversary, and looking to the future with optimism
We turned 20! In those two decades, AAE has seen monumental growth to better serve you.
We’ve worked with incredible clients, booked extraordinary talent, and played a role in creating unforgettable event experiences with our many partners that have impacted the lives of thousands and thousands of event attendees. As we took the time to celebrate this milestone in 2022, we also looked ahead to the next 20 years.
As our CEO and founder put it: “My hope is that we continue to grow as a company and as individuals, that our work has a positive impact on others, that our employees continue to feel supported and valued and achieve their personal and professional goals.”
With 2023 just around the corner, we’re excited for another opportunity to partner with clients like you and help make your event dreams come true. Here’s to another great year!