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AEO Awards

Paula Lorimer

Paula Lorimer

Director, Harrogate Convention Centre

Paula began her career in Publishing, quickly progressing to Group Advertising Director before moving into the world of Events, Conferences, and Exhibitions. She now has more than three decades of high-level event industry experience and is the Harrogate Convention Centre Director. Previous roles include deputy CEO at Manchester Central and Sales Director for International Confex, one of Europe's most significant event industry expos.

Since she arrived in North Yorkshire in 2019, Paula has transformed operations leading to major long-term contracts and high profile wins. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she oversaw the convention centre's transformation into NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and the Humber. Paula is now preparing a complete refurbishment and redevelopment of the iconic venue to help focus on the Association Conference sector and ensure that the building's sustainability credentials support Harrogate District's ambitious plans to be carbon neutral in 2038.

Throughout her career, Paula has demonstrated core competency in winning new business, building five-star service teams, increasing profitability, growing new revenue streams, and developing industry strategies that deliver success.


  • The AEO Awards is great at bringing the community and the industry all together
    Carolyn Mason
    Director, Experience Staff
  • It is so much fun to have a day out with the industry and to just talk to everyone that loves it and is so passionate about it
    Nico Stanford
    Senior Sales Manager, Olympia London
  • I wanted to congratulate you both, and the wider AEO team, on such a fantastic awards ceremony last week. I have not attended the AEO Awards for several years, and perhaps I forgot just how much of a special day it is… it was incredibly well organised, and it was such a wonderful occasion.
    Ashley Roberts
    Managing Director, CONNECT
  • What a fantastic AEO Awards last Friday; such a buzz and a brilliant afternoon all round. Thank you all for putting on such a fabulous event. What Else Events will be back next year with an even stronger case. For now, being a Finalist is a major achievement in such a competitive category.
    Tim Else
    Founder & Managing Director, What Else Events
  • It was lovely to see you and the team and we had a fantastic night thank you! Everything looked incredible and it was a great event to be part of. Thank you
    Becky Oldham
    Marketing Manager, NEC Group


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