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EEAA 2019 Awards honour industry excellence and service

EEAA 2019 Awards honour industry excellence and service
December 5, 2019

The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia’s (EEAA) annual Awards for Excellence honoured the industry’s highest achieving shows, venues, suppliers, teams and individuals, with special tributes paid to its rising stars and unsung heroes.

Held at Myer Mural Hall Melbourne, the Association’s community celebrated the important role of individuals to the success of the Association and the wider business event industry. 

Sixty finalists were presented across 15 categories with one winner inducted to the Hall of Fame. A President’s Award was also presented.

There were five Highly Commended finalists including two commendations for the Richard Geddes Young Achiever Award.

Three hundred people including 21 sponsor companies attended the event which was hosted by Jane Hutcheon, former ABC journalist and presenter.

Felicity Zadro, Managing Director from Zadro Agency was named the Unsung Hero for her contribution to the events industry over the last two decades.

Aiden Hippensteel, Event Operations Floor Manager from ICC Sydney was awarded the Richard Geddes Young Achiever Award for his outstanding organisation and leadership skills. His volunteer work with the Rural Fire Service was also commended.

Leighton Wood, Chief Operating Officer from Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre received the Trevor Riddell President’s Award for his outstanding contribution to the EEAA Board and the Association’s sustainability project. He has initiative with passion, leadership and expertise.

Seven nominations were received for the Richard Geddes Young Achiever Award:  Kay Badakhsh from HostCo, Laura Blagys from Reed Exhibitions Australia, Lakisha Di Valentino from Diversified Communications, Aiden Hippensteel from ICC Sydney, Katie Ray from AV 24/7, Nikki Witman from Talk2 Media and Events and Claudene Yousif from Reed Exhibitions Australia – both Nikki Whitman and Lakisha Di Valentino received commendations.

EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio advised “We are immensely grateful for the partnership with Tourism Australia for the UFI Scholarship and Ungerboeck Software International who continue to support this important initiative which recognises emerging leaders.

“Of all the areas that I have worked on, I am most proud of what we have done to recognise and encourage the careers of young people and the emerging leaders.”

EEAA President, Spiro Anemogiannis presented the Trevor Riddell President’s Award to Leighton Wood, Chief Operating Officer at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and EEAA Vice President for his outstanding contribution to the EEAA Board and the Association.

Anemogiannis noted “Leighton joined the Board this year and has taken a leadership role in setting the agenda to build a more environmentally sustainable industry. He has brought the leadership work of his own organisation and personal passion to drive the EEAA’s sustainability framework.”

Chair of Judges, John Trevillian AM thanked the 29 judges, nine of whom were international which ensured the judging standard was informed by a global perspective.

“Each category was judged by three independent judges. We thank them all for their expertise and commitment to the industry.

“I continue to be impressed with the calibre of talent that is developing in this industry and commend all the entrants along with the EEAA for running this program.”

Exhibit Systems – Cisco at Cisco Live! 2019 entered the Hall of Fame with their third consecutive win for Best Custom Stand. The innovative stand design concept and functionality has been adopted globally by Cisco for the technology leader’s showcase events.

Reed Exhibitions Australia won this year’s Best Show Award for PAX Australia 2018, a three-day festival, curated and delivered by ‘gamers’ for the global interactive gaming community.

The Best Corporate Citizenship Award was won by the ICC Sydney for their CSR initiatives and Legacy Program. Adopting several United Nations “Sustainable Development Goals”, the ICC Sydney Legacy program gives clients the opportunity to contribute to the city’s cultural capital and advance the social sustainability objective of their events.

The Most Creative Innovation in Event “Experience” Delivery was awarded to Salesforce for the Salesforce World Tour 2019. This event provides business solutions and future thinking for audiences, coupled with bespoke content and the best Australian talent to spread the message of diversity, quality and inclusion.

Kai Hattendorf, Chief Executive of the Global Association for the Exhibition Industry (UFI) and a member of the judging panel greeted the room from the UFI Headquarters in Paris, congratulated all the winners and finalists.

Special thanks and recognition were given by Anemogiannis and Hattendorf to DiMascio, who will be leaving her role as EEAA Chief Executive in late December after almost 9 years at the helm. There was a standing ovation for DiMascio as she was honoured for the great contribution the Association.

TMC Productions produced the onscreen content and Harry the hirer was the staging and AV producer. Info Salons Group was the registration partner. The EEAA thanked all their major partners who helped produce the Awards for Excellence event. 


BEST CONSUMER SHOW over 10,000metre2
Reed Exhibitions Australia - PAX Australia 2018

BEST TRADE SHOW over 10,000metre2
Talk2 Media & Events - Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event
Highly Commended: Exhibitions and Trade Fairs - AUSPACK 2019

Deutsche Messe and AFAC - AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ

Exhibitions and Trade Fairs - 2019 National 4x4 Outdoors Show, Fishing & Boating Expo

Sprintr by AV1
Highly Commended: Agility Fairs & Events

Harry the hirer - Harrys Concierge

Decorative Events & Exhibitions - Premium Suites
Highly Commended: AFI Branding - Dynamic Lightbox

Exhibit Systems - Cisco at Cisco Live! 2019 – (Hall of Fame)

Salesforce – Salesforce World Tour 2019

Aiden Hippensteel from ICC Sydney
Highly Commended: Lakisha Di Valentino from Diversified Communications Australia
Highly Commended: Nikki Witman from Talk2 Media & Events

BEST TRADE SHOW under 10,000metre2
Reed Exhibitions Australia - National Manufacturing Week 2019

ICC Sydney - CSR initiatives and Legacy Program

Felicity Zadro

ICC Sydney - SIBOS 2018

ExpoNet - 17th SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit

Reed Exhibitions Australia - PAX Australia 2018

Leighton Wood – Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and Vice President of the EEAA Board

Images top: Winners of 2019 EEAA Awards for Excellence and image above: 2019 EEAA Richard Geddes Young Achiever Finalists

Related Articles

12th November 2019 - EEAA Chief Executive Joyce DiMascio to step down

14th October 2019 - EEAA workshops contribute to industry sustainability framework

10th October 2019 - EEAA Young Stars focus on the future of event marketing

2nd August 2019 - EEAA introduces new networking platform for members

14th June 2019 - Tourism Australia partners with EEAA to support sustainability initiative

13th June 2019 - EEAA completes Global Exhibitions Day events and calls for industry action on sustainability

11th May 2019 - EEAA continues to support the career development of young people in events 

17th February 2019 - EEAA seeks feedback from emerging leaders on event sustainability practices 

6th December 2018 - EEAA 2018 awards recognise industry excellence and service

13th November 2018 - EEAA announce finalists in 2018 industry excellence awards

27th September 2018 - ICC Sydney and EEAA partner for Global Exchange 2018

17th August 2018 - EEAA Chief Executive endorses ‘Business Women Champions of the Heart’ campaign

15th August 2018 - EEAA initiative to reduce the environmental impact of events

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