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EEAA completes Global Exhibitions Day events and calls for industry action on sustainability

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

The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) has completed its five events for Global Exhibitions Day #GED19 with a strong call out to the industry to make ecological sustainability a major priority as well as career development and talent acquisition.

EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio said that #GED19 focussed on three key messages for the industry including the importance of the sector to the economy, exhibitions as an effective and sustainable way of doing business and promoting a 'a career for life' in business events. 

DiMascio advised “these themes were embedded in the program from start to finish and they resonated strongly with delegates and partners from across the industry.

“In order for our industry to continue to grow and contribute to the economy, it’s vital that we attract a broad range of talent with the right set of skills. Sustainable business practices are at the core of what many emerging leaders look for from their employers - and the business events sector must commit to taking real steps to reducing our impact on the environment by cutting our waste output and looking at procurement with conscious regard for sustainability."

The Association used the gathering of its industry leaders to report back on its work in developing a Sustainability Framework for the whole industry.

Details were announced of several key developments including the appointment of Edge Environment as its sustainability advisors and a new partnership with Tourism Australia to support the Sustainability initiative.

Chair of the EEAA’s Environmental Sustainability Working Group, Leighton Wood reported back to the industry on EEAA’s work over the past 12 months and foreshadowed the next stages of EEAA’s leadership work.

Edge Environment will develop a strategic roadmap for the next 12-24 months with the aim of significantly reducing the footprint of the event industry. Within this plan, Edge Environment will also highlight best practice guidelines and KPIs.

At the 2019 Leaders Forum and Conference and Global Exhibitions Day dinner the Association outlined a new partnership with Tourism Australia that will address ecological sustainability and career development and talent acquisition. In addition to the Tourism Australia partnership, the EEAA welcomed ‘food waste warrior’ Katy Barfield.

DiMascio stated “a highlight of the speaker line-up at the EEAA Conference was Katy Barfield, founder of Yume Food, who detailed her inspirational journey to create Australia’s first surplus food online marketplace.”

Advising that the EEAA will work with Yume Food, to educate the industry on how to include surplus food in their procurement policies, DiMascio added "we were pleased to lead by example and source some of the food served at our conference from the Yume platform.”

Another practical highlight and proof that the EEAA is leading the way in industry sustainability, was the launch of phase two of the Careers for Life campaign on Global Exhibitions Day. 

DiMascio continued “it takes all types of people, with all kinds of skills to create an event. There are many different roles from front-of-house to behind the scenes and each requires a different set of skills along with passion and commitment. The Exhibitions and Business events industry offers a Career for Life."

The ‘A career for life’ campaign spotlights 10 people with vastly different careers including a digital engineer, a motion graphic designer and digital specialist and animation producer, a financial director, head of new business and operations managers from EEAA member organisations.

The two-day Leaders Forum and Conference program featured an impressive line-up of speakers from within and outside the industry, including two international keynote presenters - Stephanie Selesnick from the USA and Margaret Ma Connolly from Informa Markets in Asia.  Along with Allan Briggs, a reputation and issues management specialist, John O’Sullivan from Tourism Australia, Katy Barfield from Yume Food, Christian Von Reventlow from Telstra and Paul Bloxham from HSBC.

EEAA members also presented powerful insights into how their businesses performed over the last 12 months and can be expected in the future, including an update from key organisers, Rodney Cox from Delaro, Timothy Collett from Specialised Events and Regine Vandenberg from Exhibitions and Events Australia.

Along with a panel of emerging leaders who unpacked the key challenges and opportunities for the industry for the future. International Organiser, Margaret Ma Connolly, delivered an insightful keynote presentation on the relationship between talent, innovation and sustainability.  

DiMascio commented “Connolly heads Informa Markets in Asia, the fastest growing region in the world. She addressed the challenges associated with attracting and retaining the right workforce for the future and provided tactical advice for the audience referring to her work in merging the workforces of UBM and Informa following the historic acquisition announced in January 2018.".

Connolly advised “I was delighted to accept the invitation to present at the EEAA Leaders Forum and Conference. I was surprised at the deep level of thought process and interaction of the attendees. We have a lot in common with the Australian industry – the focus on talent, career development and the importance of ecological and business sustainability. The forum provides a platform for sharing good ideas and inspiration from each other and to me that is the true value of the event.” 

Stephanie Selesnick, CEM, President, International Trade Information from the United States presented two keynote presentations and a ‘fireside’ chat with EEAA emerging leaders. Selesnick presented a range of insights and global industry comparisons and explored the hot topics including innovation, sustainability, partnerships, festivalisation and technology.

The EEAA Leaders Forum was followed by the EEAA Global Exhibitions Day Dinner and the EEAA Conference the following day featuring a series of workshops that allowed participants the chance to explore the leading topics for the industry.

For further details of the EEAA 2019 Leaders Forum and Conference outcomes,go to

Images (top from left): Spiro Anemogiannis, EEAA President, David Hodgett MP Shadow Minister for Sport Tourism and Major Events, Bruce Baird AM, Danny Pearson MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier of Victoria, Joyce DiMascio, EEAA Chief Executive and (below, from left) Katy Barfield, Yume Food Australia, Joyce DiMascio, EEAA, Leighton Wood, MCEC and EEAA Board Member with raspberries sourced on the Yume Food platform. 

Related Articles

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

10th May 2019 - PATA reports on food waste in Asia’s tourism industry

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

7th December 2018 - Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre secures Best Corporate Citizenship award

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

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

19th February 2018 - MCEC looks forward to cleaner and greener future

8th December 2017 - Tourism Australia continues backing of EEAA Young Stars

8th September 2017 - UFI Chief Executive commits to serving the Asia Pacific region

8th June 2017 - Australia marks global exhibitions day

21st July 2016 - EEAA backs combination of tourism with trade and investment in new Turnbull Ministry

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