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Finalists Announced for the 2018 Australian Event Awards

Finalists Announced for the 2018 Australian Event Awards
October 31, 2018

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Vivid Sydney, Splendour in the Grass, and White Night Melbourne are among the public favourites and big economic stimulants preparing for the annual Australian Event Awards and Symposium, which sees major big city spectacles, business events and regional events alike vying for a highly regarded prize in the prestigious national awards program.

Councils, sporting associations, festivals and the business world are all represented in the program which aims to highlight the significant achievements and dollar impact of events in Australia.

The Awards finalist list is populated with an impressive range of household name events and event businesses, including Byron Bay Bluesfest, the Australian Open, the MCG and Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Well-known brands such as Telstra and IBM feature in the mix, demonstrating the perhaps little understood deeply integrated importance of events to Australia’s social and economic fabric.

Mark Peters, Chief Executive of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation, one of the Award's many high-profile industry judges, explains "events are so ingrained in our regular lives through sport, business meetings, the arts, that it can be hard to recognise events as holding an industry identity of their own.

"Event types become distilled into silos or absorbed into other industries, and their impacts are underestimated.

“The impact of an event like the Commonwealth Games on the region, the skills-economy and spirit of the country is broadly known and undeniable – the Event Awards aims to promote such benefits of the entire events industry, grassroots through to major events, and across all sectors.”

While the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games reported a $4.6 billion economic boost, the benefit of regular event activity to the Australian economy is increasingly recognised by local and state government through their investment in events.

Repeat winner and popular public event Vivid Sydney, by Destination NSW, reports attendance of over two million, the sale of over 185,000 domestic and international travel packages, and consistent increase in trading revenue for local businesses throughout the duration of the event in 2018.

The Victorian Government has recently confirmed renewed support for finalist White Night Melbourne and Ballarat, which will see the event taking place in Ballarat for a third year running. It is evidently worth the investment: the 2018 event reportedly injected $5 million into the local economy.

The Adelaide Fringe Festival, supported by the Government of South Australia and the South Australia Tourism Commission, is one of the world’s largest open access arts festivals, second only to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, attracting an audience of 2.7 million and nearly 7000 artists in 2018.

Interestingly, the Event Awards design makes it possible for lesser known, regional, and smaller events to be recognised right alongside the giants. The increasingly popular Bowral Classic is a finalist for their second year running, and high achievers from Jervis Bay, Whyalla, Rockhampton, the Sunshine Coast, Lake Macquarie and Albany are all in the running to win.

This annual program continues to push Australia’s best events to be better, through the competition and peer-review by high-profile judges, including John Harnden AM and Brenda de la Porte. This is amplified the by professional development conference alongside the Awards, the Australian Event Symposium, which offers hands-on skills-development for Australia’s events professionals.

The Australian Event Awards and Symposium will take place at the Novotel Twin Waters on the Sunshine Coast on 19th to 21st November with the Award winners to be announced on Wednesday 21st November at a black-tie awards ceremony.

For more information go to

Images: The opening ceremony for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (top), Jimmy Cliff at the Byron Bay Bluesfest (middle) and White Night Melbourne (below).

Related Articles

10th September 2018 - Strong bids submitted to host future Australian Event Awards

16th July 2018 - Pollstar acknowledges Bluesfest as Australia’s top music festival

25th June 2018 - Adelaide Fringe confirms significant rise in visitor spending

13th December 2017 - Adelaide Fringe reveals 2018 program

15th September 2017 - Sunshine Coast hosts an Australian Event Awards night to remember

30th May 2017 - ICC Sydney lights up Darling Harbour during Vivid Sydney

20th August 2016 - 2017 ASCTA Convention to plot paths to the 2018 Commonwealth Games

24th June 2016 - Melbourne’s White Night event to expand to Ballarat

31st May 2016 - Australian Event Awards moves to the Sunshine Coast

20th February 2016 - Thousands expected to be part of White Night 2016

10th May 2015 - Splendour in the Grass sells out again

21st April 2014 - Byron Bay Bluesfest celebrates 25th anniversary

8th October 2010 - Byron Bay Bluesfest named Australia’s top event

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