EEAA 2017 Awards for Excellence

29 November 2017
Touring Hall, Melbourne Museum

The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia’s (EEAA) 25th annual Awards for Excellence tonight honoured the industry’s highest achieving shows, venues, suppliers, teams and individuals, with special tributes paid to long-time industry champions Malu Barrios and Jo-Anne Kelleway.

At its special 25th anniversary gala event, held at Melbourne Museum, the Association’s community celebrated the important role of individuals to the success of the Association and the wider business event industry.

International Convention Centre Sydney’s (ICC Sydney) Malu Barrios was named the inaugural winner of the Unsung Hero of the Industry for her contribution over many years and Info Salon Group’s Jo-Anne Kelleway was recognised for her decades of service to the Association becoming the 2017 recipient of the Trevor Riddell President’s Award.

EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio, commended the dedication, leadership and invaluable contributions of these two long-time industry women. The new award for Unsung Hero of the Industry attracted three nominees: Malu Barrios from ICC Sydney; Jan van den Berg from Designteam and Eden Fridman from Expo Direct.

“On behalf of the EEAA community, we congratulate Malu Barrios and Jo-Anne Kelleway on their award wins,” Ms DiMascio said. “Our industry has many talented people – men and women who have dedicated years of service to our sector. Tonight we honour two stand-out women whose contribution is unequalled. They are exemplary role models and most deserving winners.”

Ms Barrios was recognised for her service over the past four decades. Most recently, she played a critical role in supporting the exhibition industry through the challenging three years at the temporary exhibition centre at Glebe Island. She has since transitioned many of those clients to the new ICC Sydney where she has also played a critical role in re-establishing their shows at the new venue.

EEAA President, Spiro Anemogiannis, presented the Trevor Riddell President’s Award to Jo-Anne Kelleway, recognising her service to the Association.

“Jo-Anne was one of the Association’s first and youngest board members and has been tireless in her commitment to the Association over the past 25 years,” Mr Anemogiannis said.

“She is an outstanding advocate for the Association always on the lookout for opportunities to build our reputation and connections – and her energy and vitality is unsurpassed.

“I can think of no-one more worthy of this recognition and I am honoured to present her with this award.”

Others honoured at the Awards included industry rising star Craig Mather from Ungerboeck Software International, this year’s Richard Geddes Young Achiever Award recipient.

“It’s pleasing to see the number of talented young members coming through our industry. The Association is proud to recognise their achievements and to support our future leaders through this award.” Ms DiMascio said.

The other nominees acknowledged as future leaders were Nina Shand from Diversified Communications Australia, Cathy Hammond from Exhibitions and Trade Fairs and Kiarna Harvey from National Media.

Reed Exhibitions Australia took out this year’s Best Show Award for Reed Gift Fairs Sydney (February 2017). This event was the first to return to the new ICC Sydney and it also won the Best Trade Show over 10,000 square metres.

The inaugural winner of the Association’s new Best Innovation in Event Tech Award, was Info Salons for its Konduko Near Field Communication Engagement platform.

Federal Trade Tourism and Investment Minister, Steven Ciobo MP issued a special message for the 25thAnniversary dinner and Awards for Excellence.

“The work that you all do to help boost this sector, to organise events, to organise conferences, is critical to making sure that Australian tourism and business events go from strength-to-strength. I applaud your excellence tonight, you deserve to be celebrated.” the Minister said.

Chair of Judges, John Trevillian AM, said: “The quality of entries was once again very high and the judging was the closest it has been. This really is a testament to the success, vitality and excellence of the sector in Australasia.

Mr Trevillian thanked the judges and Members for allowing the Association to shine a light on the industry’s achievements.

“Congratulations to all the winners and finalists and thank you for supporting this important night for our industry. Thank you to the judges for their time and diligence and to our sponsors and partners whose support is invaluable, he said.

The EEAA Awards for Excellence are a highlight of the business event industry calendar. Each year, they celebrate the achievements of EEAA Members and honour the existing and future leaders of our industry – the shows, venues, suppliers, teams and individuals that have excelled in their field and are beacons of innovation, passion, leadership and commitment.

The Awards dinner was held in the Touring Hall, Museum Spaces, Melbourne Museum. The production partner was Harry the Hirer. The night was hosted by Colin Lane, with the show animation created by The Monkey’s Cobbler and entertainment provided by Belle Musique.


Commendations were awarded in some categories – this is denoted by *


Best Show

Winner: Reed Gift Fairs Sydney February 2017 – Reed Exhibitions Australia

Trevor Riddell President’s Award

Winner: Jo-Anne Kelleway – Info Salons

Unsung Hero

Winner: Malu Barrios – ICC Sydney

Richard Geddes Young Achiever

Winner: Craig Mather – Ungerboeck Software International



Best Consumer Show over 10,000M2

Winner: Good Food & Wine Show Sydney 2017 – Talk2 Media & Events

Best Trade Show over 10,000M2

Winner: Reed Gift Fairs Sydney February 2017 – Reed Exhibitions Australia

*Highly commended: DesignBUILD 2017 – Diversified Communications Australia

Best Trade Show under 10,000M2

Winner: buildnz | designex & The National Safety Show – XPO Exhibitions

Best New Show

Winner: Intel Extreme Masters Sydney 2017 – ESL Australia

*Highly commended: Accounting Business Expo – National Media

Best Association Event

Winner: PAX Australia 2016 for Interactive Games & Entertainment Association – Reed Exhibitions Australia

*Highly commended: PacPrint2017/Visual Impact – Visual Connections Australia

Best Custom Stand

Winner: Cisco at Cisco Live! 2017 – Exhibit Systems

Most Outstanding Marketing Campaign

Winner: Good Food & Wine Show Sydney 2017 – Talk2 Media & Events

*Highly commended: AUSPACK 2017 – Exhibitions and Trade Fairs

Best New Product or Service

Winner: Feeding Your Performance – ICC Sydney

*Highly commended: Exhibitor Service Centre – Ungerboeck Software International

Best Show Team

Winner: Intel Extreme Masters Sydney 2017 – ESL Australia

*Highly commended: National 4×4 Outdoors Show, Fishing & Boating Expo – Exhibitions and Trade Fairs

Best Supplier – Services or Products

Winner: Expo Direct

*Highly commended: Harry the hirer

Best Supplier Team – Event

Winner: ExpoNet – 23rd World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems

*Highly commended: Exhibit Systems – Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2016

Best Venue Team

Winner: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre – Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress 2016

*Highly commended: Luna Park Venues, Sydney – Amway China Leadership Seminar 2017

Best Innovation in Event Tech

Winner: Konduko NFC Engagement Platform – Info Salons

Watch the highlights video

A special thanks to those who helped us deliver this special event

Awards Host

Colin Lane, Award-winning comedian, and one half of comedy duo ‘Lano and Woodley’.


Supergroup: Featuring the talents of six musicians and three vocalists, this Supergroup took guests from the sublime stylings of a jazz club, to the lights and glitter of a disco dance floor.

Host venue

Museum Spaces and Restaurant Associates , and their teams including Daniel Goncalves and Millie Wood.

The creative team

Nigel O’Connell and Kien Tan, The Monkey’s Cobbler; Michael Firman, Tyler Edmonds, Sam Slaughter and the Harry the hirer team; and Paul Moses, Lumanation Productions.

The EEAA team

for their professionalism and hard work.


Throughout the year we receive support to help bring you our year-round program of events, seminars and member services. The 2017 Awards for Excellence is a shining example of the generosity of our Members. We thank those listed on the right of this page for helping us deliver this event.