By Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia, 19 October, 2020

The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) Young Stars Committee will host a virtual meeting exchange with more than 100 younger members of the business events community on the key issues and challenges facing workers aged under 30.

Taking place on Wednesday 21 October at 12 noon, the session has been designed by the EEAA Young Stars Committee who have invited their peers to come together to ‘Meet Share and Engage’ on a range of topics affecting their careers and their wellbeing.

The virtual meetup will be led by the EEAA Young Stars Committee Co-Chairs, Kay Badakhsh and Roslyn Du Plooy along with the Committee Members. Jo-Anne Kelleway, Chief Executive Officer, Info Salons Group and Claudia Sagripanti, EEAA Chief Executive will facilitate the session, help steer the conversation and provide strategic counsel and advice.

Claudia Sagripanti, EEAA Chief Executive said that from the outset of COVID-19, the EEAA placed a high priority on future proofing the industry with talent retention and engagement forming a key pillar in the EEAA Rebuild Strategy.

“The EEAA recognised that the younger members of the industry were at very high risk of losing sight of their career pathway, their livelihood, their emotional well-being and in many cases their commitment to stay in the industry,” said Claudia Sagripanti.

“As a result, in July, the Association launched a new program called “The Young Stars Pathways Program” that would provide a range of tools to assist young talent in developing skills to facilitate career progression. We have been piloting a group coaching program with our Young Stars Committee featuring senior managers from a number of the Association’s most valued members,” said Ms Sagripanti.

To date, two coaching sessions have taken place. The first session featured Jo-Anne Kelleway, Chief Operating Officer from Info Salons Group covering the skills required to operate in the ‘new normal’ business events landscape and the second, with Rodney Cox, Managing Director, Delaro covering communication and conflict management skills.

Two more sessions are scheduled to run this year with Joyce DiMascio, Strategic Marketing Consultant covering the art of networking and Christine Kotsis, Senior Business Development Manager, Harry the hirer providing advice on how to create and manage personal branding.

The EEAA Young Stars Pathways Mentoring Program will be formally launched in 2021 and open to all members of the Association aged under 30.

“We have been working closely with our Young Stars community since the onset of COVID-19 to ensure this sector of the business events workforce is supported and that their knowledge and skills are retained into the future,” said Ms Sagripanti.

The virtual event will broadcast live on Wednesday 21 October from 12 noon. The event is free of charge to all EEAA Young Stars members and non-members. Registration for the event is available here.


Launched in 2012, the EEAA Young Stars Program offers a range of activities tailored specifically to engage under 30-year-olds within the Association’s membership with the aim of building a strong community, ensuring the sustainability of the Association, as well as nurturing young talent in the world of exhibitions and events.

The Young Stars Program is generously supported by Tourism Australia, which became the program’s inaugural Platinum Partner in 2016.

The EEAA Young Stars Committee Members:

  • Kay Badakhsh Co-Chair of the Young Stars Committee
  • Roslyn du Plooy, Account Manager Associations & Exhibitions at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, and Co-Chair of the
    Young Stars Committee
  • Aiden Hippensteel, Event Services Floor Manager at International Convention Centre Sydney
  • Amrita Dip, Retail Operations Manager at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
  • Jasmine Pohl, Exhibitions Project Manager at Adelaide Convention Centre
  • Jess Fox, Exhibition Coordinator at Adelaide Convention Centre
  • Lakisha Di Valentino, Marketing Assistant at Diversified Communications
  • Nikki Witman, Operations Manager at Talk2 Media & Events
  • Trish Jacoby, Event Coordinator at Exponet


Source: Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia