2021 Global Exhibitions Day

2 June
International Convention Centre Sydney

Our 2021 Global Exhibitions Day celebration was a sold out event, bringing together the business events industry face to face and online to discuss the power of exhibitions in rebuilding economies.

Since last year’s virtual webinar, exhibitions are coming back to life under a COVID Safe environment, with many reporting their events were more successful than ever.

The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) was delighted to support Global Exhibitions Day once again in 2021. EEAA celebrated #GED21 by gathering the industry leaders for a an afternoon Summit followed by networking drinks and cocktails.

Facilitated by our Chief Executive, Claudia Sagripanti, the EEAA 2021 Global Exhibitions Day Summit celebrated how far we’ve come since March 2020 and what we have achieved so quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Summit began with an economic outlook by Paul Bloxham, the Chief Economist from HSBC. Paul compared how fortunate we are in Australia to many other economies around the world. The digitalisation of our industry has forced businesses to quickly and rapidly reassess their business models which has the potential to deliver positive behavioral changes and lift productivity growth.

Following the economic insight, our panel of speakers delved into the thought processes, key learnings and advice for running successful COVID Safe events.

Harvey Lister, Chairman and Chief Executive of ASM Global (Asia Pacific), said that although hybrid events have brought about a whole new market for reveune generation, research shows that people still want to participate in events with real people in attendance. 80% of people who attended a hybrid event in the US say they want to go to the event live next year.

The Melbourne lockdown meant Jane Ford from EEA, was not able to attend in person, but made a big contribution on her learnings from running 6 out of 10 events, and responding to changing visitor and exhibitor spend patterns to maximise returns.
After weathering the media storm last year around the ADX, the Australian Dental Industry Association’s CEO, Kym de Britt, discussed how pro-active conversations ensured the success of the first exhibition in Melbourne with numbers exceeding expectations.

One of the challenges that remain is about rebuilding operational memory and delivering the same quality experience prior to COVID now that events have returned. Jimmy Busteed of the Australian Turf Club discussed the new communication and training processes with casual staff about the venue and client expectations.

Simon Burgess, General Manager of Adelaide Convention Centre, focussed on the opportunities that come with challenges. Breaking the ticketing into sessions allowed additional buy-in for the busiest days during the Cellar Door Festival. Along with the pent up demand, this generated more revenue than it had ever before.

Rod Peter, Managing Director, Coleman Group, explored the topic of employees and staff. Although some of his talent left during the downturn in 2020, he was happy to report than many have come back and he is on the path of rebuilding his workforce.

Our international panellists, Chris Skeith, the CEO of the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and Chris Kilbee Informa Markets in Singapore discussed the importance of relationships and collaboration. Chris Skeith talked about the industry’s identity crisis, the lobbying efforts in the UK, and that while the industry has not had a big share of the government’s attention in the past, now those relationships have never been better. Chris Kilbee discussed the trade-offs between revenue and customer experience, and the benefits of investing in customer relationships and digital platforms such as the Virtual Events Institute.

The industry professionals convened after the Summit for a celebratory networking session.

2021 EEAA Global Exhibition Day eeaa.com.au iccsydney.com.au

For more photos of the Global Exhibitions Day Summit, click through to the image gallery HERE.

We thank Orlando Sydney Event Photography for capturing our event.


We would like to thank our Members for their support to help bring you our year-round program of events, information exchanges and member services.

We thank the International Convention Centre Sydney for their firm support of the peak industry association for trade and consumer expos and events. We would also like to thank Lup Events, Coleman Group and Orlando Sydney for showing their continued support for the industry.