Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) acknowledged and celebrated the excellence and achievements of the industry during 2023 at the awards dinner last night held at the Rydges Resort Hunter Valley. Hosted by Master of Ceremonies Luke Hannan, the 2023 MEA National Awards presentation ceremony was the perfect bookend to MEA’s highly successful annual conference, Evolve 2024.

More than 200 guests witnessed 32 Awards be presented to the best in the industry, including the bestowal of three Platinum Awards to recipients who achieved the highest score via the judging process within their respective greater categories. Special congratulations to; MEA Platinum Company of the Year - Forum Group Events & Marketing, MEA Platinum Event of the Year - ICMS Australasia – Meeting of the Mines 2023, and MEA Platinum Event Professional of the Year – Tiffany Lo from ICMS Australasia.

MEA CEO Peter McDonald said, “Last night we were able to showcase performances of distinction across the breadth of the Australian events industry during 2023. It’s my hope that every national, as well as state and territory, finalist and winner will use their peer determined acknowledgement to champion and leverage themselves as they conduct business.” He added “My thanks go to the Chair of Judges Simon Baggs, and indeed all judges for their volunteered time and experience. Immense gratitude also to our Award category sponsors Apex Event Recruitment, Black Diamond Agency, Cvent and Business Events Australia for their support. It’s impossible to offer this program without any of this altruism.”

MEA is thrilled to announce that this year the esteemed Outstanding Contribution Award was presented to Ian Whitworth, Ian has had a long, storied career in the business events industry. He has built up Scene Change over the last 17 years, into a significant premium national AV company. He is also highly regarded as an ‘out there’ marketing icon, author, blogger, and former advertising creative whose maverick creative genius is lauded as much by his competitors as by his clients and the industry. This year the award is sponsored by Business Events Australia.

Two standout businesses entered MEA’s Hall of Fame. A special congratulations to; Harry the hirer for Exhibition Services and Congress Australia for Specialist Services and Suppliers. Both organisations join the prestigious ranks of similar organisations who have also won the same MEA Award for three consecutive years.

An event like MEA’s National Awards Dinner is not possible or as enjoyable without the generous support of event partners. MEA’s genuine thanks go to Newcastle Airport, Sydney Props Group, TPM Events, EventPix and Musicland.

NSW winners:

  • Forum Group Events & Marketing - Event Agency award and Platinum Company of the Year
  • AV1 - Audio Visual Services award
  • Harry the Hirer - Exhibition Services award
  • SongDivision - Speakers, Entertainers and Team Builders award
  • Sydney Showground - Event Venue – Capacity >1,000 award
  • Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific - Event Hotel of the Year award
  • Biaggio Signorelli Foundation 15 Year Tribute Gala Dinner - Cause Related Event of the Year
  • SXSW Sydney - Major Event or Festival of the Year
  • Nicci Gow, TAFE NSW - Event Educator of the Year
  • Tiffany Lo, ICMS Australasia - MEA Future Leader and Platinum Event Professional of the Year
  • Ian Whitworth - Outstanding Contribution award
  • Destination North Coast Business Events - Destination Marketing Business

These accolades not only spotlight the remarkable efforts of event planners, marketers, and operators but also recognise the invaluable contributions of suppliers, venues, destinations, and agencies that continuously innovate and elevate the industry's standards.

Congratulations to all award entrants and thank you for your contribution to the 2023 MEA awards program. We would also like to thank our Award sponsors, without whom our program would not be possible, Apex Event Recruitment, Black Diamond Agency, Cvent and Tourism Australia.

About MEA: Meetings & Events Australia is the collective voice of the events industry in Australia. With the largest network of event professionals in Australia, MEA has been supporting the careers of our members and advancing the interests of the event industry since 1975. MEA’s membership represents the largest community of businesses and individuals across the Australian events industry that employs more than 229,000 professionals who stage, produce, manage, support, and supply the 480,000+ events held in Australia annually. These events include major events, festivals, conferences, meetings, exhibitions, launches, seminars, special events, community events and much more for associations, corporations, government, and the general public.

About the Awards: MEA’s Awards Program has been recognising and celebrating the achievements of the Australian events industry since 1983. The Awards acknowledge those who demonstrate excellence in the organisation, planning and delivery of business events, major events and festivals, special events, cause-related events, conferences, and exhibitions. They reward individuals who excel in the planning, operation, marketing, and delivery of events; and suppliers, destinations and agencies who attract events, push the boundaries, create, and innovate. They identify excellence in venues and national events that demonstrate leadership and exceptional delegate or visitor experience; and they reinforce the value of the events industry and promote greater recognition for the sector within the wider business community