Australian Event Awards and Symposium

In late September I attended the Australian Event Awards and Symposium at Novotel Twin Waters on the Sunshine Coast (go regional Queensland!). The whole event was absolutely amazing and I want to share some thoughts from my time.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT – the Australian Event Awards

Being a bit of a country girl, the Event Awards was a bit intimidating. Getting all dolled up in heels and a dress is VERY out of the box for me (I’m normally in trackies ‘dog clothes’ at home, followed by jeans and boots ‘people clothes’ for work). It was a spectacular experience walking out to pre-dinner drinks watching the colourful display of fireworks before heading into the large marquee for the awards. It was so surreal to be surrounded by such successful people in the events industry and for all of them to be in one place! The night was all the glitz and glamour of the Oscars and it was fantastic to see all the winners in their excitement and pride for their event team. It was so motivating to see the caliber of events nominated for the awards. A night I will not forget!

Here are the Australian Event Awards 2016 winners!

Australia's Favourite Event Birdsville Big Red Bash

Best Sporting Event Santos Tour Down Under 2016

Visit Sunshine Coast Best Tourism Event Margaret River Gourmet Escape 2015, IMG Culinary

Best Charity or Cause-Related Event Youngcare Simpson Desert Challenge 2016

CIM Magazine Best Meeting or Conference Mumbrella360

EVENTelec Best Cultural, Arts or Music Event Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour - Turandot,
Opera Australia

Best Corporate Event Dreamtime 2015 Business Session and Dinner, Belle Laide Events

Best Exhibition Hair Expo Australia 2016, Reed Exhibitions

Coates Hire Best Community Event Parramatta Lanes 2015, City of Parramatta

 Best New Event Water Polo by the Sea, Sold Out National Event Management

 Best Regional Event Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016

 Best Achievement in Design, Look or Theming Ample Projects for their work on Be The Light For The Wild, Centenary Light Walk at Taronga Zoo, Vivid Sydney 2016

 Best Achievement in Marketing, Communication or Sponsorship Zadro for their work on Hotel Career Expo 2016

 Best Technical Achievement or Innovation Imagination for their work on Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience

Best Achievement in Venue Management Sydney Showground

 Best Product or Service Botanic Gardens Restaurant Adelaide

 Best Education or Training Program Holmesglen Institute

 Best Achievement in Entertainment Shane International Events & Entertainment for their work on The Magical Gift of Mother Earth at the 2015 Royal Adelaide Show

 Young Achiever of the Year Tara Whitfield, nominated by HUMM

 Event Producer of the Year Abbie McCrisken, nominated by DG Global

 Event Management Company of the Year DG Global

 The 2016 State or Territory Award South Australia

 Lifetime Achievement Award Peter Jones


THURSDAY MORNING – the Australian Event Symposium Day One

The next morning, I was excited to jump in, listen and learn from some of the most successful people in the event industry. Today was all about inspiration and we heard from speakers who had worked on some of the biggest, best and longest-running events in Australia (and some may say, the world!). Some of my favourite moments from Day One (and the whole symposium) were learning the secret for the event longevity of the Woodford Folk Festival with Amanda Jackes, watching the light-spectacular videos from White Night Melbourne with Andrew Walsh (as he presented his section from Barcelona), really feeling the intended experiences of Ten Days on the Island TAS with David Malacari, and hearing from event and creative extraordinaire Ignatius Jones, the creator of Vivid Sydney. The final session, a Sponsorship Masterclass with Abby Clemmence, was also of great value to me as I learnt more about the skills of gaining and keeping sponsors for events. Day One sadly ended with me having to miss the networking cocktails by the beach as I headed off for a subject exam for my MBA (never has uni been more inconvenient!).

FRIDAY MORNING – the Australian Event Symposium Day Two

Friday morning was extra early with a ‘secret’ Breakfast By The Bar (I should say I spent the entire day before trying to guess where we were going…I don’t like surprises all that much). We were all walked down to the beach where we jumped on a boat and were taken over to a sandbar. The morning was absolutely beautiful with the weather perfect and the beach being really quiet and relaxing. #greatstarttothemorning. After such a perfect breakfast, I rushed back to my room to check out…and locked myself out of my room (sigh).

Finally arriving back at the conference room, Day Two was a whole heap of subject sessions. Jumping into the sessions, I started with Social Media Marketing and then a session on sponsorship (you’ll notice the theme for my time was sponsorship). Both sessions highlighted the need to understand your audience and find a connection with your sponsors and guests. I took so, so many notes. They were all absolutely fantastic sessions that I learnt so much from (if you would like all my notes, please send us an email!). The final session was about building brands through events and was a creative look at PR/marketing ‘stunts’.

The most amazing part of the few days was being with like-minded people and absorbing all their creativity, knowledge and experience. It has made me think about my role at Tilma much more creatively and be inspired by all marketing and events that come across my desk. This is a symposium I would suggest anyone with an interest in events attend! You won’t regret it! #ausevents

Kushla GaleComment