MEA announces redundancies, postpones awards and Evolve 2020

Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) has made the unfortunate decision to make two of its staff redundant and postpone events as a result of the federal government’s new event measures to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

MEA’s national awards programme and its annual flagship event, Evolve 2020, will be postponed until further notice, in response to the escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak and following the advice issued by the federal government banning all ‘non-essential’ gatherings of more than 500 people.

MEA said it was working with venues to determine potential new dates for each of the state and territory awards and for the three-day conference.

As a result of these changes, two positions on the MEA team have been made redundant: national events manager, which was held by Fran Barlow for eight months; and partnerships manager, a new role held by Christopher Lazzari.

“I, along with the MEA board and team are devastated to lose two of our team members,” Johnson said.

“The decisions were difficult to make; however, it was necessary to ensure the stability of the organisation.

“Members’ investment in MEA will be shifted into managing the immediate needs of providing education, support, information, and lobbying government for a support package for our members and the broader industry.

“Fran and Christopher have been outstanding in responding to the news – a testament to their professionalism – and we thank them for their incredible support and commitment to the industry.

Johnson said many companies across the industry are having to make similar decisions to keep their organisations operating so they can get through this unpredictable period.

“It’s important for business owners and staff to stay positive and focused in these incredibly difficult times”, she said.

“As the sector bounces back, we will be ready.”

The MEA and the Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia have also cancelled their upcoming Information Exchange Sessions in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, which were due to kick off on Thursday.

Featured image: iStock/olm26250