Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) has announced the national and state/territory winners of its 2020 awards.
Reflecting on a particularly challenging year, the awards recognise the innovation and exceptional work done by organisations and individuals in the events sector throughout 2020.
This was the second time that the state and national awards were concurrently presented, and the second year the ceremony was broadcast to a virtual audience across Australia.
MEA chief executive Peter McDonald said: “I’d like to acknowledge the effort made by anyone who contributed a submission for consideration, to congratulate those who became worthy finalists, and to celebrate those deemed to ultimately be category winners.
“They’ve been determined to be the best of the best by their peers. They’ve established new benchmarks for the industry to emulate. Well done.”
MEA’s chair of judges, Ian Stuart, said: “The greatest impact on the business events sector in the past 18 months has of course been COVID. The whole industry has faced cancellations, confusion and concern about when it will all end.
“But, resourceful as ever, our sector has responded creatively and with optimism. We’ve learned how to replace and to complement the traditional face-to-face experience by including hybrid and virtual alternatives.
“We’ve worked out how to keep our audiences’ attention, how to engage with them and the event’s stakeholders. There is great evidence of this in the 2020 MEA National Awards.”
Destination NSW, EventsAIR, ICC Sydney, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Touchpoint and Ungerboeck partnered with MEA to confer the 2020 awards, while Scene Change Sydney answered the association’s call for help when the event was forced to go virtual.
Kate Smith of WALDRONSMITH Management was awarded the 2020 Outstanding Contribution Award for her contribution and dedication to the sector.
Smith has been an enormous support and mentor for the industry, including as immediate past chair of MEA, all while dealing with the same challenges COVID presented her own business.
The full list of national and state/territory award winners can be found here.