MEA crowns keen winners

Hannah Edensor

The 2014 state stages of the Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) Industry Awards saw plenty of winners don new crowns.

Major winners of the Victorian event included the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), who were announced winners in all three categories entered.

MCEC was awarded Meeting Venue 500 delegates or more, Banqueting and Catering, and In-house AV Services, the latter being won for the fifth year in a row.

The venue received further recognition with Catering Services Manager Stephanie Champion announced a finalist of the MEA and Ungerboeck Software International Young Professional Scholarship.

“MEA Awards give us the opportunity to benchmark our performance against industry leaders and we heard there were more submissions and finalists than ever before,” MCEC’s chief executive Peter King said.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Meanwhile, the Queensland MEA Awards also handed out a few medals, with the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) taking out four of the major award categories in Brisbane last week.

The Centre was awarded ‘Meeting Venue 500 Delegates or More’, ‘Association or Government Meeting of the Year’, ‘In-House AV Services’ and ‘Banquet and Catering’.

The awards celebrate an outstanding period for BCEC in 2014, the strongest in the history of the Centre, the highlight of which was the hosting of the 2014 G20 Leaders Summit.

“The Centre is a major supporter and key player in the meetings industry. Business Events are an important part of the economic fabric of Queensland and Australia and their contribution is even greater in terms of knowledge wealth and education and social impact,” BCEC’s general manager Bob O’Keeffe said.

BCEC staff at the Brisbane MEA Industry Awards
BCEC staff at the Brisbane MEA Industry Awards

And it wouldn’t be a party without NSW, with The Star Event Centre winning the best Specialty Event Venue in NSW, while the tech team scored the title of best Technical & Creative Production – In-house AV Services team.

Celebrating the win, managing director at The Star Greg Hawkins said since opening its doors in January 2013, the event centre has become an icon of Sydney’s events and entertainment industry.

MEA’s Meetings and Events Industry Awards are considered the premier accolade of best industry management practice and outstanding performance in the Australian meetings and events industry.

Both MCEC and BCEC are now finalists in the 2014 MEA National Awards, where winners will be revealed at the MEA National Conference in Hamilton Island on May 26 2015.

The Star Event Centre team
The Star Event Centre team