Industry News

EEAA chief executive endorses women’s heart health in new campaign

EEAA’s Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio, is one of 16 senior business women invited to be ambassadors in a new  and Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry campaign.

“Business Women Champions of the Heart” was launched this week by Lucy Turnbull. The campaign aims to put women’s heart health in focus through the business community using the extended network of its newly appointed advocates.

Ms DiMascio said she believed, along with many women working in the business events sector, that the message about heart health was critical for the industry given the alarming statistic that 22 women die each week from heart disease.

“Women often prioritise others over themselves, which is why it is important to focus on women’s heart health. This campaign will give more women a chance of survival with increased awareness of symptoms and prevention.

“Heart disease in women is also a male issue – it’s something that the whole community should be concerned about. The Heart Foundation needs our support in spreading the message about this campaign.”

Lucy Turnbull and Joyce DiMascio

“Business Women Champions of the Heart” is the nation’s first network of senior business women dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease in women. The ambassadors will support its efforts to educate the community about heart disease in women.

The campaign was launched by leading businesswoman, urbanist and philanthropist Lucy Turnbull AO.

“The stereotype continues to persist that heart attacks and heart disease are male issues, but the numbers tell a different story. In Australia, 22 Australian women will die from heart disease each day, killing almost three times as many women as breast cancer,” Ms Turnbull said.

James Pearson, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said he was taken aback to learn that 46,000 Australian women were hospitalised due to heart disease each year.

“The Australian Chamber looks forward to initiating further ambassador opportunities for our female leaders, so we can continue to support the Heart Foundation in this vital work,” Mr Pearson said.

“Awareness is a key aspect of prevention. This is why this campaign is essential. It puts women in the forefront to spread a message on heart disease, which is commonly overlooked and ignored,” Ms DiMascio added.

“Many women have never discussed heart disease with their doctor, this has to change. Heart disease affects everyone and many women are missing key symptoms due to ignorance.”

The Australian Chamber of Industry stated that symptoms may include pain in the jaw, back or neck. They can also have shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and cold sweats, overwhelming fatigue or anxiety, lethargy and loss of appetite.

To find out more about women and heart disease, click here.

Another positive incentive outcome for Adelaide with Joymain

Following its largest incentive visit of 3000 pax in waves of 500 over 6 days from Perfect China in 2017, the Adelaide Convention Bureau’s  incentive marketing drive into China has paid dividends again with a 5 day/4 night visit in June by  750 employees of Joymain, one of China’s largest Science/Tech and direct selling companies.  The 750 pax in one wave was Adelaide’s largest single incentive group visit and is the second time the company has visited Australia with first being to Sydney in 2015.

Feedback from Joymain has been as positive as it was from Perfect China.   Adelaide, with the benefit of being a boutique city with major city infrastructure has the ability to engage all levels of support whilst providing a unique experience for guests in a destination that will be new and memorable.

“There were two reasons for choosing Adelaide as the destination for our event. First of all, the follow-up and assistance provided from the Adelaide Convention Bureau is the most important reason for us. Second, the comprehensive cooperation of the local government of Adelaide includes the Governor, the state government, the city hall and many other aspects….”

“Although Adelaide is a boutique destination, it has excellent resources for MICE events, such as the ACC, activities in the winery, Adelaide Oval rooftop climb. Personally, I think Adelaide is a great and a great destination suitable for direct selling incentive events. I hope Joymain will return to Adelaide again soon”.   Ben Fang – Joymain Director

“Interest in South Australia as a highly desirable destination for incentive groups is at an all-time high with companies and tour operators constantly seeking new destinations to visit as a reward for staff or clients.   We recognise that beyond the immediate economic benefits realised by the tour itself, Asian Incentive tourism represents a massive opportunity for the state from return visits with friends or family by group delegates as well as the chance for trade and investment by the host company.

The Adelaide Convention Bureau’s recently announced public policy includes a focus on attracting more incentive tours to South Australia and with the full backing of the policy by the new State Government, we are looking forward to further developing the opportunities at hand to attract more and larger groups.”  Damien Kitto – CEO, Adelaide Convention Bureau

Joymain group with Governer Hieu Van Le at Government House

High numbers set to attend Meetings & Events Australia’s Victorian Careers Insights Program

High numbers set to attend Meetings & Events Australia’s Victorian Careers Insights Program

More 170 students will attend MEA’s Victorian Careers Program in Melbourne on Tuesday 21 August at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Students from a range of tertiary institutions including William Angliss Institute, Swinburne University of Technology and Holmesglen Institute of TAFE will learn first-hand from experts from C2 Melbourne, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Peter Jones Special Events, State Library of Victoria, Event Travel Management, Décor It Events and Business Events Geelong. The speakers will provide an insight into their careers and what opportunities to expect in one of the country’s most exciting and varied service industries.

MEA Career Insights 2017

Participants will be invited to extend the boundaries of what they know about the events industry, challenge their thinking of how their future in the industry may look like, and experience the “day in the life’ of an event manager to help prepare them for their career.

The events industry offers students many diverse avenues including audio visual production, event management and exhibition management – working in venues, large and small, that cater for events for business, government and the public at large.

MEA has been conducting career insights programs across Australia for more than six years as part of its strategy to grow a sustainable and skilled workforce. The Careers Insights program is part of MEA’s Career Pathway that also includes mentoring, scholarships professional development and networking to nurture and support young professionals who are looking for a career in the events industry.

There are Careers Insight events coming up in Western Australia in September and in New South Wales in October.

Gold Coast’s Shannon Thwaites awarded AACB Scholarship

Shannon Thwaites, Manager – Global Business Events at Destination Gold Coast has been awarded the prestigious AACB Staff Scholarship for 2018/19. The Scholarship was announced at the AACB Annual Conference Gala Dinner held at Spirt House Restaurant and Cooking School on the Sunshine Coast.

The AACB Staff Scholarship is designed to offer bureau staff an opportunity to demonstrate their professional commitment to the business events industry by delivering a project which highlights innovation and excellence.

With her winning proposal to future proof talent in the business events industry, Shannon’s project will investigate ways to cultivate specialised industry talent, analyse methods to transfer knowledge and experiences and to connect current leaders with future leaders.

Shannon has secured a $5,500 cash grant to kick start her project and international return flights to the US.

The scholarship is co-sponsored by Tourism Australia and Qantas. Both recognise the important role that convention bureaux play in attracting business events to Australia and therefore see this scholarship as an investment in the future leadership of the industry.

Penny Lion, Executive General Manager Events at Tourism Australia, and Rob Harrison, Head of Agency Partnerships, Qantas both congratulated Shannon on her success in winning the Scholarship.

Andrew Hiebl, CEO, AACB; Leisel Shaw, Partnership Marketing Manager, Tourism Australia; Melissa Trost, Destination Gold Coast; Shannon Thwaites, Destination Gold Coast; Stephanie Heyneke, Brisbane Marketing; Karen Bolinger, President, AACB.

Ms Lion said, “Tourism Australia is proud to support the development of our industry, in particular projects that foster and enhance talent, as ultimately this will deliver benefit for the business events sector in Australia. Congratulations to Shannon on winning the Staff Scholarship this year; we look forward to hearing about the progress of her project.”

“Shannon’s commitment to engage the industry, encouraging high performance and equipping individuals with the skills to lead Australian convention bureaux is of utmost importance to the future of the industry. Congratulations Shannon,” Mr Harrison said.

AACB CEO, Andrew Hiebl said, “AACB is committed to the recognition and encouragement of excellence. This scholarship offers bureau staff an opportunity to demonstrate professional commitment, delivery of high quality service and dedication to the business events industry. Well done Shannon.”

Shannon Thwaites said, “I am absolutely delighted to be given this opportunity to explore something I am very passionate about and I hope will benefit the industry long term. Thank you AACB, Tourism Australia and Qantas.”

The scholarship runners-up were Stephanie Heyneke, Business Development & Bidding Coordinator, Brisbane Marketing and Melissa Trost, Business Development Executive, Destination Gold Coast.

The Event Symposium to go fully interactive in November

The 2018 Australian Event Symposium program has been released and it’s 100% interactive.

With entries closing soon for the 2018 Australian Event Awards, organisers have announced a significant change to the approach to professional development across the events industry.

Taking place 20-21 November on the Sunshine Coast, this year’s program features a day of industry based, collaborative Workshops followed by a day of Masterclasses led by ground-breakers from beyond the events industry.

The theme, The Skill’s The Limit: Enriching Events focusses all session on tangible take-aways for attendees. The Symposium will be topped off with the 2018 events industry extravaganza: the 10th Australian Event Awards.

“This year’s celebration of our events culture will be the biggest we have seen yet,” said Event Awards and Symposium Managing Director Ian Steigrad.

“We have focussed this year on event professionals getting their hands dirty and taking away real skills – it will be fun and interactive but also an opportunity to grow as professionals and get some serious skill injection.”

Former Wallaby and journalist Peter FitzSimons will deliver an interactive Masterclass at the Australian Event Symposium | Photo supplied

In opening registrations for the event, organisers have announced one Masterclass presenter will be Peter FitzSimons – The Wallaby, the Journo and, of course, the Republican.

The Event Symposium team is working closely with Peter to develop a special interactive masterclass under the title “Creativity and Agility – Ducking and Weaving in the Events World”.

The Masterclass will lead attendees through the creative process and all the challenges and opportunities that come with the territory, from identifying creative triggers to building resilience and flexibility to meet today’s ever-changing event environment.

The session will include the opportunity to complete tasks and obtain Peter’s feedback in a relaxed atmosphere.

Sustainability declared a top priority by exhibition and event industry who commit to collaboration for change

The Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) has kicked off a major new initiative to tackle sustainability and reduce the environmental impact of the events sector.

EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio said the member-driven renewed focus on the environment within the Association would be led by newly elected Board Member, Leighton Wood, Chief Operating Officer of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“We have formed a new Environmental Sustainability Working Group comprising of representatives from all parts of the industry – each person has excellent credentials and is committed to working with the Association to make a difference.” Ms DiMascio said.

“The Environmental Sustainability Working Group met last week – and while we all agree that many positive steps have been taken across the industry to reduce the environmental impact of events, it was time to step-up and collaborate industry-wide to do more.” Ms DiMascio said.

The Working Group met for the first time on 7 August 2018 to kick-start an industry-wide action plan.

The Sustainability Working Group comprises:

  • Chair:  Leighton Wood, MCEC and EEAA Board Member
  • Helen Mantellato, ICC Sydney and EEAA Board Member
  • Ross Ferrar, Gaming Technologies Association and EEAA Board Member
  • Pedro Gallo, Diversified Communications Australia
  • Luke Edginton, Adelaide Convention Centre
  • Cory McCarrick, Reed Exhibitions Australia
  • Jonathan Wilczek, Diversified Communications Australia
  • Michael Firman, Harry the Hirer
  • Adrian Slingsby, ICC Sydney
  • Heather Craven, Audited Media Association of Australia
  • Rodd Craig, Aerospace Maritime and Defence Foundation of Australia
  • Claudia Hunter, Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia
  • Joyce DiMascio, Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia

The Association has also reached out to its younger Members making “Sustainability” the topic for discussion at EEAA Young Stars Networking event in Melbourne.

Drawing on the talent and expertise of our emerging leaders, the Association is committed to ensuring the voice of younger Members is heard.

“We heard from four passionate emerging leaders who are working on CSR matters – their skills can help influence the course ahead.”

The Young Stars panel comprised of:

  • Jamal Gittens, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
  • Jaeram ‘Jez’ Richards, Harry the Hirer
  • Tom McAlister, Reed Exhibitions Australia
  • Laura Goddard, ICC Sydney

Many of the participants at the Young Stars event expressed excellent ideas about how the industry can reduce waste and have volunteered to become involved. Most participants at the Young Stars event ranked sustainability as a 9/10 priority.

“At the Young Stars meeting we concluded that the industry is clearly demanding a bigger effort. The Environmental Sustainability Working Group has developed a clear framework for collaboration on this important issue – there is great momentum and the meetings were a productive start to this important work.

“With a clear strategy, strong leadership and industry buy-in we can go far in changing some practices for the better.” DiMascio said.

Members of the EEAA Environmental Sustainability Working Group L-R Claudia Hunter, Jonathan Wilczek, Pedro Gallo, Michael Firman, Rodd Craig, Leighton Wood, Joyce DiMascio and Luke Edginton | Photo supplied

Club Melbourne celebrates another year of business events success for Victoria

The Club Melbourne Ambassador Program celebrated its 13th anniversary and another outstanding year at its annual dinner on Monday 13 August.

The evening saw the induction of five new Ambassadors and the awarding of its annual Fellowship.

Since the Program’s inception in 2005, Club Melbourne has secured 131 international conferences that have delivered an economic impact worth more than $840 million, with support and collaboration from the Victorian State Government and the Melbourne Convention Bureau.

The Club Melbourne Ambassador Program includes 123 eminent Victorians from diverse disciples of medicine, science and environment, technology, engineering, business and education, with only a select few invited to join the program each year. The five new Ambassadors officially inducted into the Program on the evening are all highly regarded and influential Melbournians within their respective fields.

The Hon. John Eren MP, Minister for Tourism and Major Events acknowledged the vital work achieved by the Club Melbourne Ambassadors.

“I congratulate our outstanding Ambassadors for their ongoing work in driving the visitor economy for our State and ensuring Melbourne continues to be Australia’s leading business events destination,” said Minister Eren.

In a first for the Program, the 2018 Club Melbourne Fellowship judging resulted in a unanimous tie, awarding Co-Fellows Dr Eric Chow and Dr Tamsyn Van Rheenen a $10,000 Fellowship each. The Fellowship is designed to support their attendance at international conferences to enable new, life changing opportunities for their research projects, with the hope that they will evolve to become Ambassadors themselves in the future.

Eric Chow, Tamsyn Van Rheenen, Julie Miller, Peter King, Paula Toal, Matthew Jackson, John Brumby, Paul Wood.

Dr Eric Chow, a Senior Research Fellow at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre and Monash University is an epidemiologist and an expert in sexual health related to preventing and controlling sexually transmitted infections, particularly in gonorrhoea and human papillomavirus.

Dr Tamsyn Van Rheenen is an NHMRC Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, her research focuses on understanding cognition in the major psychiatric disorders using behavioural and neuroscientific techniques.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s (MCEC), Chief Executive, Peter King extended his congratulations to the five new Ambassadors and Co-Fellows, Dr Chow and Dr Van Rheenen.

“Club Melbourne has some of Melbourne’s best and brightest minds within its Ambassador Program, these individuals volunteer their time, expertise and resources to secure international conferences for Victoria,” Mr King said.

“The work of Club Melbourne plays an important role in cementing Melbourne as a leader on the global stage, not only by securing international events to our city but in supporting and sharing new research, ideas and innovations.”

C2 International’s Chief Executive Officer Asia-Pacific, Martin Enault delivered the evening’s keynote, with a focus on the changing face of conferences. The evening’s ‘golden’ theme was inspired by MCEC’s new expansion and was reflected throughout the event, from the décor to the food. Event activations, executed by the creative powerhouse C2, included a ‘Wall of Endless Champagne’, dessert pyrotechnics and a chocolate goldmine where guests could go ‘digging’ for gold.

Club Melbourne is owned and led by Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre with support and collaboration from Melbourne Convention Bureau and the Victorian State Government.

Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event partnerships to enhance connectivity

Talk2 Media & Events, the company charged with relaunching and delivering Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME), announce new partnerships with preeminent, international industry organisations – PCMA and ICCA.

These important partnerships with Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event indicate the commitment Talk2 Media & Events has to elevate the overall quality and experience of the event; forging and extending connections across the Asia Pacific region and the world. PCMA and ICCA will both be involved in the framing and delivery of the AIME Knowledge Program which opens the three-day event.

Recognised as exceptional providers of education for the meetings and events sector, PCMA’s international network of thought leadership in business events strategy will provide provocative and informative content to visitors and exhibitors alike. The PCMA program will inspire the audience and will enhance the potential of the individual and their business, ahead of the trading days.

Antonio Codinach, PCMA Regional Business Director-APAC, commented “With the changes happening in the region, it’s a timely opportunity for PCMA to join forces with AIME to deepen delegates’ knowledge and help them deliver a show-stopping business event. We are looking forward to helping the attendees at AIME access our industry leading educational programme, which will drive their professional and personal development, and in effect drive economic and social prosperity.”

Information sharing across the industry is a fundamental benefit of AIME, and the inclusion of ICCA’s Business Exchange in the Knowledge Program is a valuable tool for attendees. Participants exchange critical information on events they have recently managed; information crucial to the bidding process such as contacts, budgets, and the decision-making process. Synonymous with providing industry know-how and contacts the Business Exchange will be anchored at AIME – beneficial for negotiations with the associations’ sector.

As an ‘ICCA Supported Show’ this partnership reinforces the relationship with ICCA’s network of international suppliers, and provides assurance through the support, knowledge and experience built up across 50 years,

“ICCA has a long history with AIME and we build on this partnership through education, business and networking. Teaming relationships allows us to leverage and bring different specialities to the show, and together create a more robust event for everyone. The event is a professional platform for creating business opportunities and exchanging expertise. AIME enjoys a great reputation among exhibitors (many of whom are ICCA members) and hosted buyers. We are delighted that this unmissable event in the Asia Pacific’s trade events’ calendar is a hub for everyone from the Business Events industry” comments Noor Ahmad Hamid, ICCA Regional Director Asia Pacific.

The learning experience and information sharing is a driving value at AIME. Accredited training, together with tangible business exchange will drive real outcomes from both a personal and professional development perspective.

We are extremely pleased to have linked partnerships with both PCMA and ICCA. It is really important for AIME to offer strong and relevant content to our visitors and exhibitors. The educational content from PCMA on the Monday of AIME will be first class and relevant to many. Likewise, the ICCA Business Exchange is an integral component of the knowledge sharing that makes AIME so relevant and important.” explains Talk2 Media & Events CEO, Matt Pearce.
For more details and to submit your interest to attend AIME in 2019 visit

Who will be the winners of the 2018 EEAA Awards for Excellence?

The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) has called for nominations for its prestigious 2018 Awards for Excellence with the winners to be presented at ICC Sydney on 5 December.

The contest to find the best industry success stories for 2018 has opened with improvements to the judging process that will make it simpler for entrants and judges and will better align the awards program with international standards.

EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio, said the Association was committed to ensuring the awards program set a benchmark for excellence within the business events industry and the continued evolution was important to delivering on this commitment.

“Each year, we continue to refine the entry process and this year we have simplified the assessment criteria for the five “Show” categories and added a renewed focus on corporate social responsibility.

“We are also publishing the weighting for each criterion to provide more transparency,” Ms DiMascio said.

To internationally benchmark the industry’s performance, the new criteria for the “Show” categories will now be aligned with the awards run by the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) in the UK.

“We want to give the industry the best opportunity to showcase their best work and people to our panel of over 35 Australian and international judges.”

The awards program offers 21 categories, providing the opportunity for show organisers, suppliers, venues, teams and companies to showcase their achievements. It also includes three categories specifically designed to recognise the personal achievements of individuals.

The award categories which recognise individuals are:

  • The Richard Geddes Young Achiever Award – recognising the bright young stars in our industry and emerging leaders
  • The Unsung Hero Award – recognising those who have a profound impact on the industry, but may fly under the radar, and
  • The Innovation Champion Award – recognising the drivers of innovation – the quiet and not-so-quiet achievers who push for change.

“Our awards are designed to appeal to the entire cross-section of the EEAA Membership and give everybody an opportunity to put their work in the spotlight,” Ms DiMascio said.

“From our brightest young talent through to the stalwarts of the industry, we give you the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of your colleagues.

“If you know somebody who should be celebrated, give them the recognition they deserve and nominate them for the 2018 awards.”

The EEAA has prepared an entry kit to guide entrants through the entry process and provide helpful tips about the awards and the judging process.

“After the success of 2017, the awards will be administered online, from entry to judging. We encourage you to check out the Awards Portal to log in or register and start planning your entries – these can be saved at any stage and you can continue to edit them until the submission deadline.” Ms DiMascio said.

The EEAA Awards for Excellence are a highlight of the business event industry calendar. Each year, they celebrate the achievements of EEAA Members and honour the existing and future leaders of our industry – the shows, venues, suppliers, teams and individuals that have excelled in their field and are beacons of innovation, passion, leadership and commitment.


  • Entries open – 13 August 2018
  • Entries close – 21 September 2018
  • Finalists Announced – Early November
  • Awards night – 5 December 2018 – to be held at ICC Sydney

Former White House Events Director headlines new B2B event industry conference

Australia’s newest events industry conference, The Business of Events, will present a bevy of industry heavyweights offering middle to senior management professionals a wealth of the latest findings, updates and in-depth discussions in Sydney from 7-8 February 2019.

Laura Schwartz, White House Director of Events during the Clinton Administration, will be MC and keynote speaker at the debut two-day event. Schwartz brings a wealth of experience, having produced over 1,000 events during her time at the White House including the Presidential Inauguration, one of the most coveted events in Washington.

Ms Schwartz said, “I am excited to share the tips and ‘insider tricks’ I learned first-hand from my experiences leading the State Dinners, press conferences, NATO’s 50th anniversary, and more.

“This knowledge applies no matter the size of the event and I look forward to passing this on to others in the events industry.”

The conference will focus on the theme ‘Powering Growth’, providing attendees with invaluable opportunities to maximise their own potential and performance with tangible takeaways from international and domestic speakers.

With events playing an increasing role in the growth of the Australian economy, along with investment in critical infrastructure around Sydney such as a new airport, redevelopment of stadia, hotel and venues; the industry is on an upward trajectory. According to the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia, the business events sector is forecast to rise to $31 billion by 2020.

Gary Daly, Exhibitions & Trade Fairs’ Managing Director, believes there is no better time for a high-quality conference specifically created to provide strategic advice for senior managers.

Laura Schwartz was the Director of Events at the White House during the Clinton Administration | Conference website

“Market research identified that the events industry needed a conference to address these market opportunities and global trends. It is important to have a platform where senior professionals can learn about global developments and participate in an exchange of knowledge.

“Delegates will be able to identify new market opportunities and hear the latest findings, including the future of event technology, tourism and aviation, safety and security, sales and marketing growth and changing business models.

“Every event has its challenges and coordinating the White House’s annual event calendar was no different. Drawing on her experience, Ms Schwartz will share her years of lessons learnt, delving into how cultural sensitivities, cross-border politics and conflicting stakeholder interests impact an event’s design.

“This won’t be specific to ‘big budget events’ either; Ms Schwartz will show delegates how they can bring her learnings from the White House to their own ‘house’. We’re looking forward to Ms Schwartz’s Australian visit.”

Mr Daly concluded; “Through best-practice case studies and hearing industry leaders, attendees will leave The Business of Events knowing how to power their organisation’s growth. This inaugural conference will be unmissable for professionals, whatever their speciality in events.”

The Business of Events will be held at Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, from 7-8 February 2019.