EEAA award winners announced as return of in-person events begins

(L-R) Justin Prisuda, Libbie Ray, Melinda Brown, Claudia Sagripanti, Helen Mantellato, and Spiro Anemogiannis.

The winners of the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) Awards for Excellence were announced last night at a face-to-face ceremony held at International Convention Centre Sydney.

Due to the impact of Covid-19 and the cancellation of most shows from March onward, this year’s awards ran two categories only, the Unsung Hero Award and the Ungerboeck Richard Geddes Young Achiever Award.

In a first, the EEAA 2020 Unsung Heroes award went to two finalists, Juston Prisuda and Libbie Ray from Connected Event Group and Helen Mantellato from ICC Sydney.

Alysia McAuliffe from Reed Exhibitions was named the Ungerboeck Richard Geddes Young Achiever for 2020. She receives a $5000 study grant and the opportunity to be actively involved in key EEAA Programs.

(L to R) Claudia Sagripanti, Penny Lion, Alysia McAuliffe and Fred Lazzerini.

The awards were one of three EEAA events that day which included the EEAA Annual General Meeting and CEO Forum.

“The events staged yesterday were an important step for the industry, signifying the return of in-person events, as we announced our newly elected board members, undertook a high-level planning session with senior industry representatives and celebrated with the award winners for 2020,” said Claudia Sagripanti, EEAA chief executive.

Two new members were elected to join the EEAA Board, including Libbie Ray (Connected Event Group) and Elissa Duke from Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Matt Pearce and David Longman were re-elected to the EEAA Board to represent the Organiser category; Elissa Duke was elected and Helen Mantellato re-elected re-elected to represent the Venue category and Libbie Ray was elected to represent the Supplier category.

“The election result sees a 50 per cent increase in female representation on the Executive Committee and reflects more closely the gender makeup of our sector,” said Spiro Anemogiannis, EEAA president.

“Elissa Duke and Libbie Ray will join Helen Mantellato, who was re-elected, and Felcity Zadro who will form a strong voice for the many talented women in our business.”