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EEAA 2022 Conference Program & Awards

Location: International Convention Centre Sydney

Date: Wednesday, 7 December 2022

Conference: 9.00am to 5.30pm Awards Dinner: 7.00pm to 11.30pm

Dear members and friends of EEAA,

I am pleased to advise that we have now finalised our speaker schedule for our conference next month.

For the conference, we can confirm that both Kai Hattendorf and Richard Ireland will be in Australia to present in person, providing a great opportunity to connect and learn from them.

Nicole Walker, President, EEAA

Photo credit: Oneill Photographics

I am also pleased to announce Cynthia Cottrell will be joining the conference to help us better understand how to navigate the challenges we are facing with human resources.

It will be a full day of learning looking at global issues as well as taking an in depth look at what is happening locally.

Our awards submissions are closed, and our judges are busy working through them. We would like to thank everyone who entered the awards - the calibre of talent is extremely high.

We invite you to join us for the EEAA Conference and Awards dinner on Wednesday 7 December 2022. You can secure your tickets to both via the below "book now" button.

Yours sincerely,

Nicole Walker


Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia


Geoff Donaghy – CEO, ICC Sydney & Group Director – Convention Centres, ASM Global (APAC)

Geoff Donaghy is CEO of Australia’s premier convention, exhibition and entertainment venue ICC Sydney and Group Director – Convention Centres at parent group ASM Global (APAC). Since ICC Sydney’s opening, it has been wowing local, national and international visitors with its focus on delivering a high-quality menu collection and commitment to service excellence. As the Group Director of convention centres for leading venue management specialists, ASM Global, Geoff has had a long involvement with major facility projects across the region.

Geoff served two terms as President of the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC) following several years as a board member and was their representative on peak global body, the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), where he was a longstanding member of its executive committee.

In the five years from 2005, he served as Chair of local peak body, the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA), where he steered greater government recognition for the industry and was reappointed to the board as Deputy Chair to assist in driving industry advocacy initiatives during the COVID-19 crisis. During this period he was also appointed to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Tourism Recovery Taskforce.

Cynthia Cottrell – Partner and Workforce Solutions Leader, Mercer Pacific

Cynthia for 20 years has helped hundreds of private and public sector clients reimagine how work gets done.

She is passionate about helping clients translate their strategy into something they can operationalise, by aligning both the tangible elements of the organisation - people, structure and process - and the intangible elements - motivations, relationships and culture. Cynthia has deep expertise in digital transformation, M&A, employee experience, strategy, organisational change and design.

Cynthia will help us look closer at our human resource challenges answering some key questions - Are all industries in the same situation? Where has the works work force gone? What is the prognosis moving forward? Cynthia will also provide tips for what your organisation can do to attract new staff and also retain them.

Paul Bloxham – Chief Economist for Australia, New Zealand and Global Commodities, HSBC

Paul Bloxham is chief spokesperson for HSBC on forecasts and trends for the Australian and New Zealand economies, their interaction with global financial markets and international economies and is also a key spokesperson on HSBC’s unique view on global commodity markets. Paul holds a Master's degree in public financial policy from the London School of Economics.

Paul will provide an economist’s view on Australia and the Asia-Pacific region in a global context. He will help us understand where the money flows are, and impacts and trends within Australia that give us insights to predict future opportunities and risks for our businesses and our customers. He will share his views on the trends before the pandemic and emerging trends post pandemic. Importantly, he will also touch on the impact of conflict and the decoupling of China from the World Economy.

Kai Hattendorf – Managing Director / CEO, UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.

Kai is responsible for UFI activities and events globally, as well as the operation of its Paris headquarters and the offices in Bogota, Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

From 2019 to 2021, Kai served as Honorary President of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), a global Council of international and global associations serving the Business Events industry, where he remains on the Board.

A journalist by education, Kai has internationally reported and worked for the WDR and Radio Bremen broadcasters in Germany, at Euronews in France, the BBC in the UK, and the Voice of America. He holds a Master’s degree from an American University based in Washington, DC. He also studied in Dortmund and Edinburgh.

Kai will share his international experience regarding our industry and discuss the new exhibition model – how exhibitions aren’t the same as they were in 2019, why exhibitors now demand more than just a stand and the need for year-long marketplace and branding via a multifaceted platform to reach buyers. Kai will talk about the consequences of “pivot to digital” and the number of visitors and if that is even important anymore.

Ken Holsinger – Senior Vice President Strategy, Freeman Co.

Ken has over 25 years of experience in technology, media and event production as a lead executive, consultant, and speaker. He has served on the executive team in various roles for several different organisations. In addition, he has a background in event management, facility design, and start-up operations.

Ken is a leader in the Strategy Practice for Freeman bringing together teams that are building innovative data tools for integration and business intelligence, with data consulting, research, and industry benchmarking. The teams work with clients all over the world to drive decisions, improve results and measure their marketing efforts.

Ken has been named on multiple hardware, software and process patents, and is a frequent presenter on numerous topics in the events, technology, and data-science space. Ken is actively involved in his local community in Boise, Idaho as a start-up mentor and tech workforce development leader.

Ken will enlighten us with an in depth look at the power of data enrichment and the value of data. Ken says that exhibitors are now demanding more detailed data about attendees, going beyond raw attendee numbers.

Richard Ireland – Chief Executive Officer, Clarion Events Asia and President SACEOS (Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers)

A Master's graduate from the University of Sydney, Richard has been involved in 'live events' for the past 20 years. He has launched numerous exhibitions, conferences, training events and digital communities over a broad range of industries throughout the Asia-Pacific.

Richard is currently the Managing Director of Clarion Events Asia and his role is to expand Clarion's footprint in the region via organic growth, launch and via acquisition. He was previously the CEO of Terrapinn Asia Pacific.

Richard has regularly trained both exhibition and conference management to industry and has consulted to a number of business media companies in the Asia-Pacific region focusing on strategy and performance improvement.

Richard has pitched, won and managed joint venture partnerships with some of the world's largest trade associations and governments, as well as being involved with various mergers and acquisition transactions.

Richard will share his views on the lessons learnt from the return of events. He will question if higher ROIs are being achieved via digital content and attendance; the need for the “physical proposition” to include enhanced digital and enriched data for exhibitors and sponsors; and yields, customer retention and revenue beyond the post-pandemic bounce back.

Spiro Anemogiannis – Managing Director, Informa Australia

Spiro has been in the commercial conference industry for over 25 years. He started off at IIR in 1990 and then worked for AiC Worldwide, now called Terrapinn.

For the last 23 years he has been with Informa Australia. In 2015 Spiro became Vice-President of EEAA and in 2016 was elected as President, a position he held for over five years. During Spiro’s early years, after finishing university, he worked for the government in industrial relations and human resource management.

In his presentation, Spiro will share what is happening internationally with Informa’s ‘FasterForward' program. He will share the Informa experience towards net zero events, how they have embedded sustainability in every brand and every office, and help us understand the ‘Impact Multiplier’ - multiplying the positive impact of improved access to knowledge for communities.

Elissa Duke – Head of Operations, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

Elissa Duke has over 18 years’ experience in the events industry. Elissa has launched and managed some of Australia’s most iconic exhibitions and events across the fashion, and food and wine industries. Her extensive experience in senior venue management roles stretches across multiple disciplines from planning to marketing, organisational transformation through to agile practices and venue and event operations.

With sustainability now top of mind for many businesses and clients, EEAA launched a package that allows its members to contribute positively to the cause. With so many members already heavily immersed in their own programs, EEAA brings to its broader cohort of members a practical program that allows them to also contribute and show their desire to do so. Elissa will provide an update on the program, where we are at, and what is ahead for the ongoing need to stay on top of the issue.

Jessica Zickar – Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, ICC Sydney

Jessica Zickar brings a wealth of knowledge to her role drawing on her qualifications as an environmental scientist with over 11 years’ experience delivering environmental and social impact strategies for local and international corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations.

Jessica drives ICC Sydney’s internal CSR practices and its Event Legacy Program supporting event organisers to reach their CSR objectives across five key streams of Environmental Sustainability, First Nations, Creative Industries, Innovators & Entrepreneurs, and Generation Next.

Being a passionate advocate for delivering positive social impact, Jessica actively participates on ICC Sydney’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group and is committed to reconciliation with Australia’s First Nations people.

In Jessica's session you will learn how ICC Sydney is adding Social Contribution, Economic Impact, and a Legacy Program to complement their Environmental Sustainability Program and its link to ASM Global ACTS three key pillars of: Protect the Environment, Invest in People and Strengthen Communities.

Jo-Anne Kelleway - International Industry Ambassador, Freeman

Jo-Anne started Info Salons in Sydney, Australia in 1990 managing the registration for 10 events in that year. Info Salons is now involved in over 750 events per year worldwide, assisting major event organisers such as Informa, Reed Exhibitions, Messe Frankfurt, VNU and Diversified Exhibitions with the development and growth of their events.

In 2018 Info Salons Group was acquired by Freeman, the world’s largest exhibition services, logistics and technology company. Jo-Anne stayed on as CEO to continue to spearhead the growth of data intelligence throughout the Freeman company. She was involved with the acquisition of CDS a leading registration company in USA transferring the leadership to John Kimball. She now represents Freeman globally as their International Ambassador.

Jo-Anne is also very active in the industry on UFI Committees of both Digital Innovation & International Partners, and previous Board Member for the International Association of Exhibitions & Events in USA (IAEE) and the Exhibition & Events Association of Australia (EEAA).

Matt Pearce – CEO, Talk2 Media & Events

Matt Pearce has more than 30 years’ experience in the media industry across the UK, Australia, and the Asia-Pacific region.

Prior to forming Talk2 Media & Events, Matt spent 10 years as the Managing Director of Diversified Communications in Asia, we was International Director at Diversified Business Communications Inc, Managing Director for Sportsworld Media Group and he is also a past Chair of the EEAA.

Matt will be joined on the conference floor by Spiro Anemogiannis where they will look at the Australian exhibition industry landscape, here and now. They will stimulate discussion about the lessons learnt from a fragmented industry and share news about the industry's future, and fresh plans afoot.

Justin Jones – Adventurer

Resilience is what we needed during the past challenging years. Moving forward in our new world, our resilience will need to continue. No one knows how to be resilient more than Justin Jones.

Justin Jones – or Jonesy – is one of Australia’s greatest adventurers. He has achieved two Guinness World Records and has produced several award-winning documentaries about his experiences.

With a background in science and business, he applies lessons learnt during explorations to inspire business leaders and teams to focus, think with flexibility, and overcome obstacles to achieve goals, even under situations of extreme stress.

A humble, charismatic, and inspiring character, he is the perfect example of how determination, detailed planning and foresight can enable the most ‘normal’ of us to undertake the most extraordinary feats.

Justin will share his story of resilience during many outstanding and successful events, including Crossing the Ditch and Crossing the Ice.


The Awards for Excellence provide a great opportunity for you to showcase your organisation and have a presence at one of the peak industry events of the year. The Gala night attracts a high calibre of talent from the events and exhibition industry and your support will be promoted before, during and after the awards night.

There are a range of sponsorship opportunities for 2022, please contact the EEAA office on (02) 9413 9520 to discuss what is available.


  • Member Conference Day Pass - $795.00 + GST (early bird extended)

  • Member Emerging Leader concession prices available

  • Non-member Conference Day Pass - $1,295.00 + GST

  • Members Awards Dinner - $199.00 + GST

  • Members Awards Dinner, Table of 10 - $1,800.00 + GST

  • Non-members Awards Dinner - $299.00 + GST

  • Non-members Awards Dinner, Table of 10 - $2,600 + GST

Please call us if you need help

Should you require any further information or assistance, please feel free to contact our office on (02) 9413 9520 at any time.

We look forward to having you and your team join us for this special day.

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