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Frequently Asked Questions

As we receive questions regarding the Australian Event Awards and Symposium, we will regularly post the answers on this page.

Who can enter the Event Awards?

Entries into the Australian Event Awards are open to events staged in Australia and achievements by Australians during the period from 1 July to 30 June each year.

Is my event a Corporate or Brand Event?

As per the eligibility criteria, a Brand Event is an event designed to further the brand of the client by increasing sales, building brand loyalty or launching a new product. For example, product showcasing events, product or brand gala dinners, product launches, etc. Comparatively, a Corporate Event best achieves business outcomes and is a non-brand event. For example, awards nights, gala dinners, Christmas parties, training events and team building. For this reason, the same event cannot be entered into both Best Brand Event and Best Corporate Event.

What is a Small Event?

A small event is an event that was delivered in its entirety within a gross budget of $350,000 exclusive of GST. This budget includes staff wages, resources, production, marketing and all other activities associated with the staging of the event.

Are VIK contributions included or excluded from the budget?

VIK contributions are INCLUDED in the gross budget of $350,000 exclusive of GST. If you contributed your time for free, or a sponsor provided equipment or services for free, the value of those VIK contributions must be considered in the budget.

Are contractors considered ’employees’ for Small Event Management Company of the Year?

No – if they’re not an employee (ie on the books, earning sick leave and annual leave, being paid super, etc), they’re not an employee and therefore do not count towards your 5 people. You can have up to 5 employees who have worked over 400 hours in the eligibility period, plus any amount of employees who have worked less than 400 hours and any amount of contractors.

Can I enter more than one category?

Yes, of course. Each category has different criteria and requires a separate entry but you are welcome to enter as many categories as you like.

NOTE: As stated above, the same event cannot be entered into both Best Brand Event and Best Corporate Event.

Are there any prerequisites for entry in the Awards?

Outside of the eligibility requirements for each category, there are no prerequisites for entry. The Australian Event Awards acknowledges Australian events, event organisers and suppliers on a level playing field, across the entire national events industry. This means that the entry must be for Australian work:

  • Events entered in Best Event categories must have taken place within Australia
  • Product or service or achievements may have taken place outside Australia but must be accomplished predominantly by Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents
  • Companies must be registered in Austraia

What is the Australian Event Symposium?

The Symposium is an events conference held in conjunction with the Australian Event Awards to drive industry growth and development, to provide networking opportunities and to ensure Australia remains on the leading edge of the events space worldwide. The Event Symposium encourages creativity and big-thinking whilst delivering solid takeaways and skills development for delegates. Like the Event Awards, the Symposium is open to the entire industry and encourages interaction and support across sectors for mutual benefit and growth.

When is the Australian Event Symposium?

The Symposium takes place in the two days leading up to the Australian Event Awards ceremony. Register for updates on the Awards & Symposium 2023.

Who is the Symposium for?

The Australian Event Symposium is designed to bring together a diverse group of event-makers with unique yet aligned skills. It is for professionals from councils, destination organisations, PCOs, suppliers, event marketing and sponsorship managers, various government levels, venues, educators, and event organisers from all sectors and companies of all sizes. The Symposium is intended to embrace the entire national industry, catering to both those who deliver events and those who supply them, and aiming to connect the two groups. Read more here.


My event is only small. If I enter the Awards, won’t I be competing against much bigger events with bigger budgets? How can I stand a chance?

The Australian Event Awards does not seek to reward the biggest event or the biggest budget. The Awards recognise industry best practice and innovation on whatever level it may occur. It doesn’t matter if you are a voluntary committee with a tiny budget in a regional area, if you can demonstrate innovation and excellence then you will have a very good chance of taking home an Australian Event Award. There is a “degree of difficulty” in the judging criteria across all categories which shows how differences in size, scope and budget of events are taken into account. Smaller events and suppliers have won in previous years against ‘bigger’ competition. Best Congress or Conference < 500 delegates, Best Small Regional Event, Best Small Event and Small Event Management Company of the Year categories are aimed to specifically highlight the achievements of smaller events. Entrants may also enter their events in other categories.

What should I do to prepare to enter the Event Awards?

View the categories and criteria here. As practice, consider entering your industry association or relevant sector awards program. Some examples include the EEAA Awards, the MEA Awards or the PRIA awards.

How long will it take to prepare an entry for the Event Awards?

Entries for the Australian Event Awards are designed to be as accessible as possible to all members of the industry. The entry process is web based and completed on a simple form which addresses the criteria and restricts answers to the word limits supplied. Completing your entry form should not be a long or difficult process.

How do I submit my entry?

There is no “submit” button – save your entry in the portal as you work on it, and make sure you pay the entry fee before the closing date. Whatever you have saved in the portal at the time entries close will be submitted for judging providing the entry has been paid for. If you prefer to download the entry form to work offline, make sure you upload and save your answers in the portal before the close of entries.

Who judges the Event Awards?

The awards are judged by an independent industry judging panel that is representative of all areas of the industry by sector and by geography. Members of this panel choose to contribute on a voluntary basis and remain entirely separate from the ownership structure of the awards. The panel is led by the Co-Chairs of Judging Peter Rix AM and Brenda LaPorte.

Can you describe the judging process?

The entry form information in each category is reviewed by at least two appropriately qualified members of the judging panel and given an initial score according to the published criteria. The top five entries in each category will be declared ’Nominees’. The entry information provided by each Nominee will be presented to the Lead Judges of each category and a winner will be selected based on the published criteria.  A detailed explanation of the judging process can be viewed here.

Aren’t you concerned about conflicts of interest in the judging panel?

In short, yes. Judges are required to formally declare conflicts of interest to the co-chairs of the judging panel and to refrain from judging categories in which they may have an interest. Persons who are in any way related to the manager of the Australian Event Awards, The Epic Team, are ineligible to judge the awards.

What will happen if the judges have a question about my entry?

When you start your award entry, you will be asked to set up your profile – the person identified will be contacted to answer any  questions that the industry judging panel may have regarding your entry. This person will also receive all communications from the Event Awards in relation to their entry.

People have been known to lie in awards entries. What are you doing to prevent this?

The Australian Event Awards Judging Panel has been chosen for their extensive knowledge of the events industry throughout Australia. In the unlikely event that an entrant is less than truthful it is very likely that our Judging Panel will notice. Should an Award be presented based on an entry later shown to be untrue then the Award will be revoked and the entrant banned from future involvement in the Awards.

Do I have any recourse if I believe I have been judged unfairly?

No. The judges’ decision is final.

How does this fit with other awards programs for the events industry?

Rather than being specialised and focussed on a particular industry sector, the Australian Event Awards as an awards program is intentionally broad, enabling all Australian events and events professionals to compete and develop excellence across the sectors of the events industry, on a level playing field, nationally. It is a different product to the other awards programs and aims to co-exist in harmony.


Do I automatically receive a ticket to the Awards night if I become a finalist?

No, tickets must be purchased to attend the Event Awards ceremony. Register for updates to find out more as information becomes available.


What is included in a Symposium registration?

A full Symposium registration includes the Welcome Drinks the night before the conference starts, all conference sessions, lunch and coffee breaks on both days, a cocktail event on the first night, conference materials including program and satchel, and a ticket to the Australian Event Awards Ceremony on the last night. For information on future events, register for updates.

How is the Event Awards funded?

The Australian Event Awards is not government funded. The Awards team are seeking partners to invest in several sponsorship opportunities. More information is available here.

Can sponsors of the Event Awards enter?

Sponsors may enter a category that they do not sponsor. The Judging Panel is entirely independent, receive no payment and will not be influenced by sponsorship.

Can I sponsor the Australian Event Symposium?

Certainly! Get in touch to discuss the opportunities – [email protected] 

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