The 2016 MEA National Awards have been expanded to include new corporate categories and are now open to non-Meeting & Events Australia members.

They have also been opened earlier to allow entrants more time to prepare their submission.

New MEA CEO, Robyn Johnson, says research carried out by the Business Events Council of Australia has found that corporate events represent around 75 per cent of the total number of events held around the country.

“While MEA has previously had a category for Corporate Event of the Year we recognised that there was a gap in the program by not having a category specifically for Corporate Team of the Year as well as an individual contribution from the corporate sector,” she said.

On the awards being opened to non-MEA members, Ms Johnson said this was a move designed to allow companies and individuals who are not yet members to experience the benefits of being part of the industry’s peak representative body.

Each state chapter will hold its own awards event in March 2017 and the winners will automatically go into the national awards. The national awards will be presented at a gala dinner on the final night of the 2017 MEA Conference, which will be held in the ballroom of the new International Convention Centre Sydney.

“As a previous winner myself I encourage people to enter. The process of entering these awards provides you with the opportunity to reflect on your successes and to celebrate the exceptional events that you have helped deliver.

“We currently have four sponsors for the awards: The Australian Turf Club, International Convention Centre Sydney, Lateral Events Management, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and The Star have all been generous with their support.”

Submissions close on January 31, 2017, which provides ample time to complete an award-winning entry.

For details on the categories and how to enter go to the website, phone Robyn Johnson on (02) 9929 5400 or 0418 777 722, or send an email.