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The who’s who of the Australian events industry gathered last night for the industry’s pinnacle event, The Australian Event Awards.

Taking out the gong for Australia’s Favourite Event was Birdsville Big Red Bash.

Amongst this year’s winners was a balance of Event Awards veterans and first time finalists.

Byron Bay Bluesfest, Margaret River Gourmet Escape, Mumbrella360 and Santos Tour Down Under all took home gongs to add to their collections, for Best Regional Event, Visit Sunshine Coast Best Tourism Event, CIM Magazine Best Meeting or Conference and Best Sporting Event respectively.

Local finalists included 7 Sunshine Coast Marathon who won the State Award for Best Community Event and the Daniel Morcombe Foundation Day for Daniel.

Sunshine Coast Council and Visit Sunshine Coast were also national finalists for Best Achievement in Marketing for the World is Coming campaign.

National event finalists included Asia Pacific Cities Summit 2015,  Birdsville Big Red Bash, Byron Bay Blues fest 2016 Emirates Marquee (The) – Melbourne Cup 2015, Gold Coast International Marine Expo, Nutri-Grain IronMan/IronWoman Series 2015/2016, Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience, WOMADelaide 2016, Youngcare Simpson Desert Challenge 2016

Mayor Mark Jamieson said that the staging of these national awards on the Sunshine Coast, reinforces our growing reputation of being Australia’s leading regional events destination.

“The calibre of talent gathered for the Awards was astounding and hosting the event has been great opportunity to showcase both our region and our capability to host major events to the crème of this industry,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Hosting the awards here last night, tops off one of our most successful years for hosting major events on the Sunshine Coast.

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO, Simon Latchford said that the organisation was ecstatic to be part of Team Sunshine Coast and host the Australian Event Awards in our region.

“We know the Sunshine Coast is an outstanding location for hosting business and conference groups and after the stunning spectacle last night, now the secret is out across the country,” Mr Latchford said.

“This has been an invaluable opportunity to leave the world’s top event industry with no doubt that we can offer a destination with a difference and our passion, innovation and service in delivering events, is second to none.”

“We have the added benefits of the breath-taking landscapes and accompanying experiences that you don’t come across in a big city,” added Mr Latchford.

Co-chair of the judging panel and Opera Australia CEO Craig Hassall AM said that this year’s winners continue to demonstrate the strength of the national industry.

“The events and achievements highlighted as the year’s best continue to demonstrate strong planning, innovation, creativity and fearlessness in facing potential challenges that inevitably crop up in the delivery of their projects,” Mr Hassall said.

The Awards evening will be followed by a two day event symposium where leading industry professionals and creative will gather to discuss the latest event industry trends.

For a full list of winners visit