The evening of 26 January 2017 saw the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) successfully host the first ever ROAR Organiser and Exhibitor Awards – a glamorous opportunity for the industry to unite like never before. Over 330 guests attended this glittering event which was a record for the industry. Exhibitors, organisers, suppliers, the media and industry champions joined the highly respected team of judges to celebrate the successes of the industry in 2016. The event further gave AAXO members the opportunity to network with award winners and industry greats while enjoying the inaugural traditional-themed evening at the Ticketpro Dome.
For the first time ever in South Africa, exhibitors were included in industry awards, as entries were accepted in two sections. The first, being solely for exhibitors and the second being for exhibition organisers. Chairperson of AAXO, Carol Weaving, explains: “Including exhibitors in these awards was a focus for AAXO. Previously, exhibitors were not even invited to industry awards, despite the fact that there would really be no stands or even exhibitions without them. AAXO’s focus has always been to champion the cause of our members, but also of the industry as a whole. The ROAR Organiser and Exhibitor Awards give us one opportunity to do so.”
For the Best Exhibitor Awards, entries were accepted in five categories, including Trade Exhibition, Trade and Consumer Exhibition, Consumer Exhibition, Confex and Table Top Exhibition and exhibitors and exhibition organisers were competing for over 16 individual awards. A record 40 entries were submitted for judging.
To ensure that judging took place to the highest standard given the broad range of categories, AAXO required a unique, talented and highly experienced group of professionals from within the exhibitions, communication and marketing industry.
The organiser award section judges included respected industry experts like Dirk Elzinger, MD, Convention Industry Consultants, Talita Myburg, Business Unit Director, Grey Advertising, Clinton Souter, National Sales Manager, Franke, Martin Hiller, Associate Publisher and Editor, 3S media, Chantal Riley Marketing Manager, Clockwork Media and Anton Post, MD, Sanctuary Retreats.
One of the well-respected AAXO ROAR Award judges, Martin Hiller, said that he was highly impressed with the standard and variety of the entries submitted. “When you have the opportunity to judge so many unique and interesting entries it just demonstrates the skilled and dedicated professionals we have in exhibitions in South Africa. It drives home the fact that the South African Exhibitions industry can truly compete on an international stage.”
Reed Exhibitions enjoyed great recognition for their exhibition Decorex Joburg, which was awarded the ‘2016 Exhibition of the Year Award’. “It is a complete privilege to win this award,” explains Sian Cullingworth, Portfolio Manager for Reed Exhibitions. “We were up against amazing competition and winning this award not only gives us a lot of clout among our peers, but also solidifies our reputation and value proposition among our exhibitors; it proves that Decorex Joburg is here to stay.”
Some of the other well-deserved winners in the various categories included:
- In the category ‘Best Trade Exhibition: Under 6000 square meters’, Food and Hospitality Africa incorporating Hostex organised by Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery.
- For ‘Best Trade Exhibition: 6001 – 12000 square meters’, the joint winners were African Utility Week organised by Spintelligent and WTM Africa organised by Reed Exhibitions.
- ‘Best Consumer Exhibition 6001 – 12000 square meters’ went to MamaMagic, The Baby Expo, Joburg Winter organised by Exposure Marketing.
- 100% Design South Africa organised by Reed Exhibitions took the ‘Best Trade and Consumer Exhibition under 6000 square meters’ award.
- The ‘Best Table Top Exhibition’ went to Africa Showcase in North America organised by On Show Solutions.
A full list of winners and awards can be seen on AAXO’s website. For photos from the evening, please click here.
“We would like to thank the esteemed panel of judges for being able to consider entries of such excellence. I would not want to be in the same position! Thank you also to EXSA and the Exhibition Industry Awards for their partnership in hosting the ROAR Organiser and Exhibitor Awards and thereby uniting the industry. And thank you to each entrant for attending and also for the exceptional quality of submissions.
AAXO was created to bring quality, credibility and professionalism to the exhibition industry. It is good to see that we are steering in exactly the right direction.” – Carol Weaving MD, AAXO
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