Why enter? What makes a great entry?

Karl Budge, NZEA Event Awards judge, explains...




Announcing our 2018 Judges!

Drawn from across the arts, sports, sponsorship and business sectors this year’s panel offers a wealth of event expertise at the highest level along with an understanding of how events contribute to the bigger picture of NZ Inc.

Please note Judges will only be allocated 3-4 categories each to consider, therefore removing any potential conflict of interest.

(In alphabetical order)

Allyssa Eastaugh
Managing Director Convene Group

Ally is an experienced marketer and communicator with a passion for commercial development through marketing, event management and sponsorship. From private business ventures to mega events to local government, it is an eclectic mix of skills, challenges and laughs Ally can draw upon from over the last 15 years. An exciting path of senior management experiences has led Ally to her current role of Managing Director of Convene Group a B2B event and marketing company that specialises in the Destination marketing space for Business Events.


Callum Mallett,
General Manager Operations, New Zealand International Convention Centre.

Callum has significant operational, sales, marketing and event experience, and over the last 10 years has held a number of senior roles within SKYCITY Entertainment Group. Callum is now leading the operational team for the New Zealand International Convention Centre, which is due to open in mid 2019. The NZICC will have over 30,000 square meters of purpose built conference and exhibition space in the heart of Auckland City.


Hetty Van Hale
Communications Manager, Infinity Investment Group

Hetty is a marketing and communications specialist and has also been involved in event management for over 25 years. She is currently chair of Badminton New Zealand which runs the New Zealand Badminton Open, co-deputy chair of Winter Games NZ Trust which runs the Audi Quattro Winter Games NZ, deputy chair of Snow Sports New Zealand, and a trustee of the Festival of Colour Arts Festival.



James McGlinn
CEO, Eventfinda

James is an experienced entrepreneur and technologist with a passion for events and live entertainment. He co-founded Eventfinda in 2006, leading the company to become New Zealand’s largest event discovery platform and fastest-growing ticketing services company. He’s the current president of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation Auckland chapter, and is a past recipient of the NZIM Northern Region Young Executive of the Year award.


Karl Budge
Tournament & Commercial Director, Tennis Auckland

Karl is a true international strategic sports administrator who has played a key role building the ASB Classic, WTA, ATP, Australian Open and FIFA brands globally. With a background in revenue generation, Budge has been responsible for generating more than $80million in new commercial revenue across sponsorship, government and broadcast contracts.




Kylie Archer
Chief Operating Officer for Expo 2020

As the Chief Operating Officer for Expo 2020, Kylie is responsible for delivering New Zealand’s pavilion at the next World Expo in Dubai. Prior to that she led the Government’s International Investment Attraction Taskforce, based at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. From 2010 until 2015 Kylie led the Government’s Major Events team, responsible for developing and implementing government strategy to support New Zealand's growing reputation as an events destination of global significance.


Loren Heaphy
General Manager - Destination and Attraction, ChristchurchNZ

Loren was previously the Major Events Destination Project Manager and Special Projects Event Development Manager for Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development and has an extensive background in both destination management and major events. She has held previous roles as General Manager Tourism and Events with Ngati Whatua Orakei, International Marketing and Recruitment Manager for Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and International Marketing Manager for Nelson Tasman Tourism.

Loren is a recipient of the Westpac New Zealand Millennial Women of Influence Award for work in social media and the SingularityU NZ Digital Fellowship.

Mike Keech
Manager – Sponsorship Professional - Brand & Rights | Keynote Speaker & Panellist | Sponsorship Educator & Career Advisor

Mike Keech is an experienced sponsorship specialist who has been involved international sponsorship for more than 20 years. Mike has led sponsorship teams across regional, national and international events and was responsible for DHL’s sponsorship leverage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. As a leading best practice sponsorship professional, Mike has been a keynote speaker and panelist at a number of international events in South Africa, China and the US. He is currently responsible for leading the Sponsorship and Licensing at WelTec and Whitireia New Zealand and oversees the acquisition and alignment of sponsorship strategy of one New Zealand’s leading educational institutes.

Mike Wootton
Grolab & mikewootton.co

Mike Wootton was named the inaugural winner of the NZ Sponsorship Professional of the Year Award in 2017. He has worked for leading brands such as ASB and AMP managing a number of prominent sponsorships. He has also worked on some of the world’s largest sporting events through the likes of The Winter Olympics and Rugby World Cup. Having been at the forefront of best practice sponsorship and events marketing in both New Zealand and abroad, Mike has been nominated for a number of New Zealand’s top marketing awards.


Norm Thompson (ONZM)
Deputy Chair, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED)

Norm Thompson most recently held the role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Air New Zealand, prior to his retirement in 2013. He is the current Deputy Chair of ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development), Chair of the Young Enterprise Trust board, a director of Dot Kiwi Ltd, Queenstown Airport Corporation and Preno Limited, as well a trustee of the Young Enterprise Trust Board. Norm is also a Committee Member of the 2017 New Zealand Golf Open.


Stephen Wainwright
CEO, Creative New Zealand

2018 will be the fifth year Stephen has committed to the judging panel and this consistency of observing and reviewing events is critical to the awards success. His role as CEO of Creative NZ has exposed him to a myriad of arts events and understanding the importance art has to our society. Established in 1994 from a range of arts bodies, Creative New Zealand is the national agency for the development of the arts enabling Stephen to work closely with many of this country’s leading arts organisations.




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