News and Updates

NZEA New Zealand Event Awards 2019 open for entries

02 September 2019

The NZEA New Zealand Events Awards opens today for all 2019 applications as it looks to celebrate another year of success and innovation in a dynamic industry.

The NZEA New Zealand Event Awards is an annual event that credits those that push the boundaries and raise the bar in events delivery, sponsorship and support.

“We have a world-class events industry in New Zealand, this is proven in the incredibly high calibre of applications we receive and the feedback from our independent panel of judges”, says NZEA General Manager Ségolène de Fontenay.

“We’ve seen year on year growth, with a record number of entries last year, creating an intensely competitive forum nationally that recognises and promotes excellence within the events sector. The numbers increased by more than a third and the already high quality of entries were stepped up to the next level,” she says.

The 2019 Awards introduces eight new categories to reflect the evolving nature of the events industry whilst embracing its diversity. “Our judging panel has their work cut out for them. The introduction of new categories and an exceptionally high standard of entries makes their decisions even more difficult”.

New for 2019 is the ‘Best Volunteer or Intern' category. Many events couldn’t do without the goodwill of New Zealanders who get involved behind the scenes, supporting their local events in a volunteer capacity. This is an opportunity for event organisers to recognise their exceptional contribution.

Five new categories have been created to award the wider spectrum of events including music, and retail and trade events. The new categories give events a chance to stand out from their peers in categories tailored for their specific genre.

“The music festival scene is booming in New Zealand, but events must be constantly evolving to remain relevant. The Best Music & Entertainment Event category was added to recognise excellence and innovation in this scene”, says de Fontenay.

“Likewise, retail and trade events are a specific kind of business with specific considerations and challenges, by creating this new category we hope more events will see their chance to shine”.

Those providing pivotal event support are also celebrated with three new supplier categories: Best Design and Build, Best Food Experience and Best Event Marketing. The established categories of Best Venue and Best Supplier complete the set of Support Awards. Great suppliers are the backbone of any great event and the NZEA want to recognise this key workforce.

The NZEA will also be acknowledging the ’crème de la crème’ with a Supreme Winner Award being selected from the finalists of the Recognition, Excellence, Support and Achievement categories. A very special individual will also be awarded the prestigious ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Industry’.

In a statement move, the NZEA have removed the ‘Best Sustainable Event’ category, instead including sustainability criteria in all categories. “Sustainability is no longer a ‘nice to have’ addition to events, it is a necessary aspect of event delivery across the board. The NZEA wants to affirm that expectation by including sustainability criteria in every category. Events with exceptional environmental, social and governance sustainability principles will still have the chance to shine, yet sending a message to the sector that these considerations are not optional any longer” says de Fontenay.

With submissions received from Northland to Southland, the response from the industry illustrates that the Awards are truly an opportunity for events of all types and sizes, their organisers and organisations, from all sectors of the industry. It’s acknowledged as the ‘best of the best’, far and wide,” says de Fontenay.

The 2019 NZEA New Zealand Event Awards welcomes entries for events that took place (either started or concluded) between 1 August 2018 to 1 September 2019 (13 months)

The 2019-20 NZEA Awards campaign is proudly supported by our renewing partner and sponsors: ATEED as the Host City Partner and ATEED, NZICC, Fresh Info, Eventfinda, and Sidekicker as our Category Sponsors.

Last year’s Award winners included A Waka Odyssey (New Zealand Festival), Better by Design CEO Summit (New Zealand Trade and Enterprise), The Haier Big Hoot (Child Cancer Foundation), Crankworx Rotorua, Night Noodle Markets (Stuff Limited), Sidekicker, FMG Stadium Waikato for RLWC 2017 & HSBC NZ Sevens 2018 (H3 Group), HighLight: Carnival of Lights 2017 (Hutt City Council), Tremains Art Deco Festival 2018 (Art Deco Trust), Warbirds over Wanaka International Airshow (Warbirds Over Wanaka Community Trust), HSBC NZ Sevens (37 South Events and New Zealand Rugby), Wellington Culinary Events Trust & Visa for Visa Wellington on a Plate, Pop n' Good Bike Park Opening (Waipa District Council), with Warbirds over Wanaka International Airshow New Zealand’s Favourite Event of the Year by public vote.


The New Zealand Events Association (NZEA) was formed more than a decade ago with more than 1,000 members and all in all more than 2,000 subscribers. The Association represents the ever-increasing breadth of the New Zealand events industry. Its purpose is to advocate all aspects of events nationally; their economic outcomes and social benefits, and the people who work and volunteer in and around this unique industry in New Zealand

2019 Awards Categories:

Recognition Awards

  • Best Emerging Event Professional 2019 - Sponsored by NZICC
  • Best Established Event Professional 2019 - Sponsored by NZICC
  • Best Event Sponsorship Professional 2019
  • Best Volunteer or Intern 2019 (NEW for 2019) - Sponsored by ATEED

Excellence Awards

  • Best Arts or Cultural Event 2019 - Sponsored by Fresh Info
  • Best Community Event 2019 - Sponsored by Sidekicker
  • Best Corporate Event 2019
  • Best Event Sponsorship 2019
  • Best International Event 2019 - Sponsored by Eventfinda
  • Best Local Government Event 2019 - Sponsored by Eventfinda
  • Best Music or Entertainment Event 2019 (NEW for 2019) - Sponsored by ATEED
  • Best Not-for-Profit OR Cause-related event 2019
  • Best Regional OR National Event 2019 - Sponsored by Eventfinda
  • Best Retail or Trade event 2019 (NEW for 2019)
  • Best Sports Event 2019 - Sponsored by Fresh Info

Support Awards

  • Best Design & Build 2019 (NEW for 2019)
  • Best Event Marketing 2019 (NEW for 2019)
  • Best Food Experience 2019 (NEW for 2019) - Sponsored by ATEED
  • Best Supplier 2019 - Sponsored by NZICC
  • Best Venue 2019 - Sponsored by Sidekicker

Achievement Awards

  • New Zealand's Favourite Event 2019 (by public vote) - Sponsored by Fresh Info
  • Outstanding contribution to the industry award (NEW for 2019)

Supreme Award

  • Winner of Recognition, Excellence, Support and Achievement categories (NEW for 2019)