How an awards night outgrew two venues

National Association for Women in Construction (NAWIC) NSW Awards

Fast facts

Event: National Association for Women in Construction (NAWIC) NSW Awards

Date: 23 August 2018

Location: Sydney

Venue: ICC Sydney

Award: State Special Event of the Year – MEA awards 2019


The National Awards for Women in Construction (NAWIC) had a clear vision to become the must-attend event on the industry calendar. The annual ceremony wanted to grow in size and reputation, attracting more attendees and raising funds and awareness to support women in construction.

The New South Wales division contracted Arinex in 2011 to help carry out its vision by managing the annual event.

Project Manager Leonie Tonge-Ferris, who holds the account to this day, has developed a custom theme for the annual awards, which evolves each year. The themes take in local inspiration, with previous years including Spring Opulance and Red Floral, and encompass all digital aspects including logo and design as well as all AV production.

Arinex also worked closely with NAWIC organisers to assist with sponsor management, including streamlining the application process and launching the event. The Arinex team leveraged its supplier relationships to collect donations and prizes – such as hotel stays, branded gifts and holiday experiences – on behalf of NAWIC, helping maximise its fundraising potential. It supported this by doubling the amount of Eftpos machines available on the night, to give guests a faster and easier transaction when purchasing tickets. High-profile MCs and entertainment acts were also engaged to build the excitement on the night, with big names including Eurovision finalist Dami Im and notable journalists Lee Lin Chin and Jessica Rowe.

Since Arinex came on board, the awards have grown in size from 700 people in 2011 to a record 1,200 people in 2018, representing a 30% increase. It has meant the awards have outgrown two venues, moving to the International Convention Centre Sydney this year. New, innovative venue layouts and theming ideas – such as this year’s introduction of a central, 360-degree stage – have helped captivate guests and created an elegant atmosphere.

As audience numbers have grown, as well as the quality of donated prizes, so have the funds raised. In 2018 the awards broke fundraising records to date, increasing by 44% on the previous year. This has helped NAWIC directly invest in its mission of empowering women in the industry, with raised funds supporting an International Womens Day scholarship and other worthy causes.