The innovative Gold Coast International Marine Expo is celebrating a year of growth and success after winning Best Exhibition for 2015 at the Australian Event Awards in Sydney on Tuesday night.

Judges of the pinnacle awards for the Australian events industry acknowledged ‘the boat show with so much more’  for the successful outcomes and amazing experiences enjoyed by both exhibitors and visitors across Expo’s four fantastic days in May.

Event & Marketing Manager Emma Brown (nee Milne) – speaking whilst enjoying her honeymoon in the Maldives – said Expo’s small but talented team was very proud and extremely humbled by the major national award win.

“We found it really inspiring to be a finalist at these prestigious awards as there were many high-profile and well established events staged right across Australia all vying for the top honour,” she said.

“We gratefully accept the Best Exhibition title for 2015 on behalf of our loyal exhibitors, our valued partners and, importantly, our Expo fans – our visitors – who have all shown great commitment to our industry-run marine exposition that continually reinvents the concept of a traditional boat show.”

In accepting the award on behalf of Expo’s organisers, foundation committee member Stephen Milne said the 2015 Best Exhibition honour marked the beginning of the next inspiring chapter for the industry’s truly unique showcase of all things aquatic.

“Expo was created by marine industry leaders in extremely challenging times five years ago. We had little or no money yet a great deal of ambition and the fact that in 2015 the biggest Expo yet achieved over $50 million in sales for our exhibitors is testament to the drive and determination of those marine businesses and industry professionals who stand solidly behind the event,” said Mr Milne.

“In 2015 the Expo showcased over 500 boats both on the hardstand and on the water, and over 230 industry exhibitors displaying over 300 major marine brands. Over five years we have welcomed over 90,000 people to Expo and in 2015 we welcomed over 17,000 qualified visitors across the four event days,” he said.

“We announced several new key initiatives for 2016 in early October, including our new precincts and indoor pavilion and we have more exciting announcements to make in the coming months.

“Next year, Expo will certainly be our biggest and best yet.”

Mrs Brown – named as a finalist in the Young Achiever of the Year at the 2015 Australian Event Awards – congratulated all winners and finalists in all categories.

“I’d also like to thank the organisers of the awards, which were founded on the strong belief that bringing the events industry together could achieve a result greater than the sum of individual parts,” she said. “In so many ways, that rings true with Expo and the Australian marine industry.”

Exhibitor applications for the 2016 Gold Coast International Marine Expo from May 19-22 are now open. Exhibitors wishing to reserve space are invited to contact Event & Exhibitor Coordinator Shannon Brice on 0415 758 888 or email