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02 Mar 2022

Tomorrow’s Talent 2022: Meet our new judges

Tomorrow’s Talent 2022: Meet our new judges

The Meetings Show is thrilled to announce the addition of Diversity Ally’s Gabby Austen-Browne, 2019 Tomorrow’s Talent winner Gracia Kabongo and Lisa Stewart of Visit Belfast to this year’s Tomorrow’s Talent judging panel.

The three new judges join M&IT editor Paul Harvey; Leigh Cowlishaw, managing partner, Black Box Partnerships; Patrick Delaney, managing partner, Soolnua and Priya Narain, co-founder of Event First Steps on the expert panel.

Gabby Austen-Brown is a diversity and inclusion expert, delivering consultancy, education and training to the events and hospitality sectors and ‘a passionate supporter of next generation talent’ so is the ideal candidate to join the Tomorrow’s Talent judging panel.

“From a DEI and sustainability perspective, it will be the next generation of event profs who will have the biggest impact on the direction and progress our society makes when it comes to creating a more equal, inclusive and sustainable planet” she says. “The great thing is, our next gen do not need convincing, they already understand this, which is what makes me excited to see what changes they are going to make when they are in positions of power. This is why I am honoured and delighted to be on the judging panel. Bring on Tomorrow's Talent!"

As a winner of the first Tomorrow’s Talent in 2019, Gracia Kabongo, now events manager at Wates Group, understands exactly what is involved so is in the perfect position to help find the next round of emerging talent. She encourages event professionals to ‘apply and enjoy the opportunity to be celebrated’.

“Research reports that the events sector is worth billions to the UK economy and provides various career paths to thousands of people" she notes. “To keep our sector going from strength to strength we must acknowledge new talent and inspire the future generation". 

“This initiative recognises not only our industry but emerging talent filled with people that are passionate, driven and committed which is vital especially during this period. It’s not always easy working in a fast-paced sector so being recognised for the work you do is extremely motivating.”

Finally, Lisa Stewart, of Visit Belfast and sponsor of the scheme, completes our judging panel for this year.

“People are at the heart of the meetings and events industry and it’s their talent and skills that make an event not just happen but be as successful as possible, for both the delegates attending and for the event organisers,” she says.

“As we begin to rebuild the events industry, it’s so important we continue to support our talented staff and celebrate their contribution in making the UK’s events industry one of the most dynamic sectors to work in. Visit Belfast is excited to be able to support such a great initiative.”

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