Venue Industry Awards – Recognising Our Venue Professionals

Mar 12, 2024Blog, Congress 2024, Member News, Venue Industry Awards

The Venue Industry Awards stand as the pinnacle of recognition in our industry. As the deadline approaches, we want to remind you that nominations for this year’s awards will be closing on 31 March. Don’t miss your chance to recognise the outstanding contributions of your colleagues, team members, and industry peers who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and leadership in the last year.

As we gear up for another exciting year of accolades, we had the privilege of speaking with Mark Zundans CVE, General Manager, The Gabba, last year’s esteemed recipient of the Venue Professional of the Year Award. Mark’s journey exemplifies the passion and commitment that define our industry’s finest professionals. From his humble beginnings to his pivotal role in managing the iconic Gabba Stadium.

VMA: What have you been up to since winning the Venue Professional of the Year Award in 2023?

Mark: The Gabba has been headline news for the proposed redevelopment of the venue as part of Brisbane’s 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games commitments. We have been busy putting together design briefs and now playing our part in managing things around the funding of the project. Of course, our business as usual has seen plenty of work with our stakeholders, and we continue to look at ways to make our old girl shine week in and week out.

VMA: What did it mean to you personally and professionally to win the award?

Mark: It was a really proud and emotional moment for me. I have committed my whole career to this industry, and many of the lifelong friends I have made were present as my name was read last year. Whilst clichéd, many award recipients tend to say you do not set out and do the things you do to have that recognition, but I’ll say it feels pretty freaking amazing when it does!! I am incredibly proud of having had the opportunity to grow through my various roles in venues and through the VMA, and feel grateful that I get to give back through my ongoing participation.


VMA: What initially drew you to a career in venue management, and how has your passion for your field evolved over time?

Mark: I am of the era of venue professionals that fell into it. I never even considered there was a career to be had in venues, but rather they ‘magically’ operated when I was either playing sport or attending events. As I was exposed to the other side of the business, I got sucked in and loved the variety and dynamic nature of the work. I recall when I started out being in awe of those than managed tiny venues by comparison to where my career has taken me. Having legends of our industry to aspire to be like, then become mentors, and now call friends, is something that has also driven me to give back to the industry and the VMA.


VMA: What would you say to your peers to encourage them to nominate a deserving friend or colleague for an award this year?

Mark: When I was nominated, I was extremely flattered albeit initially thrown by it. I possibly did not consider myself worthy or even was intimidated by the prospect. But completing the nomination process and then being shortlisted amongst wonderful peers really filled me with pride and a sense of accomplishment. It was a wonderful way to reflect on what I had achieved in not only the previous 12 months, but through my career. Nominating a peer is so simple, and so impactful and flattering to the recipient of the nomination. Everyone should feel that good at some stage, and you can make that difference in someone’s day, whilst simultaneously helping promote the growth of our industry!


Nominate Now!

Now is your chance to recognise the hard work and dedication of your team members, colleagues and friends. Click here to nominate someone deserving for a Venue Industry Award today.

Join us in celebrating excellence and innovation in the venue management industry. Together, let’s honour those who continue to raise the bar and inspire others to do the same.


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