By Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia, 10 February, 2021

Last week my company, Informa, successfully delivered our first face-to-face event for 2021 – our flagship Defence Procurement event, ADM Congress.

Confex was held in the National Convention Centre attracting 340 in-person attendees along with 40 virtual attendees who signed in via the conference live stream. In addition, we had seven major sponsors, five of which took out an exhibition stand. The event included a welcome reception at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra as well as a post-event cocktail networking party.

Even though we had to submit COVID safe plans with both venues as did our A/V supplier the event was relatively easy to run. One of the social functions were held in an indoor seated setting with the other in an outdoor area both allowing safe social distanced networking.

The overwhelming feedback was very positive. It was not only commented on but was evident that there was definitely “pent up demand” for F2F events, in particular networking and socialising. We have our second F2F event at the ICC Sydney next week – it is also booking well and ahead of budget.

The above illustrates that our industry is restarting – primarily as a result of the targeted advocacy work delivered by industry associations such as the EEAA, who have dedicated their time, effort and resources in 2020.

The EEAA is the voice of the exhibition industry and our lobbying efforts have contributed to the $50m Business Events Grants Scheme.

Our 2020 Advocacy efforts led the fight on:

  1. Defining controlled gathering vs mass gatherings, especially in NSW and was further taken up by BECA at the national level.
  2. Sending a number of member case studies to the NSW and Victorian governments demonstrating the economic importance of events.
  3. Initiating the discussions and formulation of COVID safe principles and plans which framed the BECA initiative.
  4. Collaborating with other associations outside of BECA in related sectors such as Hospitality and Live Performance.
  5. Produced and delivered information exchanges at the beginning and during the COVID disruption, including as ask the EEAA Board, Global Exhibition Day 2020, The Sector-by-Sector Information Exchange Forums and the CEO Forum.

In 2021 the EEAA will continue this series of information exchanges starting with a COVID Operations strategy.

The EEAA is now in a good position to further our strategic alliances in addition to BECA with bodies such as ACCI . All our Board Members continue to be embedded in a number of State government committees as we navigate through the pandemic to get to the other side.

Other EEAA board members will also continue to update the industry as they start their return to F2F events.

Warm regards,

Spiro Anemogiannis
President, EEAA

Source: Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia