BECA Update: Business Events Recovery and Rebound Framework calls for JobKeeper extension

By Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia, 22 June, 2020


BUSINESS EVENTS RECOVERY AND REBOUND FRAMEWORK CALLS FOR JOBKEEPER EXTENSION TO KEEP THE INDUSTRY ALIVE

  • Without an extension of the Government’s JobKeeper arrangement, the business events industry will face financial ruin.
  • The total lost value for the business events industry over the next 12 months is estimated at $35.7 billion (1)  with staffing losses across the industry estimated at over 92,000 by the end of June 2020.
  • The situation is dire for an industry that has been growing annually at a rate of more than 6%.

    The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) has developed a framework to aid the recovery of the Australian business events industry with critical support for the business events workforce and businesses.

    Without an extension of the Government’s JobKeeper arrangement, the business events industry will face financial ruin. Beyond September, the business events industry will not be in full recovery mode given the long lead times to plan and promote events and for revenue to start flowing again.

    Across the business events industry, the necessary cancellation of events has seen a near 100% loss of revenue. The total lost value for the business events industry over the next 12 months is estimated at $35.7 billion (2) with staffing losses across the industry estimated at over 92,000 by the end of June 2020.

    Until new business events are being planned, booked and providing cashflow to businesses, the industry is largely unable to maintain its large workforce when unsupported. This leaves the industry unable to sustain its capacity to recover or to position itself for a rebound when market conditions improve. Demand for business events has completely dropped off and stimulating demand for future events requires a return of business confidence across the economy.

    The situation is dire for an industry that has seen year on year growth of more than 6% and was, just months ago, successfully showcasing Australia’s credentials to major business event decision-makers and planners from across the globe (3).

    BECA Chair Dr. Vanessa Findlay said “Without Government support the business events industry is not just facing a hiatus; it is facing a total dislocation and complete loss. We would be facing a total rebuild of an industry from the ground up. We are uncertain whether we will ever get back to being able to compete globally if this situation transpires”.

    To aid the recovery of the Australian business events industry, the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) has called for targeted government support for the business events workforce and businesses. Close engagement with the Australian Government and a coordinated effort across industry stakeholders is essential to ensure the support targets those areas most critical to the industry’s immediate needs, its recovery and its successful rebound.

    Australia’s business events industry rapidly shutdown with the escalation of government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reliance on in-person gatherings left the industry particularly exposed to the necessary ongoing public health orders and restrictions. As a result, 96% (4) of business events scheduled for 2020 in Australia have been cancelled or postponed and major international events due to be held in Australia in 2021 are increasingly in doubt.

    The Business Events Recovery and Rebound Framework identifies key challenges facing the industry and gaps that are not alleviated or solved by the Government’s existing stimulus and support measures. It has also been designed with the belief that although the market for business events will be forever changed, the new world of business events will see a surge in demand driven by a renewed premium on in-person contact for governments, businesses and associations.

    BECA Chair Dr. Vanessa Findlay said “As an industry, we want to emerge from the crisis in a position to help build business confidence across the Australian economy and, when the time is right, grow Australia’s share of global events in what will be a highly competitive and disrupted market”.

    The overarching principle of the business events industry’s Recovery and Rebound Framework is to support the wellbeing of our workforce and businesses through the crisis, and to emerge together, ready to take on the new world of business events.

    The recovery phase of the framework meets the short- and medium-term needs of the industry with a focus on the domestic situation and market. The rebound phase follows with a medium to long term focus on regional and global markets to position the industry to take advantage of new regional and global market opportunities.

    For more information visit the BECA website.

    (1) Value of Business Events to Australia 2018/19, Ernst & Young, March 2020

    (2) Value of Business Events to Australia 2018/19, Ernst & Young, March 2020

    (3) Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Media Release, 3 December 2019.

    (4) Lost Business Report: Impacts of COVID-19 on the Business Events Industry, McCrindle, April 2020

    About BECA:

    The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) was formed in 1994 as a peak industry body. It provides an umbrella structure for the key industry associations operating in the Australian business events sector: The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB), Australian Convention Centres Group (ACCG), Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA), International Convention and Congress Association (ICCA)-Australian Chapter, Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) and the Professional Conference Organisers Association Inc (PCOA).

    As the peak industry body for the business events sector we provide a single voice for the industry and liaise with the federal government and relevant agencies on matters common to all sectors of the industry. Our members represent the cross-section of the industry and we work together to build a strong voice for all sectors of the industry.

    Business Events are major drivers of the Australian economy and generate trade, investment, employment, knowledge sharing and also stimulate the visitor economy.

Source: Business Events Council of Australia