By Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia, 15 April, 2020

15 April 2020

Over the past two weeks BECA has developed and submitted to Government for initial consideration a Response & Recovery Framework that sustains the business events industry through the next 12 months and positions it to rebound quickly and effectively on the other side of the pandemic.

Business Events Response & Recovery Framework

BECA developed the Framework by identifying key challenges facing our industry and, in particular, those gaps that are not alleviated or solved by the Government’s existing stimulus and support measures. With finite resources, it is critical that efforts are concentrated on those areas that are expected to bring the largest benefits to the industry and Australian economy more broadly. The Framework is presented in two phases.

Phase 1: Response

The Framework identifies that the viability of industry businesses and organisations is at immediate risk with no cash-flow or forward pipeline of business events. Though new Government measures support some employee wages, there is limited revenue raising work available and limited ability to stimulate demand among businesses and associations until the threat of COVID-19 passes.

This phase aims to enable the industry to effectively “hibernate” during the pandemic and to build domestic demand, industry capacity and strategy for the future market.

Success will see reduced costs to reduce costs on industry businesses, targeted support to organisations and employees to support viability, training and skills, domestic event pipeline development and Australian governments, businesses and associations incentivised to plan and book events.

Initiatives outlined include:

  • Government as an events leader to encourage government departments and agencies to outsource meetings and event management activities.
  • Incentives as a catalyst to encourage early bookings and development of the business event pipeline.
  • Ensuring industry capability and coordination.
  • Development of a national business events strategy that sits alongside or as part of Tourism 2030.
  • Employee skills and training.
  • Major event cancellation relief fund.

Phase 2: Rebound & Grow

The challenge addressed in Phase 2 of the Framework is positioning and marketing for success in the new global market when conditions improve. Phase 2 solutions focus on research, marketing, promotion and facilitation.

Initiatives outlined include:

  • Australian Government Bid Fund Program renewal and extension.
  • International research, marketing and promotion.
  • Creation of new Trade and Investment Priority Business Events that tap into Australia’s competitive advantages in key growth industries and regional areas.
  • Visa simplification.
  • Export Market Development Grant extension and refinement of criteria.
  • Improved Business Events metrics that enhance the national and international visitor surveys for business events and complement by investing in robust aggregated and segmented data capability.

Next steps:

BECA is staying in close contact with Government during this critical development phase of industry specific support. We expect to receive further guidance from Minister Birmingham’s office, Austrade and Tourism Australia on the key components of the Response & Recovery Framework in the coming days. From there our work will focus on the design and implementation of the agreed business events COVID-19 package.

Later this week BECA will put out a media release outlining the contribution of the industry to the Australian economy, the impact of COVID-19 and the proposed solutions.

Best regards,

Dr Vanessa Findlay
BECA Chair

Source: Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia