EEAA UPDATE: COVID-19

By Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia, 18 March, 2020


Dear Members,

As the situation regarding COVID-19 and the restrictions around mass gatherings continues to evolve, I wanted to provide an update and reassurance that the EEAA is working tirelessly with key industry stakeholders and Government to secure assistance for the exhibition, conference and events industry.

Earlier today, the Prime Minister announced further measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, including a ban on non-essential indoor gatherings of greater than 100 people, effective from today. Outdoor events of fewer than 500 attendees may proceed however must follow measures including no more than one person per four square metres of ground space. Please refer to the announcement in full for further details.

This is a national measure that will be enforced by the states and we are monitoring the relevant authorities for further information. The states and territories will be meeting later this week to also give further consideration to guidance and rules for indoor events of fewer than 100 people. In the meantime, social distancing of 1.5m between attendees and appropriate hygiene practices should be applied.

EEAA-MEA COVID-19 INFORMATION EXCHANGE OUTCOME

Together with MEA, we held our first COVID-19 Information Exchange meeting on Monday. We were overwhelmed with the response – many thanks to ICC Sydney for providing the Darling Harbour Theatre with seating for 2,500 which allowed for adequate social distancing, and to Sprintr by AV1 for assisting with the registrations.

Unfortunately, due to the announcement today from the Government, the COVID-19 Information Exchange sessions that were planned for Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide have been cancelled.

The objective of the industry gatherings was to share knowledge and document the key concerns of the industry. We are collaborating closely with the other industry associations on a whole-of-industry request for immediate financial assistance, via the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) which covers:

  1. Sector sustainment through support for keeping and supporting staff. Without staff, the sector cannot recover.
  2. Cashflow support including deferral of company tax; removal of payroll tax; instant tax write off for an expanded list of goods and services; low or no interest loans and deferral of loan repayments.
  3. Financial support for associations and peak industry bodies to continue their work coordinating industry sustainment such as setting up dedicated project teams and managing the critical collation of evidence and information about impacts and sustainment needs.

INDUSTRY SURVEY TO COME

The sector contributes over $28 billion to the economy and provides close to 200,000 jobs (source). It’s vitally important that we provide evidence to Government of the expected financial implications for our sector. An industry survey will be sent to you in the next day, please provide your feedback specifically around the projected financial impact of COVID-19 and the impact of mass gathering bans and meeting restrictions on your business.

The survey results will be fed into a full business assistance request to Government.

We will continue to work closely with Federal and State Governments and other stakeholders to advocate for the industry for both immediate assistance and to plan for the industry’s recovery. If you have any questions or comments, please send me an email.

Thank you for your support.

Regards,

Claudia Sagripanti,

Chief Executive

Source: EEAA