The situation is dire for an industry that has been growing annually at a rate of more than 6%
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 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.
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% 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.