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Photo Credit: BCEC Australia

BECA welcomes $50 million funding announcement which will instil confidence and build momentum for Australia’s business events industry.

The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) welcomes the Government’s $50 million funding announcement to support the restart of Australia’s business events industry. The targeted support will drive confidence and create momentum, positioning the industry to rebound as market conditions improve.

Under the Australian Business Events Grants Program, approved business events, including meetings conventions, incentives and exhibitions, will be able to apply for upfront grants to cover up to 50 per cent of their costs (between $10,000 and $250,000). This initiative is part of the Morrison-McCormack Government’s $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, which supports sectors severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) welcomes the Government’s $50 million funding announcement to support the restart of Australia’s business events industry. The targeted support will drive confidence and create momentum, positioning the industry to rebound as market conditions improve.

Under the Australian Business Events Grants Program, approved business events, including meetings conventions, incentives and exhibitions, will be able to apply for upfront grants to cover up to 50 per cent of their costs (between $10,000 and $250,000). This initiative is part of the Morrison-McCormack Government’s $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, which supports sectors severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The business events industry was one of the first and hardest hit industries by COVID-19 and may be one of the last to recover, due to the long lead times between booking and holding a major business event. By March this year, 96% of business events scheduled for 2020 in Australia had been cancelled or postponed. Close collaboration with Government led to this announcement as BECA’s Recovery and Rebound Framework highlighted the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the sector and the need for funding to drive business confidence. With a contribution of $35.7 billion to the Australian economy and employment of 229,000 people, it’s important that the business events industry can recover as quickly as possible. BECA will now lead the industry’s work with Government on the design and implementation of the Australian Business Events Grants Program. Our goal is to get money flowing throughout the supply chain as soon as possible.

Last year over 480,000 business events were held in Australia and over 43 million people attended a business event in the form of a meeting, convention, exhibition or incentive event. In a recent survey conducted by BECA, 67% of businesses said they don’t have any business events confirmed for 2020 and 48% of businesses said they don’t have any business events confirmed for 2021 either.

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Photo credit: Business Events Australia

The Business Events Council of Australia Chair, Dr Vanessa Findlay said, “Australia’s business events industry is deeply appreciative of the Federal Government’s support through this grants program. Our industry has been devastated by COVID-19. We can now look to rebuilding business confidence and kick-starting momentum across the entire business events supply chain – for meetings, conventions, incentives and exhibitions. BECA’s goal is to not only support the business events industry itself but to also maximise the contribution business events make to the recovery of the wider economy. This support package will be pivotal to that.”

While Australia’s state and territory borders remain closed, the recovery of the business events industry is seriously impeded. BECA calls for clear guidelines that provide predictability and transparency in the way the borders are being managed so businesses can plan and book their next business event with confidence. BECA’s work with Government, and implementation of the Australian Business Events Grants Program, will allow the industry to move to the next phase of recovery and rebound.