Firm foundations

Numerous programmes are in place to support events planned for Australia, discovers Adelaine Ng.

Australia is looking at a promising re-start for business events in 2022 after a challenging year that saw most states close their borders to domestic travel and months of lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne. While international borders will open from November, industry watchers are predicting business travellers will start flowing in early next year.

Sydney Harbour

“We are thrilled to see our borders starting to re-open, which is a positive and crucial step towards the recovery of the business events industry,” said Tourism Australia’s (TA) executive general manager commercial & business events Australia, Robin Mack.

“Research suggests that once travel is unrestricted, organisations are ready to do something significant to acknowledge all that’s happened, and they will have the funds to do so from not running face to face events for some time,” he continued.

TA’s research was conducted in May to test sentiment across associations and incentive sectors. There are also programmes to ensure that events get the support they need to run in 2022.

TA will continue marketing activities and partnership programmes for the domestic market, like the Business Events Boost Program, which received an additional A$1 million (US$749,339) earlier this year to help convert events for FY2021/22. An industry vaccination initiative, It’s our best shot for events, also launched recently.

Internationally, TA has been keeping the destination front of mind through its distribution activity and marketing initiatives like Australia Next, an incentive publication for key international markets. The Business Events Bid Fund Program, which received an additional A$3 million in funding to cover new pledges and bids for an additional 12 months throughout 2021/22, “continues to drive conversion for international business events,” said Mack.

As of 26 August, 46 events have been won via the programme.