The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) has welcomed the news that, after years of campaigning by the events industry for greater support from the Federal Government, Australia’s first ever government-funded business events bid fund has been launched.
Worth $12m, the Bid Fund Program will aim to attract more conferences, exhibitions and meetings to the country and will be managed by Business Events Australia.
Chief Executive of the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) Joyce DiMascio said: “Minister Steven Ciobo has been an active campaigner within Government for more investment and we are very pleased with the announcement made this morning at Tourism Australia’s Destination Australia conference in Melbourne.
“This is a step in the right direction and will help boost Australia’s capacity to attract events to Australia. It will position Tourism Australia’s Business Events team as important boosters of Australia’s international competitiveness in the face of growing competition from the Asia-Pacific region.
“We are particularly pleased the $12 million “bid fund” is designed to be “agnostic” and will be open to all types of business events, including exhibitions – provided they meet the criteria and can demonstrate clear ROI in international delegates and attendees and spending of over $3 million.”
EEAA President Spiro Anemogiannis stated that this significant Government investment will be vital to the business events industry as international competition grows fiercer than ever.
“Australia faces enormous competition in the international business events market and a key measure to maintain our competitiveness is to increase funding for the sector,” Anemogiannis said.
“The announcement of $12 million is a good start, however we will continue to call on both the Government and the Opposition to deliver more.”
With the funding now in place, DiMascio urged Tourism Australia to make the most of the opportunity.
“We know we have strong advocates for business events in both Minister Ciobo and Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan. We look forward to working with them both, their teams and of course, with Executive General Manager of Events, Penny Lion, who will have responsibility to work with industry to convert this opportunity to a win for the Australian economy.
“This is an historic announcement for business events and bestows on Tourism Australia a bigger brief in supporting event attraction.”