In a bid to strengthen business events across Australia and New Zealand, Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) and Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) have announced a joint agreement.
The partnership will see the two bodies collaborate on issues that impact both markets and establish a “common voice” in government advocacy.
The news comes just days after New Zealand lifted all restrictions on events.
BECA chair Vanessa Findlay said the agreement brings the opportunity to support projects which impact both markets, including the relaunch of trans-Tasman travel.
“Business events are such significant economic drivers and a fast way of encouraging trade and investment,” she said.
“It is an important lever for business recovery that attendees from both countries can travel across the Tasman.
“The close relationship of our countries, the reliance we have on each other, means it makes sense to have a common voice when advocating for change, especially at this time of tremendous economic impact on our industry.”
CINZ CEO Lisa Hopkins agreed, and said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the two countries together in an unprecedented way.
“COVID-19 has impacted business events on both sides of the Tasman in an extraordinary way,” she said.
“However, it has also created opportunity and conversation amongst organisations who would not normally align, and our agreement with BECA is an example of this.”
Both Hopkins and Findlay say the partnership is important for lobbying governments.
“The Australian Government publicly acknowledged the difference between controlled gatherings (e.g business events) and mass gatherings when they released their three-step COVIDSafe Roadmap, whereas the New Zealand Government enabled events of up to 100 to go ahead five weeks ago,” said Hopkins.
“We would have liked to have seen our government follow their Australian counterparts and I am sure, vice versa.”
While each association will continue to act in the best interest of their respective market in regards to competitive bids, the two leaders will become a “unified voice” for the industry.
“Both Vanessa and I believe a unified voice from this part of the world makes sense, giving customers and our industry greater confidence that it’s safe to attend business events,” said Hopkins.
“Working together, both markets can now solidify their position as being safe, trusted destinations for business events,” added Findlay.