The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) has released its Response & Recovery Framework, designed to sustain the business events industry through the next 12 months and position it to rebound quickly on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic.
BECA developed the framework by identifying key challenges facing the industry and, in particular, the gaps that are not alleviated or solved by the government’s existing stimulus and support measures.
The below framework, presented in two phases, has now been submitted to government for initial consideration:
Phase 1: Response
The framework identifies the viability of industry businesses and organisations is at immediate risk with no cash-flow or forward pipeline of business events. Though new government measures support some employee wages, there is limited revenue raising work available and limited ability to stimulate demand among businesses and associations until the threat of COVID-19 passes.
This phase aims to enable the industry to effectively “hibernate” during the pandemic and to build domestic demand, industry capacity and strategy for the future market.
Initiatives outlined include:
• Government as an events leader to encourage government departments and agencies to outsource meetings and event management activities
• Incentives as a catalyst to encourage early bookings and development of the business event pipeline
• Ensuring industry capability and coordination
• Development of a national business events strategy that sits alongside or as part of Tourism 2030
• Employee skills and training
• Major event cancellation relief fund
Phase 2: Rebound & Grow
The challenge addressed in phase 2 of the framework is positioning and marketing for success in the new global market when conditions improve. Phase 2 solutions focus on research, marketing, promotion and facilitation.
Initiatives outlined include:
• Australian Government Bid Fund Program renewal and extension
• International research, marketing and promotion
• Creation of new Trade and Investment Priority Business Events that tap into Australia’s competitive advantages in key growth industries and regional areas
• Visa simplification
• Export Market Development Grant extension and refinement of criteria
• Improved business events metrics that enhance the national and international visitor surveys for business events and complement by investing in robust aggregated and segmented data capability
According to BECA, the organisation is staying in close contact with government during this “critical development phase of industry specific support”.
In a statement, BECA chair Vanessa Findlay said the council expects to receive further guidance from Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham’s office, Austrade and Tourism Australia on the key components of the framework in the coming days.
“From there our work will focus on the design and implementation of the agreed business events COVID-19 package,” she said.
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