Bid Fund Program: One year on

We check in with Penny Lion to find out how the program performed in its first year.

It has been 12 months since applications opened for Tourism Australia’s Business Events Bid Fund Program. Here, Spice checks in with executive general manager of events Penny Lion to see where the program is at and what impact it’s having on the industry.

Since the launch of Tourism Australia’s Business Events Bid Fund Program (BFP), it has helped bring multi-million-dollar international events to the country.

As Australia’s first ever federal government-funded business events bid fund, the program sees $12 million made available over three years to help increase the conversion of new business events for Australia.

To date, Tourism Australia has received applications for 65 events, 17 of which have converted to business worth more than $220 million.

According to Penny Lion, executive general manager of events at Tourism Australia, these positive results prove how effective the program is.

“From the outset the industry overwhelmingly welcomed the initiative and have been very receptive in seeking to access the BFP to convert new business,” she says.

Given the increasingly competitive nature of business events, the BFP couldn’t have come at a better time for Australia. The program also helps overcome the “time, distance, cost” barriers to travel, says Lion.

“Whilst we are recognised globally for the talent of our people, our expertise in key knowledge sectors, as well as our state-of-the-art infrastructure, event delivery expertise and destination appeal, it can still be hard to overcome these barriers, but the BFP can help with that,” she says.

“It makes Australia more competitive and helps to secure  events by offering financial support at the crucial stage where we are in direct competition with other countries.”

In the long term, the BFP will help secure ongoing benefits for Australia as a business events destination.

“The BFP is supporting events that will take place in Australia as far out as 2023, providing consistent and long-term economic benefits for our country,” says Lion.

“It also helps develop the event pipeline for destinations in Australia, as international customers become more aware of the BFP and how it can help them deliver cost-effective events.”

With the three-year program entering its second year, Lion says the results to date are showing very positives signs for the industry. “We expect the BFP will continue to provide the industry with a competitive advantage that grows this conversion for Australia.”

This article originally appeared in the winter edition of Spice Magazine. Subscribe here.

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