Business Events Australia, a division of Tourism Australia, has announced an extension to two of its funding programs, to drive demand for future business events across the country.
The Bid Fund Program will be extended for another year following grant of $3 million to cover new pledges and confirmed bids for an additional 12 months through to the end of the 2021/2022 financial year.
Designed to increase conversion of new international business events bids, the program has helped to secure 40 events worth approximately $411 million since its launch in 2018, representing a conversion rate of 58 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Business Events Boost Program will receive a further $1 million in funding, extending the program through the 2021/2022 financial year.
The program, which launched in June 2020 with $1.5 million from the Federal Government, will continue to provide funding support to deliver industry-led projects that will help win domestic business events.
Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison said both programs bring more opportunities for the business events industry.
“With COVID-19 restrictions lifting and consumer confidence rising, [the Bid Fund Program] program will continue to assist those bidding against international competitors for events and continue to position Australia as a leading business events destination,” she said.
“Given the positive feedback that we’ve received from industry about the Business Events Boost Program, we felt it was essential to provide additional funding so that industry can continue to access support while demand for domestic business events increases.”
Also announcing the funding, Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan acknowledged the industry’s $36 billion annual contribution to the Australian economy before COVID-19.
“The people who attend business events also book hotel rooms, they eat at restaurants, buy coffees, visit shops and stay to enjoy our tourist attractions, so this support is great news for businesses and communities,” he said.
Applications for the Bid Fund Program are currently open and close 30 June 2022, while applications for the Boost Program will be open between 3 May and 30 June 2021 for projects and activity taking place before 30 June 2022.
Further information on programs, including details on eligibility criteria and how to apply, can be found on the Business Events Australia website.