The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) has welcomed the commencement of the Federal Government’s $50 million Business Events Grants Program, which was announced in September.
As part of the first phase, Austrade has opened an EOI process to business event owners to establish a Schedule of Approved Business Events.
BECA is urging Australia business event owners to submit EOIs by 30 November to ensure their events can be considered for when phase two of the grants program opens in mid-December.
“BECA are pleased with the design of this first phase and think it has identified the most important aspects of the contribution the business events industry can make to the recovery of the Australian economy,” said BECA chair Vanessa Findlay.
“The industry looks forward to working with the government on the finalisation of grant guidelines and subsequent launch and allocation of grants across the business events industry.”
Findlay said the industry is relying on the program to provide the necessary financial boost and confidence to business event owners to book and hold their business event during 2021.
“Another year of cancelled and postponed events would put the entire Australian business events industry in a questionable recovery position,” she said.
“Without a solid recovery in 2021, the whole logistics and supply chain for the industry could be dislocated to a point where the impacts are felt for years to come. We do not want to see the industry focused on five years of rebuilding, before moving to recovery and then rebound.”
BECA urges states to ‘react proportionately’
Inconsistency and uncertainty around state and territory borders remains a concern for BECA and the industry.
In the wake of the recent COVID-19 cluster in South Australia, Findlay urged premiers and chief ministers to “react proportionately”.
“As I watch the knee-jerk reaction of some premiers around the country to the South Australian cluster with no notice, I fear the worst for any business trying to rebuild confidence in this uncertain environment,” she said.
“For business events, this means decision-makers – those that bear 100 per cent of the risk – will favour the continuation of virtual meetings over in-person meetings, which will have serious consequences for the Australian industry and the economy if delegates can’t move around the country with confidence.”
BECA will continue to advise the government on the design and implementation of the Business Events Grants Program, as well as other policies that will support the recovery and rebound phase.
Submit your EOI for the Business Events Grants Program here.