Over the past few weeks our focus has been on business recovery in NSW. Now the focus is on Victoria.
Last Sunday Dan Andrews announced the recovery roadmap for Victoria that has been broadly supported.
In announcing the benefits to business events, the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula chose to credit the advocacy of the Business Events Reference Group (made up of representatives from MEA, EEAA and VTIC).
The Business Events Reference Group today welcomed the announcement by the Victorian Government of its roadmap to recovery for the state’s $13 billion business events sector.
NSW has a similar advocacy group, the Sydney Business Events Coalition.
I’ve said before that COVID has proven the federation of Australia to be a failed concept. Industry bodies (and their members in particular) have been confused about who to turn to for business assistance and the constant bickering between the states, and between the states and the feds has not helped.
Although the industry associations have state branches, they are essentially national bodies. The formation of BECA in the 90s was an attempt to have a combined industry voice to government at the federal level. Thankfully our industry had this body in place when COVID set out to destroy our industry.
What became apparent though was the real power was with the states and the industry bodies did not have established advocacy channels at the state level. Indeed about the only contact we ever had with the states was when a minister for major events and or tourism or whatever was invited to open a national industry conference.
Although the music industry (and associated festivals) got together with a pretty strong national voice, they finished up just being used as a prop for another of Morrison’s endless announcements that delivered very little. They actually achieved more through the states.
So essentially that left the rest of the event industry out in the cold. The likes of attractions, private events, etc not having a voice gave birth to Save Victorian Events. This loose coalition became a squeaky gate with protest cavalcades, many media appearances and an appearance before the Victorian Inquiry into Tourism and Events. Their response to the Victorian announcement.
It has been a very long, hard and frustrating road for Victoria’s event industry to get to the point where we are today – where there is finally a roadmap out of this crisis. The roadmap isn’t perfect, but the main thing is that there is one now and we know where we stand. We can start planning.
Unfortunately them the Victorian recovery plan focusses on Major Events and Business Events. Grass roots events have missed out. Event local councils are not helping. Peter Jones called out a number of councils who have cancelled their annual Christmas Carols.
The Victorian government did announce continued support for regional events – a program that has been running since 2016
The $20 million Regional Events Fund will open for applications on Monday, with organisers of festivals, sports events, exhibitions and other attractions encouraged to consider making an application for support.
As I’ve often pointed out, the “events industry” is far more than business and major events and includes, private events, weddings, festivals (arts, music, cultural and more), sporting events, etc.
While the business events associations have their annual awards, the only industry wide awards scheme is the Australian Event Awards who took a novel approach this year announcing the awards via online video presentations over the past week. The full winners list will be published in ASE on Monday.
Uncertainty and border closures claim more events in WA
With no clarity on when the WA premier will reopen the state’s borders, Diversified Communications Australia announced it would cancel AOG Energy conference and expo, scheduled for March 2022 at PCEC. The next event will now be held in March 2023.
I also have experience of the WA lockout. EventPix was booked to photograph the Australian Training Awards in Perth in November. This year’s in person awards ceremony has been cancelled. Although the event could go ahead in Perth, none of the finalists from the eastern states could get there.
The Business Events industry is looking forward to getting back to their own events.
In Sydney that will kick off with a combined EEAA and MEA Christmas party on 6th December
The PCOA conference will be held in Hobart 29th – 31st January
Then Get Local at the ICC Sydney on 15th & 16th February
Arinex’ Incentives and Special Events team is readying for the return of international travellers, launching a new destination website and exhibiting at IMEX America.
Gary Fitz-Roy – I raised back on the 8th October that the re-opening of NSW should put a skip in our step and its clear that with the exception of WA (in case you have missed it the Premier in WA has announced the border will remain closed until Easter) the rest of the country recognises we need to open up and have a plan to move forward.