The business events industry has welcomed yesterday’s announcement of a more than $530 million support package for the New South Wales events sector, saying it will rebuild confidence for event organisers looking to book their next event in the state.
The package includes $6 million for business events, conferences and conventions across Greater Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, as part of a major recovery package designed to encourage people back into the Sydney CBD in particular, and support industry suppliers hard hit by Covid restrictions.
The package also includes an Event Saver Fund to provide immediate support to organisers if events are cancelled or disrupted during the 2021-22 summer, and $60 million for an Aviation Attraction Fund to incentivise international airlines to restart flights to Sydney.
BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith said the funding announcement was a great outcome for Sydney’s business events industry.
“With restrictions continuing to ease, Sydney is coming back to life and the funding will continue the positive momentum that we are starting to see,” she said.
“People are excited about reconnecting with friends and family and the prospect of travel as borders open. We can’t wait to see that same confidence now flow through to business and to welcome our national and global business delegates back here soon.”
The funding package continues BESydney’s industry support initiatives, alongside the ‘It’s got to be Sydney’ campaign which launched last year.
BESydney will administer the funding program in conjunction with Destination NSW. Matched funding will be available by application in rounds, starting in late November 2021.
International Convention Centre Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy, who is also Chair of the Sydney Business Events Coalition, said the funding announcement was the culmination of months of lobbying by industry bodies.
“The advocacy of the members of the Sydney Business Events Coalition across various government bodies, Ministerial offices, aligned association groups and all tiers of government has not gone unheard,” he said in a statement.
“The specific mention of business events in order to boost activity in the city underpins the importance of the sector in revitalisating the Sydney CBD.”