New $50m support program for the business events industry

The Federal Government has announced a $50 million funding program to support the restart of Australia’s business events industry.

Under the Australian Business Events Grants Program, approved business events will be able to apply for upfront grants to cover up to 50 per cent of their costs (between $10,000 and $250,000).

Funding will support exhibiting at events in 2021 and will remain open until all funds are allocated or until 30 June 2021, whichever is sooner.

The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) will now lead the industry’s work with Government on the design and implementation of the program to get money flowing throughout the supply chain as soon as possible.

“Australia’s business events industry is deeply appreciative of the Federal Government’s support through this grants program,” said BECA Chair Dr Vanessa Findlay.

“Our industry has been devastated by COVID-19. We can now look to rebuilding business confidence and kick-starting momentum across the entire business events supply chain.”

The news was welcomed by other event bodies with Association of Australian Convention Bureaux president Michael Matthews saying the funding “will have a monumental impact on business confidence and the return of business events in Australia”.

Exhibition & Event Association of Australia chief executive Claudia Sagripanti said the program “will assist in the business events industry getting back on its feet”.

Meetings & Events Australia and the Professional Conference Organisers Association (PCOA) also celebrated the announcement, with PCOA president Barry Neame calling it “a wonderful and timely announcement for PCOs and their clients across Australia”.

A list of eligible events will be detailed in guidelines and will be released closer to the program start date.

More information on the grants program can be found at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission.