‘Ready to restart’, EEAA webinar’s key message

A webinar curated by the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) to celebrate Global Exhibitions Day emphasised the industry is ready to restart by September.

More than more than 800 participants tuned in for the webinar streamed from the ICC Sydney studios to listen to a panel of high-profile local and international industry commentators.

“The clear message that came out of yesterday’s webinar is that the Australian business events industry is ready to restart face-to-face events under Government approved CovidSafe operating guidelines and a confirmed date from Federal and State Governments is required as a matter of urgency,” said EEAA chief executive Claudia Sagripanti.

“Global Exhibitions Day showcases the business events sector’s contribution to trade and investment, new product launches and innovation, employment, domestic and regional visitation and networking.

EEAA chief executive Claudia Sagripanti.

“Exhibitions and business events are the key to rebuilding economies, and there has never been a more important time to highlight the sector’s capability to restart business activity – a top priority for companies and Governments in the current climate.”

Key topics discussed during the webinar included the future of exhibitions and how the format will change in post COVID-19 recovery, hybrid events and what that means for the sector, re-engaging with the sector now to ensure strong confidence amongst buyers and sellers and ensuring the business events community remains financially viable and continues to be recognised as a key marketing channel.

Mark Cochrane, UFI’s Asia Pacific regional manager, delivered a keynote address and update on global markets live from Hong Kong. He highlighted the opening of Asian markets such as China and Hong Kong as providing critical and relevant frameworks for Australia to follow.

Cochrane said that while the Covid-19 crisis has certainly spurred hybrid events, he maintains that face-to-face events will remain a necessity – where buyers need to meet sellers and see and touch the product. He called out China’s tech giants who were doing interesting things in the online exhibition space, such as E-commerce giant Alibaba Group, where 3D modelling, mixed reality and augmented reality are being used to create an immersive experience.

View the webinar on-demand here.