For the 400 delegates who convened in Tasmania for the 14th
Professional Conference Organisers Association Conference (PCOA) in
mid-December, the exhilarating feeling of meeting in person was boosted
with the positive prospects of a bumper 2023.
The overriding takeaway from the three-day event was that business
events was looking strong for Australian planners and venue operators in
Managing director of DCB Events, Darren Crichton-Browne, whose
company had had a fantastic back half of 2022, said he is hopeful that
business stabilises in 2023 with more forward planning and less
short-lead time demands.
“We’re pretty booked up for the most of 2023, kicking off in early
March in destinations including Hobart in Tasmania and Perth, and then a
lot of state roadshows driving us through to November,” he said.
“Things are looking really promising and I think we’re all heading in
the right direction. For us next year is all focused on domestic
“One of the biggest barriers for us internationally is the cost of
airfares, particularly those in the corporate and franchise worlds.”
manager of Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef, Rosie
Douglas, who was attending PCOA as an exhibitor, said 2023 was looking
solid for the region. "I think we’re starting to get back to normality,”
“We have the convention centre extension opening mid-year and they
are fairly solidly booked with events. Some events that were postponed
have now come through the system, and we believe the international
market will open up as we get greater aviation access.
“It’s all been national business this year . A place like
Cairns relies on aviation access and we do see that coming back in
“Feedback internationally is that Cairns is back on the radar but
realistically we won’t be seeing international groups until 2024.”
“The domestic corporate market has been very strong for us and we see
that continuing. There is also a lot of interest from New Zealand.”
Managing director of The Association Specialists, Nel Harrison, said 2023 will be a year of recovery for the sector.
“I see a lot of growth and we have a full deck of business on the
books,” she said. “All the associations we worked with hit their targets
this year and next year is all about growth.
“Hybrid will always be in the mix, not now from a risk perspective
but from a growth perspective. A lot of organisations have worked out
that hybrid events open up opportunities in new markets. Hybrid is there
because it allows those who are in regional or remote or international
markets to still participate.”
of Sydney-based Bel Events, Belinda Tilling, who started her business
in 2020, also said 2023 was looking extremely positive.
“We grew in 2022 and 2023 is starting to grow for us. People I had
worked with in the past are now coming to me and talking to me about
future business,” she said.
“We have about five or six events planned for next year, all domestic
at this stage, and I am anticipating quite a number to come through
early next year.”
General manager of bid management at Business Events Adelaide, Jakki
Goven, said Adelaide had made a rapid recover from the Covid-19 pandemic
and 2023 and 2024 was now looking extremely strong.
“What we’re seeing for 2023-4 will be the biggest years Adelaide has
ever had in terms of business events, not only the convention centre
which will be full to the brim with national and international
conferences, but a lot of business for our major hotels,” she said.
“We’re also seeing a real increase in regional activity, not only for
our traditional conference sector but also for the incentive market.”
The 15th PCOA Conference will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 10-12 December 2023.