. Australian Business Events Grants Program to cover up to 50 per cent of event costs | Meetings & Conventions Asia

Australian Business Events Grants Program to cover up to 50 per cent of event costs

Upfront grants of up to $250,000 will support event supply chain and rebuild business confidence.

By March 2020, 90 per cent of business events in Australia had been cancelled or postponed.
By March 2020, 90 per cent of business events in Australia had been cancelled or postponed. Photo Credit:Gettyimages/2630ben

Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, recently announced a A$50 million (US$36.46 million) injection to steamroll the country's business events industry, these funds coming out of a $1 billion Covid-19 relief fund for sectors severely affected by the pandemic.

Under this programme, approved business events, including conventions, incentives and exhibitions, are eligible for upfront grants that cover up to 50 per cent of planning costs (between $10,000 and $250,000). This is hoped to get money flowing through the supply chain as quickly possible.

“This is much needed support for our industry and recognises the contribution business events can make to the recovery of our economy," said Kate Smith, chair of industry body, Meetings & Events Australia.

"Our membership represents the entire supply chain of specialists needed to create and deliver outstanding business events — large, medium and small enterprises as well as sole operators and freelancers — all have been significantly impacted by Covid-19 and this support is a positive step towards our recovery.” 

By March 2020, 90 per cent of business events in Australia had been cancelled or postponed. In a recent survey by the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA), 67 per cent of businesses said they don’t have any events confirmed for 2020, while 48 per cent said they don't have any confirmations for 2021. 

This prompted BECA to highlight the severity of the pandemic’s impact on the industry.

“BECA’s goal is to not only to support the business events industry itself, but to also maximise the contribution business events make to the recovery of the wider economy. This support package will be pivotal to that,” said BECA chair, Vanessa Findlay.

Australia hosted more than 480,000 business events, with more 43 million attendees, in 2019.