September 5, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Image credit: Tourism Australia

Up to $60,000 per event is up for grabs from BESydney for events held in Greater Sydney, Newcastle or Wollongong in the first eleven months of 2023, with the bureau opening applications for the latest round of the Accelerate program today.

Supplied through the state government, the funding can be used to offset venue costs – including AV and catering – for conferences, B2B exhibitions and training courses for up to 600 in-person delegates over at least one full day. Events must have at least 100 in-person delegates to be eligible. Incentive events and standalone gala dinners are not eligible for funding.

Funding will be allocated at a rate of up to $50 per day per delegate for events running for one or two days. Funding must be matched by the event organiser.

First come, first served funding

“This first come, first served funding is much-needed investment to help revive businesses and bring tourism back to our cities,” said BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith.

“Business events bring locals and visitors alike to our CBDs and support industry suppliers in accommodation, entertainment, hospitality, tourism and business events sectors.

“Business events also play a significant role in rebuilding confidence and this funding will work towards incentivising business event organisers to contract and hold their next in-person business event.

“Business events have a significant role to play in driving the prosperity of cities like Newcastle, Wollongong and Sydney and we’re incredibly pleased to support local businesses to play their part,” said Lewis-Smith.

Long term impact

NSW tourism minister Ben Franklin said the funding would have a long term impact.

“The Accelerate program has invested millions into our important business events sector, delivering economic stimulus to communities and industries which is accelerating our economic recovery,” said Franklin.

“We know business events contribute significantly to the wider tourism industry and this important investment will have a wide-reaching impact for years to come both socially and economically.”

Applications are open until September 30, 2022, via the Meet in Sydney website.