March 24 2021

Business Events Australia’s latest wave of research revealed a slight dip in confidence amongst corporate event decision makers but remained remarkably steady, given the border closures and citywide lockdowns which have taken place since the last round of research was completed in early December.

The research, completed in late February and early March and released yesterday, is part of a series of surveys charting the evolving attitudes of domestic decision makers towards the restart of business events across Australia as pandemic restrictions ease. Over 450 people took part.

The results showed an eight percent jump in the number of decision makers who have held events in the last six months (43 percent) but a one per cent drop in those planning to hold events in the next three months (25 percent) and a four percent drop in both those planning to deliver events within the next six months and seven to 11 months (35 percent and 51 percent respectively).

Considering the plethora of interstate border closures and that three major cities have gone into snap citywide lockdowns since the research was last completed, these results are quite positive, in micenet’s eyes.

The research also demonstrates the appetite to get back to face-to-face events and an increasing comfort with travel for events. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they were planning fully face-to-face events in future while 77 percent indicated they were comfortable with themselves and their staff travelling intrastate for business events. Sixty-seven percent were comfortable with interstate travel. These numbers are up five percent and one percent respectively since the last survey.

The longer term outlook is optimistic, with 78 percent of decision makers saying they believe their businesses will run the same number or more events post-pandemic (up three percent) and 81 percent saying their domestic event budget in the next 12 months will be the same or higher than their 2019-2020 budget (also up three percent).

The top three barriers to running events remain primarily health concerns, although COVID-19-related travel restrictions are also factor. The percentage of those concerned about health as a barrier dropped but concerns around travel restrictions rose by one percent.

New toolkit to boost marketing efforts in recovery

Tourism Australia’s specialist business events unit also released a suite of new marketing assets for business events yesterday, for use by Australian industry, as part of its wider recovery strategy. Materials include video assets, maps, fact sheets and information on funding programs. The new toolkit is intended to help planners sell Australia’s business events offering and attract more delegates to events. Assets can be accessed via Tourism Australia’s Resources Hub.

Tourism Australia’s Executive General Manager of Events, Penny Lion, said the assets were designed to help drive consideration and conversion of both domestic and international business events to boost the industry’s recovery from the pandemic.

“By providing industry with access to quality marketing materials our goal is to help inspire, educate and rebuild desire for business events in Australia,” Ms Lion said.