January 19, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio | Image: Nicole Walker | Credit: Oneill Photographics

The Event Saver Fund launched by the NSW Government has received a warm reception from the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) and the Committee for Sydney.

EEAA President Nicole Walker told micenet the association was “grateful” for the funding support for major events.

“Based on the major event definition table in the Event Saver guidelines, exhibitions will have the opportunity to seek funding support and will be prioritised if of significant size,” she said.

“It is also pleasing to see that events that don’t meet the criteria are still able to submit an EOI during Stage One and will have the opportunity to demonstrate the economic benefits the event generates in order to seek support.”

She said the launch of the program details on Monday would enable its members to make informed decisions around the support available as well as confidence to plan for exhibitions and events over the next 12 months.

“We appreciate the opportunity for the lines of communication to remain open with the NSW Government for future support and for conversations with the industry to better understand the importance of business events, irrespective of size, and how exhibitions play a major role in the state economy.”

The Committee for Sydney, Deputy Lord Mayor Jess Scully and the Australian Festivals Association played key roles in making representations to government about the need for support in the face of uncertainties associated with state government health orders preventing events from going ahead and the absence of insurance.

The Committee for Sydney said it was no secret the events sector had been among the hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions, so Monday’s announcement of up to $10 million in support per event for major events disrupted by public health orders came as a huge relief.

“This sector is vital to Sydney and the state’s medium and long-term social, cultural and economic prosperity – to have the confidence to take risks putting on events, organisers need this kind of practical support.”

The Committee for Sydney says some concerns had been raised about smaller events and touring companies, independent producers and musicians who are the lifeblood of the events sector.

“The Treasurer flagged more announcements to come, and we will be looking out for measures to ensure the survival of these smaller venues, companies and independent producers that are the lifeblood of the Sydney events sector, as well as support for time-starved event producers to navigate the process, such as a concierge service via Service NSW.”