November 12, 2021 | By Graeme Kemlo

To date, 35 business events organisers have applied for grants of up to $25,000 to hold events in regional Victoria under the recently boosted National Business Events Program

Business Events Victoria (BEV) Executive Officer Chris Porter said already up to 20 of those applications have been passed to the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula, by BEV. Some announcements of successful applicants are expected in the next few weeks he said.

Porter said he expected most of the events would be held during 2022, but there were some expressions of interest for 2023.

In order to gain the maximum $25,000 grant to offset organisers’ costs, the event needs to produce over 700 delegate days – the equivalent of over 350 delegates meeting over two days – with 40 percent of delegates staying in local accommodation.

In broad terms, applications must be for events that have not yet been contracted, must be at least two days in length, have at least 25 in-person delegates and generate a minimum 20 room nights in the regions.

The grants can be spent on accommodation, venue hire, transport and other event costs, and depending on where the event is held, 50 percent may be payable before the event commences to cover upfront expenses.

Porter said he was encouraged by the response to the program which has a total budget of $300,000 and is open to anyone holding a meeting or an exhibition. He said the geographic spread was likely to create good dispersal of activity throughout the regions.

It is not too late to apply for funding. All expressions of interest must be submitted by December 31 2021.