May 7, 2021 | By Joyce DiMascio

Business events peak bodies continue to support the industry at full throttle with a range of announcements pointing to their relentless advocacy and support for members.

Ahead of the AHICE meeting in Adelaide, the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) said its Forward Calendar of business events shows the health care and social assistance industries represent one in three business events secured by convention bureaux. It forecasts more than 115,000 Australian health professionals are expected to attend domestic conferences and exhibitions across the country over the next six years.

Science, financial services and education followed as other key sectors. But of course, securing the events is one thing, attracting delegates and exhibitors is another.

“It’s ironic to suggest that the health sector will be key to our recovery during a global pandemic,” says AACB CEO, Andrew Hiebl.

“Nevertheless, boosting the confidence of health professionals to travel, meet and share knowledge in-person is critical to getting business events back on track.”

The Professional Conference Organisers Association (PCOA) is ramping up its communications for its flagship annual conference and exhibition which is planned for Tasmania from 5 – 7 December 2021.

In its newsletter this week, the association said its members were responsible for $500m of domestic hotel bookings each year, pre-COVID.

PCOA’s President Barry Neame and Victorian Councillor Mike Pickford, have also been on the frontline trying to get the Federal and State Governments to recognise the business events industry’s contribution to economic activity in Australia.

Meanwhile Chief Executive of the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia, Claudia Sagripianti also renewed the call for more support.

Sagripanti said EEAA’s members need the Business Events Grants Program managed by Austrade to reopen urgently for applications.

“The EEAA is aware of many exhibitors across a range of exhibition types and locations applying for and being approved [for funding through the Business Events Grants Program] and welcomed the speed with which Austrade acted to process applications,” she said.

As reported by micenet, according to Executive General Manager of Events at Tourism Australia Penny Lion, the dollar value of applications for the $50 million of funding available through the program exceeds $90 million.