September 12, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

Applications for grants of up to $80,000 per event in Melbourne and $40,000 per event held in regional Victoria have opened today, as Victoria’s domestic subvention program, the National Business Events Program, enters another funding round.

Grants are being offered at a rate of $80 per delegate in both urban and regional areas, with numbers capped at 1,000 delegates for events in Melbourne and 500 pax in regional areas of the state.


City events must have at least 150 in-person delegates attending a program that runs over at least two days. A minimum of 30 per cent of delegates must be travelling from interstate to attend the event.

For regional events, in-person delegate numbers can be as low as 25 and incentive events will also be funded, provided they include a business events program and a gala dinner. Events must run over more than one day and must generate at least 20 room nights or have at least 40 per cent of delegates requiring overnight accommodation in regional Victoria (whichever is greater).

Regardless of where in Victoria events are held, the events must take place after November 30, 2022 and by December 31, 2024. If funding is secured, venues must be contracted by the end of February 2023.

Bureaux continue to manage the program

The program is being managed by Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) and regional bureau, Business Events Victoria (BEV).

CEO of MCB Julia Swanson said the National Business Events Program was critical to the recovery of the state’s business events industry after the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic which saw the state’s business events industry brought to a standstill, including extended periods of closure for Victoria’s major convention centre, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).

“It’s been instrumental in guiding and driving recovery of the sector from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, boosting demand, supporting our local supply chain and providing planners and key decision-makers with the confidence to plan and book their events in Melbourne,” said Swanson.

“We have worked closely with Business Events Victoria (BEV) who will administer the regional arm of the program, which is designed to stimulate short- and medium-term recovery of the business events sector right across our state.”

Business events confidence returning slowly

BEV executive officer Chris Porter said business events played an especially important role in the visitor economy for regional Victoria, boosting business during the week and in off peak times for leisure visitors.

“The business events sector has been one of the hardest hit and still continues to be impacted, as confidence slowly returns to the sector,” said Porter.

“The entire business events eco system has been affected and this funding will support and encourage more businesses to get out there and host more events.”

Applications are open until September 30, 2022 and can be accessed through MCB’s website.