October 22, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

Tourism Australia’s specialist business events unit, Business Events Australia, has released its latest wave of research tracking the evolution of corporate sentiment towards holding business events throughout the pandemic.

The latest research shows the impact of lockdowns over the last four months, with 77 percent of the 452 respondents saying they had cancelled or rescheduled at least one event since June.

While just over one in five have rescheduled events for delivery in the next three months, 72 percent have rescheduled their events to take place in four to twelve months’ time.

It looks like interstate travel is on the backburner for the next year, with 94 percent of businesses planning to host events in their home state or territory in the next 12 months, with only 29 percent of respondents saying they expect their events to involve interstate travel. The majority of events are expected to be held in capital cities with just 18 percent of business expected to be held in regional Australia.

Top factors affecting event confidence over the next six to 12 months are concerns over capacity and travel restrictions, which have risen since the last wave of research in May.

Overall, 62 percent of respondents say they’re planning events in the next six to 12 months with the majority of these – 78 percent – to have a face-to-face element, with 58 percent projected to be fully live.

For those who haven’t run any events in the past four to 13 months, interstate borders reopening, 80 percent full vaccination coverage across the country and a complete lifting of restrictions on events are the top three developments that would lead to an immediate resumption of corporate events.

In terms of the longer term outlook, 76 percent of respondents believe their companies will run the same or more events after the pandemic – a figure that is down seven percent on the last wave of research.

The surveys underpinning the research were conducted between September 29 and October 5, with 87 percent of respondents residing on Australia’s eastern seaboard.