By Brad Foster

The Victorian business event sector has taken matters into its own hands to reignite the sector, with more than 1400 people now showing their support for a recent industry-led initiative.

Manager of Leading Voice, Carson White, said creation of the Do Gooder web page in which supporters are encouraged to email their local Members of Parliament asking them to help “save Victorian events” was initiated following an article in The Age in which Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg talked about the need to support the hardest hit industries.

“Events were not mentioned,” White said.

“It struck me then we were being overlooked [and were] one of the hardest hit sectors.”

White voiced his outrage on LinkedIn and found support from many people including GM of DG Global, Steve Smith, and owner of event.com.au Simon Thewliss.

“Simon had already being doing a lot of work lobbing State Government since March. Simon recommended we create a Do Gooder website and came up with the name Save Victorian Events Group. Since its launch we have over 1400 people support this for the industry. Our main working group has now grown to eight people.”

The working group has three key objectives:

  1. Business events needs to be recognised as a separate industry sector to the general events sector by the Victorian Government.
  2. Targeted event sector financial support from the Victorian Government.
  3. Clear and specific recovery/re-start plan including COVID safe guidelines with workable steps that don’t over burden clients’/organisers’ ability to actually conduct an event.

White said the group discovered the Victorian Government was lumping business events in with tourism which was a major reason business events was not receiving any specific support.

“As a result of our campaign, members of our group are now part of the Victorian Government Events Roundtable and the Victorian Economic Chamber of Commerce and Industry Roundtable (VECCI),” White said.

“Over the last fortnight, more than 1100 members of the events industry – including people from more than 480 individual businesses – have sent emails to the Minister for Tourism and Major Events and the Minister for Creative Industries asking them to support Victoria’s events industry.

“This is a really strong response and a great first step, and shows an industry that does want to be heard.

“The next step in building support is letting all members of Victoria’s parliament understand the situation our event industry is facing.”

Support we are seeking from the state government includes:

  • Funding support for businesses in the event industry – including revisiting the Business Support Fund for the many event industry businesses that have not been eligible.
  • Working with the industry to develop a proactive plan to get events up and running again as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Leading by example.  For the state government, and its agencies, to commit to continuing to hold their events as soon as restrictions are lifted.

You can help the Victorian business event sector and the Australian business events industry by adding your support by clicking here.

Stay tuned for further updates in micenet on this initiative.