July 8, 2022 | By Graeme Kemlo

Strong demand from buyers wanting to hold business events in regional Victoria is expected to reach an economic value of $5.9 million for last financial year.

Executive officer of Business Events Victoria (BEV) Chris Porter said the rate of inquiry appeared to have returned to almost pre-COVID levels, with 112 event leads for an estimated 17,727 delegate days and 10,549 room nights to the end of April 2022. Forty-seven referred events worth $1.58 million have already been confirmed for 2022, delivering a total of 4,713 delegate days and 2,978 room nights. During 2019 there were approximately 200 business events held in regional Victoria.

Judging by the level of buyer interest at last week’s Regional Showcase in Melbourne, Porter said the total number of event leads when the last fiscal year is finally tallied should reach 150 “and given that we have really only been open since last November, that is a strong result”.

The showcase, the first for two years, targeted EAs, PAs, PCOs, associations and state government meeting planners and attracted over 140 buyers. Porter said that most interest on the night was for events to be staged during the next six months, although some interest extended to 2023.

“A number of members emailed me after the event to say there was very real interest on the floor from attendees. And one emailed me after the event to say there was very real interest in in holding events and they booked three site visits for events in 2022, including one event planned for 500 attendees,” Porter said.