1. COVIDSafe Guidelines and Subcommittee
  2. BECA deputy chair on Tourism Restart Taskforce
  3. Engagement with Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit
  4. Tourism industry meeting with minister Birmingham
  5. Australian Government three-step framework for a COVIDSafe Australia
  6. Business Events Response & Recovery Framework

COVIDSafe Guidelines and Subcommittee

BECA has delivered a set of strategic principles to government that instils confidence in Australia’s business events industry so that COVID-19 restrictions can be safely lifted and the industry can rapidly restart.

A Safety and Hygiene Subcommittee has also been established to ensure the business events industry is ready to safely restart and that government and the public can be confident that restrictions can be lifted. The subcommittee consists of the following industry representatives:

  • Michael Matthews – Association of Australian Convention Bureaux
  • Simon Burgess – Australian Convention Centres Group
  • Claudia Sagripanti – Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia
  • Mike Pickford – Professional Conference Organisers Association
  • Beverley Williamson – Meetings & Events Australia

As the government moves to lift restrictions, BECA and its Safety and Hygiene Subcommittee seeks to work closely with officials to ensure a robust and sustainable distinction can be made between mass gatherings and gatherings of people in controlled settings.

The development of COVIDSafe Guidelines for Business Events will underpin this distinction and allow for the restart of business events and the reinvigoration of the businesses, industry groups and associations that rely on business events for their own success, as soon as possible.

BECA deputy chair on Tourism Restart Taskforce

The newly formed Tourism Restart Taskforce established by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has been brought together in an attempt to co-ordinate and strengthen the industry response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The taskforce commenced on May 1 and is comprised of leaders and experts from across the sector with business events represented by BECA deputy chair Geoff Donaghy. It has been great to see that business events have received high levels of attention within this group and in the public positioning.

The taskforce will feed into the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission and the Austrade Tourism Incident Response Coordination group. Through ACCI it will also feed into the Business Liaison Group in Treasury and the Department of Industry recovery group.

Engagement with Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit

Ahead of the National Cabinet establishing the processes of easing restrictions, BECA was contacted by the Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit (CBLU) on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for advice on how the business events industry was placed to manage the rollback.

BECA was able to reassure the CBLU that the business events industry will be in a position to safely restart once restrictions are lifted based on:

  • Establishment of a Safety and Hygiene subcommittee and commencement of developing COVIDSafe Guidelines
  • Control measures implemented at business events, which separate the industry from other general mass gatherings
  • Business events industry customers and clients have their own safety and hygiene standards for employees which will support baseline regulations set by the government
  • Business events are in the pipeline with clients and customers looking to still hold events in 2020, if possible

At the CBLU meeting it was noted that the business events require planning lead time so there would be some lag once restrictions are lifted and successfully restarting the business events industry was dependent on other parts of the visitor economy restarting.

Industry peaks meeting with minister Birmingham

Minister Birmingham hosted a tourism industry teleconference on Monday, May 11, with peak industry bodies including BECA to provide an update on the government’s roadmap for recovery.

BECA chair Vanessa Findlay thanked the government for the three-step framework for a COVIDSafe Australia, spoke to the opportunities for business events to be considered as separate from general mass gatherings and consideration for Tourism Australia’s business events messaging domestically.

Minister Birmingham advised the government is looking for opportunities to restart the economy as quickly as possible and is developing guidelines which will facilitate this. For business events there is an opportunity to create competition across borders to attract early activity. The government also recognises the need for a nuanced marketing messaging for business events.

Australian government three-Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia

The National Cabinet has developed a COVIDSafe Roadmap which comprises a three-step plan to gradually ease restrictions and make Australia safe from coronavirus.

The three-step framework for a COVIDSafe Australia outlines the Australian Government’s roadmap to create a COVIDSafe society with new ways of living and working.

Business Events Response & Recovery Framework

The BECA Response & Recovery Working Group is currently considering the next version of the Business Events Framework. Meetings are scheduled with minister Birmingham’s office and Austrade from May 18 to test the revised components and alignment to government direction.