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Beyond recovery: Business events in regional Victoria flourishing

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Beyond recovery: Business events in regional Victoria flourishing
Victoria’s regional business events market is “close to a record year” says Business Events Victoria (BEV) executive officer Chris Porter.

BEV reported to government that it achieved $11 million in economic contribution to March 31, and Porter believes the trajectory of recent growth in lead generation and referrals could see a record result for the fiscal year to June 30, 2023 for business events in regional Victoria.

This month BEV will stage its regional showcase in the Melbourne, an event which drew 35 partners and over 100 attendees last year, mostly PCO and executive assistants. Porter says the regional business events body has already secured 52 exhibitor partners for this year’s event on June 21, and has 150 attendees registered, with registrations expected to pass 200.

“Last year we were still in recovery; this year will reflect the full economic benefit and, so far, it is the largest event of this type we have run,” Porter says.

The 2022 event was fully funded by the state government – this year it is co-funded and exhibitors have demonstrated they are happy to pay to participate. Over the past year, Porter says BEV has created a new website and focused on social media to spread the word.  As a result, BEV membership has grown with a number of exciting new venues and accommodation providers signing up.

More than 20 members are in the “large” category, catering for events of 200 up to 5,000, with 14 of them also offering accommodation for residential conferences. The state’s sweet spot for events sits at 300 to 400 delegates, which are typically attracted to regional cities with a range of accommodation suitable for national conferences. Porter says events of 70-100 are also in demand.

Meanwhile the vacant position as chair of the BEV board, following the departure of Mark Day from Business Events Geelong, has been filled by deputy chair, Damien Cerantonio of Great Ocean Road Resort at Anglesea.

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