The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) has announced it is supporting the call for the industry and broader community to get vaccinated as quickly as they are able, to support the first stage of the Government’s four-step national plan.
Australia’s National Cabinet agreed in principle, 30 July, to transition Australia’s National Covid-19 Response, providing a pathway forward for the country. Each phase of the plan is triggered by vaccination thresholds and aims to remove restrictions, end lockdowns and domestic border closures, and recommence international travel.
The $36bn contribution that business events bring to the nation and the 230,000 employees it supports is well recognised. However, BECA suggests it is also vital for this industry to be operational for its role in Australia’s economic recovery as a driver of knowledge transfer, innovation, productivity and trade and investment relationships.
Geoff Donaghy (pictured), BECA deputy chair and CEO of ICC Sydney, stated: “Prior to the recent lockdowns, our industry was clearly demonstrating how business events could be held safely, effectively and in compliance with state-based health protocols across the country. The nature of these highly organised and structured events, delegate behaviours, controlled settings, and the contact tracing frameworks we have in place sets us apart from mass gatherings.”
BECA’s Recovery and Rebound Framework details a range of initiatives for consideration that includes direct and targeted support for the business events industry. As part of this framework, BECA has advocated for risk mitigating policies and investments.
BECA’s suggested Business Events Catalyst Fund outlines options of a rebate, incentive grant payment, non-refundable underwriting facility, or nation-wide event insurance scheme, designed to support Australian associations and corporations move forward with their in-person business events and build confidence in an uncertain environment.
However, BECA recommends that support for business events take a national approach as the industry does not take account of domestic borders, mostly reliant on interstate services, labour, equipment, and participants.