According to the latest Forward Calendar reports, the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) members have strong forward pipelines as they continue to bid for business events into the future. Ahead of the devastating impacts of bushfires and the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, AACB members had secured 368 international business events for Australia with some 400,000 delegates expected to contribute $1.2 billion to the economy over the next seven years. A further 270 international bids in the pipeline could bring an additional $700 million in delegate spend.
With business events in the short term largely postponed, convention bureaus are reimagining their destinations and focusing on everything they can do to get global meetings and incentives back as soon as travel and gathering restrictions are lifted.
For 2020, convention bureau success was set to see 145,000 delegates gathering in Australia across 183 international business events, which estimated over $420 million to the visitor economy. Similarly, convention bureaus secured almost 400 domestic business events for their respective destinations for the year, with an expected attendance of 170,000 delegates.
Convention bureaus are working closely with their clients to ensure that these business events continue to be held in Australia. This is being done in close collaboration with event organizers, hotels, venues and service providers to be in the best position possible when the industry can restart.
The positive impact of business events will drive jobs across the tourism and events supply chain and help aid the recovery of key industries beyond the visitor economy including health care, social assistance, scientific and technical services as these industries account for 55 percent of scheduled international events and over 45 percent of international events in the pipeline. As restrictions are eased and delegate health requirements become the focus, all industries will need to adapt to a new normal as future measures will guide the reintroduction of face-to-face collaboration and trade activity.
AACB CEO, Andrew Hiebl said in a statement, "AACB acknowledges that the recovery will be staged but as restrictions are lifted, there is a long pipeline of meetings and events from 2021 onwards that members have secured and will continue to work on both domestically and internationally.”
The latest research commissioned by the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) shows that business events directly contribute $35.7 billion to the Australian economy and employs 229,000 people. To sustain and grow the business events industry, the AACB is supporting a BECA led and coordinated approach, engaging with government to develop a COVID-19 Business Events Response and Recovery Framework.