The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) has put out a call for businesses and event planners across the country to host events in Australia to support regions and communities impacted by the bushfires.
The new Event Here This Year campaign is a domestic marketing initiative by Business Events Australia that will encourage Australian businesses and event planners to hold their meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions at home rather than abroad. This initiative will leverage Tourism Australia’s Holiday Here This Year campaign, which also sends the message that Australia is open for business.
“Not many business events destinations across Australia were directly impacted by the bushfires, however some regional destinations are still feeling the impacts of other recent natural disasters,” said AACB CEO Andrew Hiebl in a written statement. “Business events are typically long lead, but this targeted campaign will stimulate the short-term domestic meetings market and provide a much-needed boost to their local economies.”
As of July 2019, there were 401 international business events confirmed for Australia through to 2026 on AACB’s Forward Calendar, expected to attract around 475,000 total delegates. At this time, a further 256 international bids were awaiting a decision, scheduled to take place over the next seven years and which could attract more than 250,000 total delegates.
In addition, AACB’s member convention bureaux confirmed 530 domestic business events over the same period, expected to attract 236,000 total delegates. Any uptick in the domestic business events market over the next year through the Event Here This Year campaign could offset some impacts of international travel uncertainty at this time, the organization said.
The AACB also praised the efforts of the Australian Government, which has allocated $76 million to a Tourism Recovery Fund to address the global perceptions about the bushfires and stimulate travel, as well as the efforts of Tourism Australia “for the speed at which it has activated the additional investment by Government.”
Business Events Australia has developed a series of campaign assets to urge organizations to hold their events here this year. The toolkit can be found at www.businessevents.australia.com.