Australia welcomes the return of in-person events in ‘rebound year’ 2022

Australia-based global business travel management company FCM Meetings & Events says it is set for a rebound year in 2022 with more than 90% of its business bookings coming from corporates wanting an in-person experience.

Based on preliminary booking data for 2022, FCM Meetings & Events says it will be managing a corporate occasion every three days, with business confidence beginning to flow as borders reopen across Australia owing to high vaccination rates (74% fully vaccinated as of 4 December).

Simone Seiler, general manager of FCM Meetings & Events, said: “The world is a different place but the one thing we do know is that businesses, both big and small, are desperate to be back face-to-face because we all crave that human connection.

“Winning new customers, securing strategic partnership, and finding the best talent to recruit happens through those seemingly inconsequential conversations away from the Zoom camera.”

Dan Gregory, co-founder of the Behaviour Report, added: “Let’s be honest, multi-million-dollar deals aren’t going to be done virtually, people want to be comfortable with knowing who they are getting into business with before signing a contract. That’s where the casual chit-chat aside from official meetings remains crucial.”

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is also welcoming the return of in-person events as capacity restrictions continue to ease.

Peter King, chief executive of MCEC, stated: “At MCEC we are rightfully acknowledged as a standout venue for Covid-safety, which has resulted in a high level of confidence allowing a steady return of business events, exhibitions and conferences at MCEC.

“What better way to kick off our recovery than to welcome back long-term customers and some new faces, too. These relationships are our lifeblood here at MCEC and it is so exciting to see our valued partners able to fill our building again.”

Events coming to the venue before the year ends include the annual Starlight Children’s Foundation fundraising dinner, new immersive digital art gallery THE LUME Melbourne, and the return of in-person end-of-year celebrations for school leavers.

Notably, public consumer exhibitions will be returning to the building the weekend of 11-12 December, with Oz Comic Con Homegrown already completely sold out and the One Fine Baby Expo running at the same time, with attendance anticipated up to 7,500 and 5,000 per day respectively.