Things moving fast Down Under

We share a recent blogpost from Exhibition and Event Association of Australia (EEAA) president Nicole Walker (pictured):

The roll out of events, large and small, continues across Australia. Reports indicate great enthusiasm from visitors, good feedback from exhibitors, yet lower numbers than pre-Covid days. However, we see that this is influenced by the type of event. Consumer activity is showing extraordinary results, citing the recent Grand Prix as an example, and likewise the participation at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Trade shows are kicking goals but in a different and smaller way.

Skill shortages

One of our critical industry issues remains the lack of staff available for us to deliver the volume and quality that we so much desire. While we continue to seek solutions, we are cognisant that as an industry we are not alone. It appears that the problem is widespread across all industries, not only locally, but worldwide. The problem is noticeable in our everyday dealings.    

As John Hart referenced at the recent BECA and Tourism Australia Business Events Industry Workshop, “Meeting the labour challenges faced by the tourism and hospitality industry is going to require a coordinated cross-sector effort to re-position the image of the industry in the mind of potential jobseekers both on and offshore.”

This will not be a quick fix and EEAA will work with our members to drive this re-positioning so we can, as quickly as possible, inject much needed labour into our industry.

Government support

It is important to mention government support and what it means for our industry. The roll out of the A$56m (US$41.38m) package last year certainly didn’t hit the mark, and we continue to hear of unfortunate outcomes pertaining to how and where some of that funding went. United feedback provided by the whole industry was delivered with recommendations, however the path chosen certainly didn’t benefit our industry as hoped.

More recent announcements about funding opportunities for events delivered in NSW have been made. Accelerate Sydney Business Events Fund is now open; it is designed to stimulate organisations to hold business events and help drive economic recovery across Greater Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong Local Government Areas (LGAs).

Accelerate encourages business event organisers to commit to hold business events between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023 and offers matched funding of up to $60,000 to offset venue costs. Event owners can be based anywhere in Australia, as long as they host their event in an eligible LGA. Those seeking more information can contact the EEAA office for further information.