Australia’s business events industry received a big boost with the launch of the Business Events Bid Fund Program (BFP), which will provide assistance to secure new international business events for the country from 1 July onwards.
The national bid fund is facilitated by Tourism Australia, which has allocated A$12 million (US$9.44 million) over the next three years for the purposes of winning high-value international incentive, association and exhibition events.
“This includes international corporate incentive trips, exhibitions, association conferences and congresses, and we look forward to helping the Australian industry convert more business for Australia,” said Penny Lion, executive general manager, events, at Tourism Australia.
“Tourism Australia has established a robust application process, created around Mandatory Eligibility Criteria, that outlines requirements including minimum economic value of potential international business events bids.”
How to qualify
Only new and qualified business events are invited to apply; no existing events will be considered. Another important criteria is that the event must be held entirely in Australia.
On top of that, submissions must request funds to cover actual event costs, including but not limited to accommodation, venue hire, transport and other event costs. A minimum of A$100,000 ($78,670) is required to ensure that the event is high-value.
To increase your chances, bidders must must be able to thoroughly demonstrate the economic value of the event to Australia as well as any economic benefit due to regional dispersal of delegates through pre- or post-tours, or an event being held in a regional destination.
As a prerequisite, events and exhibitions must bring in a minimum of 500 international attendees, while incentive trips must guarantee at least 1,000 inbound arrivals or the equivalent of A$3 million ($2.36 million) in value to Australia.
To summarise, planners and organizers should prioritise the event’s economic value to Australia before applying for the bid.
While all trades are welcome to apply if they meet the terms above, some of the industries that are prioritised are food and agribusiness, advanced manufacturing, infrastructure, resources and energy, international health, and services and disruptive technologies.
In the past, some of the biggest events within those industries have seen the support of the government. For instance, Australia’s largest ever health conference, the 20th International AIDS Conference in 2014, was aided with federal funding. The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB)—which won the pitch—has since been more visible.
“This funding means so much more than generating tourism," said MCB CEO Karen Bolinger.
"The more business events that are secured for [Victoria], the greater the opportunity to drive economic prosperity, profile Victoria and Australia as a place to do business and study, showcase sector strengths, provide trade and investment opportunities, showcase policy leadership and bring world leaders to the state for best practice and knowledge exchange."
“This announcement of [of the BFP] is one of the most important developments for the business events industry in Australia to date.”