Producers, Managers
and Convenors

BECA UPDATE: COVID-19  as at 15 May 2020

1. COVIDSafe Guidelines and Subcommittee
2. BECA Deputy Chair on Tourism Restart Taskforce
3. Engagement with Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit
4. Industry Peaks meeting with Minister Birmingham
5. Australian Government 3-Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia
6. Business Events Response & Recovery Framework
7. Media Activity

COVIDSafe Guidelines and Subcommittee

BECA has delivered a set of strategic principles to Government that instils confidence in Australia’s business events industry so that COVID-19 restrictions can be safely lifted and the industry can rapidly restart.

A Safety and Hygiene Subcommittee has also been established to ensure the business events industry is ready to safely restart and that government and the public can be confident that restrictions can be lifted. The subcommittee consists of the following industry representatives:

Michael Matthews – Association of Australian Convention Bureaux
Simon Burgess – Australian Convention Centres Group
Claudia Sagripanti – Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia
Beverley Williamson – Meetings & Events Australia
Mike Pickford – Professional Conference Organisers Association

As the Government moves to lift restrictions, BECA and its Safety and Hygiene Subcommittee seeks to work closely with officials to ensure a robust and sustainable distinction can be made between mass gatherings and gatherings of people in controlled settings.

The development of COVIDSafe Guidelines for business events will underpin this distinction and allow for the restart of business events and the reinvigoration of the businesses, industry groups and associations that rely on business events for their own success, as soon as possible.

BECA Deputy Chair on Tourism Restart Taskforce

The newly formed Tourism Restart Taskforce established by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has been brought together in an attempt to co-ordinate and strengthen the industry response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Taskforce commenced on 1 May and is comprised of leaders and experts from across the sector with business events represented by BECA Deputy Chair Geoff Donaghy. It has been great to see that business events have received high levels of attention within this group and in the public positioning.

The Taskforce will feed into the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission and the Austrade Tourism Incident Response Coordination group. Through ACCI it will also feed into the Business Liaison Group in Treasury and the Department of Industry recovery group.

See ACCI media releases: National Tourism Restart Taskforce Established and Governments urged to work with Tourism on Restrictions.

Engagement with Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit

Ahead of the National Cabinet establishing the processes of easing restrictions, BECA was contacted by the Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit (CBLU) on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for advice on how the business events industry was placed to manage the rollback.

BECA was able to reassure the CBLU that the business events industry will be in a position to safely restart once restrictions are lifted based on:

Establishment of a Safety and Hygiene subcommittee and commencement of developing COVIDSafe Guidelines.
Control measures implemented at business events, which separate the industry from other general mass gathering.
Business events industry customers and clients have their own safety and hygiene standards for employees which will support baseline regulations set by the Government.
Business events are in the pipeline with clients and customers looking to still hold events in 2020, if possible.
At the CBLU meeting it was noted that the business events require planning lead time so there would be some lag once restrictions are lifted and successfully restarting the business events industry was dependent on other parts of the visitor economy restarting.

Industry Peaks meeting with Minister Birmingham

Minister Birmingham hosted a tourism industry teleconference on Monday (11 May) with peak industry bodies including BECA to provide an update on the Government’s roadmap for recovery.

BECA Chair, Vanessa Findlay, thanked the Government for the 3-step framework for a COVIDSafe Australia, spoke to the opportunities for business events to be considered as separate from general mass gatherings and consideration for Tourism Australia’s business events messaging domestically.

Minister Birmingham advised the Government is looking for opportunities to restart the economy as quicky as possible and is developing guidelines which will facilitate this. For business events there is an opportunity to create competition across borders to attract early activity. The Government also recognises the need for a nuanced marketing messaging for business events.

Australian Government 3-Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia

The National Cabinet has developed a COVIDSafe Roadmap which comprises a three-step plan to gradually ease restrictions and make Australia safe from coronavirus. 3-Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia outlines the Australian Government’s roadmap to create a COVIDSafe society with new ways of living and working.

Business Events Response & Recovery Framework

The BECA Response & Recovery Working Group is currently considering the next version of the Business Events Framework. Meetings are scheduled with Minister Birmingham’s office and Austrade from 18 May to test the revised components and alignment to Government direction.

Media Activity

The following media statements have been recently published by BECA:

$35.7 Billion Wiped from the Economy as COVID-19 Decimates Australia’s Business Events Sector, 22 April 2020
Tourism and Events Industry Supports COVIDSafe App, 28 April 2020
BECA Delivers COVIDSafe Guidelines to Government, 13 May 2020

Best regards,

Dr Vanessa Findlay
BECA Chair

Business Events Council of Australia

ABOUT BECA: The Business Events Council of Australia was formed in 1994 as a peak industry body. It provides an umbrella structure for the key industry associations operating in the Australian business events sector:

Association of Australian Convention Bureaux · Australian Convention Centres Group · Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia · Meetings and Events Australia · Professional Conference Organisers Association

As the peak industry body for the business events sector we provide a single voice for the industry and liaise with the federal government and relevant agencies on matters common to all sectors of the industry. Our members represent the cross-section of the industry and we work together to build a strong voice for all sectors of the industry.

Business Events are major drivers of the Australian economy and generate trade, investment, employment, knowledge sharing and also stimulate the visitor economy.

Rest assured that PCOA will continue to be a voice to government through our BECA membership, lobbying for any support the government can provide to small business in our sector affected by lost revenue due to COVID-19 cancellations, postponements and attrition.

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