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Cancellation of Victoria’s preeminent exhibition trade show

Monday 25, Jan 2021

VTIC said today that, despite the best efforts of the event’s organisers, the announcement to cancel Victoria’s preeminent exhibition trade event, the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) 2021, comes as an enormous disappointment to the state’s beleaguered business events sector in the state.

VTIC Chief Executive, Felicia Mariani, said the supply chain for Victoria’s business events was already on its knees, with little remaining resource to withstand these continual setbacks.

“Our event industry was one of the first to fall immediately when the pandemic hit in March 2020. Victorian event professionals have been unable to conduct events, generate income or plan future events with any certainty. While many businesses across other sectors have been able to reanimate in Victoria since the last quarter of 2020, the events industry – and the critical supply chain that supports it – has been unable to operate.

The current status of restrictions, coupled with insecurities emerging around snap border closures across the country, have shaken the confidence of consumers and business travellers alike – making it impossible for business events to attract the national audiences necessary to make these events viable. The industry is not expected to see any substantial level of recovery until FY2021-2022 and are now approaching over 12 months with zero income, and forecasts are hinting this trend will continue for a further 6 months.

“With a complete loss of income for what will be an 18-month period, businesses within the event supply chain simply cannot remain solvent, said Ms Mariani.

According to an EY economic study in December 2019, Victoria’s Major Hallmark Events were estimated to deliver $2.5 billion to the state’s economy and supported 3,350 jobs.

Based on an EY report commissioned by the Business Events Council of Australia and released in 2020, it was subsequently estimated that, for Victoria, business events added a further $12.85 billion to the state’s economy and supported 84,730 jobs across the state.

“Major events and business events bring significant economic impact to our state in addition to driving visitation to Melbourne and Victoria. Our Major Hallmark Events Calendar is internationally famous and delivers global profile for the state over designated days of the year.

“Business events, however, have a sustained impact across the calendar year, and keep our industry supply chain in business month to month. It’s also important to remember that business events are conducted throughout the whole state and directly support some 3000 jobs in our regional towns and centres.

“Victoria rightly holds the title as the ‘Events Capital of Australia’ and has bolstered funding for the state to secure new major events that will underpin our credentials in this arena.

“We are known and envied globally for our diverse and vibrant events calendar of international, national and local events. This valuable reputation has been largely achieved due to the industry’s highly experienced and capable supply chain of key businesses and event professionals and their specialised expertise and services.

“There is now genuine concern that without support to sustain the business events sector, Victoria will not have the highly skilled and experienced network of key suppliers and professionals required to deliver our renowned events calendar and to do the heavy lifting as we look to reactivate events to support our recovery.

“VTIC is working with our event supplier members, the event producers and venues that support this $13 billion sector to deliver a proposal to government that will see this critical component of our event infrastructure make it through to the other side of 2021,” concluded Ms Mariani.