23 Jul 2020

JobKeeper vital to the survival of convention bureaux stakeholders and the future of business events

CANBERRA: The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) has welcomed the Government’s announcement that JobKeeper will continue beyond September for another six months. 

For an industry that generated over $35 billion in economic activity in 2018-19 and employs over 229,000 people[1], JobKeeper is a lifeline to 96 per cent of industry businesses, with the payments helping to support approximately 47 per cent of the industry’s workforce[2].

AACB CEO, Andrew Hiebl said “Retaining JobKeeper has been a priority for Australia’s convention bureaux in supporting their 1,800 members and stakeholders across the country. The wage subsidy scheme has been vital to keeping the industry alive.” 

Without an extension of the Government’s JobKeeper program, the tourism and events supply chain would have faced financial ruin, risking the immediate future of the business events industry. An industry that has been recognised as among the first impacted by COVID restrictions, the hardest hit and potentially the last to recover with the long lead times in preparing for business events.

Collaborative efforts under the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA), have called for additional targeted support for the business events industry. The COVID-19 Business Events Recovery and Rebound Framework, which builds confidence and creates momentum towards the industry’s future has been well received by government.

This week, Prime Minister Morrison acknowledged there were businesses still experiencing a 90 per cent reduction in turnover and included business events among the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus restrictions.

To aid the recovery of the Australia’s business events industry, AACB have dedicated resources to support BECA by working in conjunction with the BECA Chair to advocate for business events and the industry’s recovery following the pandemic.

AACB President Michael Matthews said “AACB’s support has been vital to raising the profile of business events and the impact the industry has on the Australian economy. The board has fully backed AACB’s pivot to supporting BECA and the critical ‘one voice’ advocacy undertaken to put the business events industry in the strongest possible position to get through these incredibly tough times”. 

Ahead of restrictions on the industry being lifted, Australia’s convention bureaux are dedicated to supporting their members and stakeholders by working in close collaboration with event organisers, hotels, venues and service providers and continuing to plan for business events, which will drive jobs across the tourism and events supply chain and help aid the recovery of key industries beyond the visitor economy.



[1] Value of Business Events to Australia 2018/19, Ernst & Young, March 2020

[2] Future Confidence and JobKeeper Impact Report, BECA, July 2020


This article was featured in: 

- CIM Business Events, Vital to keeping the industry alive, AACB welcomes JobKeeper extension, 24 July 2020

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