Australia Wants to Revive Business Events Pipeline

Skift Take

Australia is looking to quickly rebuild its pipeline of international events following the disruption caused by the Covid pandemic. Hosting the region's industry trade show and relaunching an iconic destination showcase event is a sign that Australia means business.

Australia’s business events industry is bouncing back, with the 30th edition of the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) being held in Melbourne this week. The event is expected to draw 2,000 visitors, including 400 international buyers and more than 350 exhibitors. 

Meanwhile, Adelaide has been chosen to host Dreamtime 2023, a flagship destination showcase event aimed at international business event planners and media. Officials say these events are crucial in rebuilding Australia’s pipeline of international business events following the disruption caused by the Covid pandemic.

Australia’s Main Business Event Industry Event Turns 30

Event owners Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) are hoping the show will be a launchpad for a revival of the region as a host of international business events. Aligned with Tourism Australia’s new global campaign, the MCB is keen to help planners incorporate indigenous experiences into business events coming into the city. It is showcasing this approach with First Peoples’ culinary-themed activations including cooking demonstrations with a focus on native Australian ingredients.

The MCB owns the event, that takes place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) with event management company Talk2 Media & Events taking on the planning duties. Talk2 has organized AIME since 2019, with only the 2021 edition being canceled due to the Covid pandemic.

RX (previously known as Reed Exhibitions) managed the event for almost 20 years but ended the partnership in 2018. Instead, RX announced a competitor show IBTM Asia Pacific in June 2019, a collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). The show was set to take place in Singapore in April 2020 but was later canceled. In addition, RX announced a second launch for 2022, which was also postponed, and it is yet to confirm if the show will launch in 2023.

Local industry associations Meetings & Events Australia (MEA), the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB), and several international associations including IAPCO, ICCA, PCMA, SITE and UFI are partners and deliver education during the show.

Monday was a full day of education, free for hosted buyers, media, and exhibitors. Tuesday and Wednesday are all about the tradeshow with a handful of education sessions, including a session on first nations engagement with the events industry.

Adelaide to Host Tourism Australia’s Showcase Event

Business Events Australia has chosen Adelaide as the host city for Dreamtime 2023. The event returns to Tourism Australia’s calendar for the first since 2019 due to the Covid pandemic.

“Dreamtime 2023 is a valuable part of our distribution activity to bring qualified planners and media to Australia to experience the wealth of new products available and our world-class event delivery,” said Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison.

The event, which will be held from November 7 to 10, is aimed at international business event planners and media. Guests are encouraged to visit other Australian destinations before and after the event. It will feature a destination showcase, a media event, a business session, and networking opportunities with Australian meetings industry partners.

“Even with the disruption of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Dreamtime 2019 delivered solid results for Australia, generating 36 business leads in three months, worth $97 million,” said Robin Mack, Tourism Australia’s executive general manager of commercial, Business Events Australia.

Before the pandemic, the business events sector was vital to the local visitor economy. International business events attracted 1.04 million arrivals to Australia who spent AUD 4.5 billion in 2019. This sector trails only to arrivals from China in terms of value to the country.

As Australia’s fifth largest city, Adelaide is eager to showcase how it can best support international business events. “Our hard work winning Dreamtime is an exceptionally worthwhile investment for the State’s long-term economy,” said Business Events Adelaide CEO Damien Kitto. “Business Events Adelaide, through the strong support of the South Australian Government, is aggressively pursuing corporate incentive groups to further deliver economic growth,” he added.

Photo credit: Adelaide, SA / Tourism Australia