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Association of Australian Convention Bureaux CEO, Andrew Hiebl, expressed the key role that the health sector will play in the recovery of Australia’s business events industry at STR Insider, a pre AHICE event in Adelaide this week.

Key insights from the AACB’s Forward Calendar of Business Events report highlight that ‘Health Care and Social Assistance’ represent one in three business events secured by convention bureaux, with more than 115,000 Australian health professionals expected to attend domestic conferences and exhibitions across the country over the next six years. Science, Financial Services, and Education followed as other key markets.

Hiebl said, “It’s ironic to suggest that the health sector will be key to our recovery during a global pandemic. Never-the-less, boosting the confidence of health professionals to travel, meet and share knowledge in-person is critical to getting business events back on track.”

The special edition series of these reports have highlighted the immediate and ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on the business events industry. The latest release continues to evidence the successful postponement strategies undertaken by convention bureaux, with 70 per cent of international and 57 per cent of domestic business events on the forward calendar postponed.

Growth in new business has also seen a 25 per cent increase in the number of domestic business events secured for the future compared to the position in July 2020. This is a significant achievement, noting that Australia has now experienced 200 international business event cancellations.

Hiebl added, “Convention bureaux are clearly seen by clients as a key resource to best understand COVID-19 event management and safety in each jurisdiction, which is in turn driving confidence and resulting in business for their stakeholders.” 

“Financial and other support backed by states and territories is also being welcomed by event organisers to help offset short-term uncertainty.”