We are saddened by the loss of every event – whether it is a conference for a not-for-profit group, a product launch, a community festival, or the Grand Prix. They are all important. They all contribute to our communities, and to what makes Victoria a great place. And, they all provide much needed income for Event Industry people and businesses.
Sadly, Victoria has lost over 100,000 events over the last year. This has had a huge impact on the Event Industry, but also on our communities and our state.
In economic terms the ‘major events’ make up just 5% of the $12+ billion Event Industry in Victoria, so we also need to think about the other 95% of events.
We need to be putting the time and effort into the many events that can be happening now and that provide the greatest overall benefit to communities and to the state.
There has never been a time when events have been more needed than now – coming out of a pandemic:
- To help bring communities back together again and help people reconnect and be supported.
- To help organisations re-engage with their teams and work through the biggest changes they have faced in their histories.
- To help whole industries adapt to this new environment and to innovate so they can benefit from it.
- To rebuild the confidence in our state and rebuild its profile.
This is what events are great at. This is what events are about.
But the answer at this time isn’t a few very large events. The answer is a lot of more modest sized events to rebuild – community by community, business by business, and sector by sector. Events that can be happening now.
It is about using events to rebuild Victoria from the ground up. This should be the basis of Victoria’s event led recovery.
There are currently many unnecessary barriers to holding events in Victoria, so many events that could be safely happening today just aren’t happening.
Most events are limited to just 300 people (at 1 person per 4 square metres) with no roadmap for higher capacities – yet football games can happen with 25,000 people. It makes no sense.
We need a dedicated unit – Events Victoria – with people with real Event Industry experience and knowledge: to have a real vision for the role of events in Victoria’s recovery, to provide real practical and financial support to the Event Industry, and to actively work to get many events happening again.
This requires taking a much more modern approach than what worked in the 1990s.
Events are central to Victoria’s identity and brand. Events are a key part of what makes living in Victoria great. Events make a huge contribution to our communities and our state. So it makes sense that events should be central to Victoria’s strategy for recovery and for our return to prosperity.
There are many events that could be happening today. We need to work together to get them happening again.
Victoria needs an events led recovery!