As founder of the National Events Alliance, Gary Fitz-Roy welcomes the recent meeting of BECA with Minister Tehan.
Their language is now in line with how others in the industry have been talking for some time and how other associations are following suit. However the recovery of our industry still remains at the state level, not at the federal.
The one thing not addressed, and remains unanswered, is the position each state is taking for the reopening of business events, so whilst BECA’s media release is largely on the money (I don’t understand why there is commentary around international events as these will take some time to return) do they know something we don’t as currently it’s the horse before the cart.
The concern is that currently some within associations are rumoured to be pushing an agenda that the industry needs to be fully vaccinated to run events – everyone from venue staff, suppliers, and exhibitors to visitors. It should be noted that there are only two states currently not running events, the rest of the country are successfully running business events complying with attendance ratios and specific state conditions which are relatively easy to abide by.
The National Events Alliance’s view is we should be supporting the vaccine program but should not be introducing new hurdles as the state and federal governments have not made this a requirement. I would imagine this decision would also have to apply to the arts, theatres, sports, etc and would have major flow through impacts. My hope is others within boards recognise the stupidity and danger attached with the suggestion!
Secondly, to date no state has released a road map for the Business Events sector to resume. A road map that needs to indicate when we can reopen, the attendance restrictions, along with border conditions. Because without these fundamentals we simply can’t operate!
The issue here is that BECA is a federal voice. Maybe it has to change its charter to meet the state needs of the sector as well.
The reality is that not one association or group has the relationship and power to influence state politics, nor do they have the power and coin to afford lobbyists like the building industry in NSW.
Whilst understanding that cash support from governments does help the industry, the core issue of “confidence” needs to be prioritised.
Funding may be the band-aide to get us through in the short term, however, without the confidence of the business sectors to return to Business Events our long-term future will be harmed. It is crucial we multitask and ensure we don’t take our eye off the end goal and keep all elements balanced.
NEA has reached out to other associations to discuss how together the industry needs to put internal politics aside and work together, to date, despite these requests, they have been ignored, yet NEA still has achieved more mainstream media attention without membership fees, just a bucket load of passion.
Recently NEA has been in contact with another aligned group, the Agricultural Field Days organisers, and are now looking at how collectively we can work for the common goal of drawing attention to how events are impacted across whole states.