New Research Shows Strong Comeback for Australia’s Events Industry

28th Sep, 2023

The latest research undertaken by Tourism Australia’s specialist business events unit shows the business events industry is in a stronger position compared to 12 months ago and Australia’s appeal as an events destination remains high.

The 2023 Business Events Consumer Demand Project (CDP) is conducted annually to understand the factors influencing association and incentive decision makers when choosing a destination for events. The international research also outlines how Australia is perceived as a business events destination, and the impact the pandemic has had on the decision-making process.

Tourism Australia Executive General Manager of Commercial and Business Events Australia, Robin Mack, said the research shows both association and incentive sectors are returning to normal, with more than 90 per cent of decision makers running events in the last year, a 32 per cent increase from 2022.

“It’s encouraging to see the international business events sector is in a stronger position compared to 12 months ago, with decision makers feeling increasingly confident in running events internationally,” Mr Mack said.

“In the short term, global uncertainty and key financial factors are the biggest influences on decision makers’ confidence, but this hasn’t impacted future budgets, with 90 per cent of decision makers indicating they will retain or increase their budget compared to pre-COVID times.”

The research also indicates that Australia’s appeal as an event destination remains high providing opportunities for Australian industry.

“According to those decision makers surveyed, Australia is the number one incentive destination across 22 attributes, including excellent business facilities, value for money, and safety and security.”

For association decision makers, perceptions of Australia have improved in many areas, and intent to plan an event in Australia within the next two years has increased.

“With the outlook for the association sector looking positive, there is an opportunity for Australia to capitalise on this sentiment and drive conversion through increasing familiarity of Australia’s offering,” Mr Mack said.

Australian Indigenous experiences hold increasing appeal for both association and incentive decision makers. Association decision makers are drawn to incorporating an Indigenous-guided experience or a traditional Welcome to Country Indigenous ceremony, while 85 per cent recognise the appeal of an Indigenous experience in a programme itinerary.

“This outlook for the Australian business events industry is positive and echoes the feedback we’re hearing from industry. It is also evidenced through our Business Events Bid Fund Programme, which has seen an increase in applications and event conversions across Australia,” Mr Mack said.

The research surveyed 160 associations (in North America, UK and Europe) and 402 corporate decision makers from the incentive sector (in ten of Australia’s key markets) between May and June 2023. The 2023 Business Events CDP factsheet is available for download from the Business Events Australia website.

Association and incentive decision-makers can consult the main results of the research in the Fact Sheet "2023 Business Events Consumer Demand Project (CDP)" on the Business Events Australia website.  

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