This morning Business Council of Australia (BECA) reported that the Australian economy is set to lose over $35 billion in direct expenditure over the next 12 months, as nearly all business events for 2020 are shut down out by COVID-19.
On top of this a further $17.2 billion in direct value to the economy has been wiped out and more than 92,000 jobs will be lost by mid-year, as the pandemic continues to devastate the business events industry.
The enormity of these figures does not surprise me. I have watched with astonishment the speed at which this pandemic has unfolded. The word unprecedented is used a lot in reference to COVID-19, but I cannot think of a better one to describe the situation my industry faces today, and the knock-on of this on Australia’s economic health.
Behind these dollar figures there is also a much bigger story. Those of us working within this industry sometimes refer to our sector as the ‘quiet achiever’ of the Australian economy. This is not just because of its economic value but also its enormous contribution to Australia’s cultural, social and knowledge economies.
Business events create a unique environment that fosters collaboration, confidence, idea sharing, buying and selling, and networking. Some of the greatest business ideas, scientific developments and technical innovations have been sparked during an event workshop or over a glass of wine afterwards.