Over the past 6 months, we’ve been busy representing Western Australia’s extensive meeting capabilities. Globally, the sentiment is positive, with WA sitting front of mind for business event planners now more than ever. This may be due to our vastness, wildlife and nature which is particularly enticing for those residing in densely populated cities.

Earlier in the year, I attended The Meetings Show in London, connecting with international event buyers from the corporate meetings and association market. London is one of the largest association markets globally, and representation for Western Australia was a strategic decision that will reap strategic connections and benefits for the local meeting and conferencing economy. Noting this, I am pleased to share that Malcolm Farrell-Mitchell has re-joined the Business Events Perth team, as part of our in-market representation in Europe.

Key learnings from the latest international activity indicate that hybrid meetings are here to stay. Planners believe that in-person meetings will be preferred in the post-COVID context. Planners and delegates are looking for something unique in meeting venues; with proximity, high accessibility and overall appeal of a destination remaining driving factors for meeting planners globally.

The main factors affecting whether in-person meetings are held in Australia include flight costs and associated travel time. Meeting planners are also suggesting that destinations be more transparent and flexible, with digestible information ready to distribute to delegates. Varying local government and regulatory restrictions remain the lead barriers to planning a successful meeting for planners in the current climate.

Expectations on recovery differ by meeting type with seminars and workshops expected to recover the fastest, followed by incentive programs by March of 2023.

Encouraging stakeholders to rediscover our magical State is an important part of the industry recovery process, and what better way to do so than for them to see the beauty with their own eyes. In recent months, our team has hosted over 20 site inspections and 3 familiarisation trips for international and national clients including two groups from the Asian corporate and incentive market, and a group of Australia’s leading professional conference organisers.

Nationally, recent research conducted by Tourism Australia revealed promising insights about the future of our nation’s business event industry, with 84% of respondents (comprised of decision makers) planning a business event in Australia within the next 6-12 months.  Nationally, there is a clear and positive shift in the levels of confidence and comfort that most business decision makers feel regarding event planning across a range of metrics, with 84% now planning events for the next 6-12 months.

We’re watching closely and doing our best to facilitate the recovery of the business event industry here in WA, the dream state, and will continue to do so on the international and national stages.