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September 8, 2020
In this issue
Schoolies has to be kidding
Hit hard but very keen to restart - MCB
Survey shows toll COVID has taken on NZ events industry
PCMA launches peer-to-peer meeting series for APAC region
Come back plan: Accor
Schoolies has to be kidding
By Brad Foster
Let’s hope those who run Schoolies on the Gold Coast don’t classify themselves as working in the business event sector because we wouldn’t have them.
#2 Son, sitting the HSC this year, was planning to let his hair down at Schoolies on the Gold Coast following his final exams. He and a dozen friends had organised their trip, paying a deposit for accommodation and booking flights. Some with more organised parents had even paid in full.
Now, as we know, Schoolies is off. Well like, the parties that are part of Schoolies are off, but according to organisers, refunds for accommodation at this stage aren’t possible because, well like, the accommodation is, well like, still okay. Like, you can still stay there; you just can’t go to any of the, like, parties.
Yeh, because they’re not happening.
And like, you can’t actually fly to Queensland right now!
Ever the organiser, #2 Son, thought a shift to Byron Bay may be on the cards because it’s, like, in NSW. Shock horror, Byron is more expensive than the Gold Coast and, like, there probably won’t be any parties there either.
As much as many people criticise Schoolies on the Gold Coast, this journalist and dad has been a big fan. It brings business to the destination and lets kids who have been working hard all year celebrate before they embark on their next chapter of their lives in a highly controlled environment.
Now I’m not so sure… Stay tuned for a further update and if we ever hear that the Schoolies GC organisers are up for an industry award you’ll hear us loud and clear telling all and sundry that we’re “Not Happy Jan!”.
Hit hard but very keen to restart - MCB
By Graeme Kemlo
“Focusing on what we can do, rather than what we can’t.”
Melbourne was still winning business events bids, and three of its largest upcoming events - World Rotary convention, World Lions convention and World Opthalmology convention, expected to attract 10,000 to 15,000 attendees – were planning to go ahead in 2022 and 2024.
These were the words of Melbourne Convention Bureau CEO, Julia Swanson, who said the sector had been hit hard “and is certainly very keen to restart.”
Continue reading here. 
Survey shows toll COVID has taken on NZ events industry
A joint survey conducted by New Zealand’s event associations has shone a grim light on the effect COVID-19 has had on the industry. More than 20,000 events have been cancelled or postponed as a direct result of the pandemic, representing 50 per cent of those planned for 2020.
Employers in the industry have cut their workforce by 35 per cent, and the financial loss to the events sector over the period of March to August 2020 is in excess of NZ $570 million.
Respondents were also polled on the biggest challenges they are currently facing. Uncertainty over future alert levels and the alert level two restrictions themselves were the top two challenges, given most events cannot proceed under the current alert level two attendee limits. At number three was the uncertainty from the public resulting in lower event attendance.
PCMA launches peer-to-peer meeting series for APAC region
The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) has launched an APAC specific peer-to-peer meeting series. The initiative aims to bring industry members together in groups of 30 to have open conversations and exchange recovery strategies.
The series is based on the hugely successful PCMA Community Conversations program in the USA, and the APAC version, titled community connect, is available to both PCMA members and non-members.
Community Connect is already proving popular. After the first session, senior manager – head of events for Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA) Mille Hung said: “It's very worthwhile to exchange ideas with other industry players at such challenging times.”
The first two Community Connect sessions, held in July 2020, focused on virtual events, and medical events and meetings, respectively. PCMA managing director for APAC Karen Bolinger is encouraging everyone in the industry to attend, listen, share and learn.
Come back plan: Accor
It feels like it’s been a while since our last come back plan (in reality it was only last Thursday), but we’re back with another one, and it’s a big one.
Senior Vice President, commercial for Accor Renae Trimble shared with us what the company has been up to in anticipation of the return of events, where she believes events in general are headed and why she believes they’re important.
You can read her responses here. 
We welcome your news and input on our sector. Email brad@btp.net.au, helen@btp.net.au, jenny@btp.net.au, or digital1@btp.net.au.
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