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October 23, 2020
In this issue
MEA joins call to re-open Victoria’s visitor economy
Where are we now? A diary note for the events sector
We did it!
Bendigo Blue over Blues & Roots
BCEC serves up locally inspired menu
Your weekly grin and tonic


MEA joins call to re-open Victoria’s visitor economy
 
Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) is supporting the Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) and tourism industry associations in calling on the Victorian Government to re-open Victoria’s visitor economy by using safe and staged processes.
 
In a statement, MEA said: “Industry leaders have undertaken a detailed review of gradual re-openings underway in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland, and have put forward an alternative roadmap for Victoria to allow business to resume operations under strict safety controls from November 2020.
 
“The events sector in Victoria currently does not have an established roadmap towards its recovery which is having a devastating impact on business and jobs.
 
“The continued uncertainty impacts the confidence in planning and conducting events for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 and Victoria is seeing business move to other states, revert to virtual or cancel.
 
“The industry needs a clear way forward and the time frames to do so need to be escalated.”
 
MEA chair Kate Smith has also written to Minister Pakula to seek his support to work alongside industry leaders who have been demonstrating their willingness and commitment to work with government to achieve the safest and most effective outcomes for the business events industry.
Where are we now? A diary note for the events sector
 
In this article, legal expert Matt Crouch talks what Covid-19 has taught us from a legal point of view, and the next steps event professionals should take.

By Matt Crouch, principal, Matt Crouch Legal

 
Post-bushfires, which, we mustn’t forget, took a terrible toll, especially on regional events, the events sector has now lived with that nasty little strand of viral DNA for more than nine months. What have we learned? What has changed? Where to next?
 
That little chunk of DNA will be here for some time yet. It is a resilient little bugger and the white-coats are saying that effective inoculation may be a good while off. And all this may be a warning shot as to what we might expect to see more often in the future. The world is rapidly demonstrating that the notion of “six degrees of separation” may be under-selling our true, global inter-connectedness.
 
What have we learned? Just as the pandemic has illustrated that, as the cliché has it, “we are all in this together” biologically, it is also very clear that we are all in this together economically, especially in the events sector.
 
Continue reading here. 
We did it!
 
Well done, folks. AACB CEO Andrew Hiebl has shaved off his Covid beard and successfully raised $6225.47 for Beyond Blue, thanks to your donations.
 
Andrew started growing the beard seven months ago, since National Cabinet shut down the business events industry due to Covid-19. The beard was intended as a daily reminder of the mental health impacts the pandemic has placed on people working in the tourism and events industries.
 
Now the beard will go towards helping those who have been mentally affected by the virus. So long, ghastly beard, and well done, Andrew.
Bendigo Blue over Blues & Roots
 
By Graeme Kemlo
 
Spare a thought for a regional city that has carefully curated a homegrown music festival that was to celebrate its 10th year next month. Having plans A, B and C in place because of COVID restrictions did not help the organisers or the ecosystem built around the event that was to be staged on Melbourne Cup weekend. Apart from the 500 artists who applied to take part in the event, there was a network of venues and service providers in the hospitality industry hoping but expecting the worst.
 
Many regional cities in Victoria, while not suffering the Melbourne lockdown, are still constrained by social distancing rules that substantially reduce crowd numbers at fixed seat and outdoor venues.
 
Festival director Colin Thompson, who had to manage three different scenarios during the year, finally announced the cancellation on the festival website but promised to return in November 2021, leaving the famous goldmining city and its fans with no festival… just a case of the blues.
BCEC serves up locally inspired menu
 
The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) has launched a new menu with executive chef David Pugh, featuring a strong ‘Queensland first’ approach.
 
Described by Pugh as ‘honest home grown food’, the menu has been cleverly curated to accommodate current changes to food service regulations. Items include fresh prawns ethically caught from the Sunshine Coast and prized wagyu from the Darling Downs. More than 85 per cent of the produce is sourced locally.
 
The launch of the menu coincided with the appointment of BCEC as an #eatqld partner. In making the announcement, Queensland’s Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Mark Furner said it would help spread the word about the safe and nutritious produce from Queensland’s vibrant and robust agriculture sector.
Your weekly grin and tonic
 
Guess what… this grin and tonic reel is the 30th one Darren Isenberg has put together. It’s been 30ish weeks since Covid began taking its toll on our industry, but at least we’ve had these videos to bring some humour and entertainment into our lives.
 
In theme of this reel is schadenfreude. Some people think it’s bad form to take pleasure in other peoples’ pain… but Darren disagrees. In fact, he encourages others to take pleasure in his own pain – as at least something good has come from it.
 
Enjoy the video here. 
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