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March 16, 2021
In this issue
Singapore travel bubble on the cards
Waiting for a fast track digital health passport
BECA planning more lobbying for events industry support
A first look into Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley’s multi-million dollar refurbishment
Oops, we need a rerun: Ex Reed Exhibitions executives launch new business
Brisbane EDA offers cash to bring more business events to the city

Singapore travel bubble on the cards
Australia's Federal Government is aiming to establish a travel bubble between with Singapore by July or August this year.
The Sydney Morning Herald broke the story exclusively on Sunday and federal tourism minister Dan Tehan confirmed it on two major morning television shows on Monday morning, saying he was hopeful the bubble might be expanded to include New Zealand.
The Singaporean Government has also confirmed talks for quarantine free travel between Australia and Singapore are taking place.
“Singapore is currently in discussions with Australia on the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates and resumption of travel with priority for students and business travellers,” a spokesperson for Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
“We are also discussing the possibility of an air travel bubble which will allow residents of Singapore and Australia to travel between both countries without the need for quarantine.”
However, the ministry denied there was any discussion of Singapore becoming a quarantine centre for returning Australian travellers or a vaccine hub.
Waiting for a fast track digital health passport
By Graeme Kemlo
With COVID-19 vaccines now rolling out in Australia – 164,000 plus jabs and counting - the Australian Government appears to be working slowly towards a digital COVID-19 vaccine certificate, but airlines are getting there faster.
The idea of a digital “vaccine passport” to verify travellers have been vaccinated against COVID-19 has been floating around for some months now and is likely to be a required step to restarting international travel and visitation to Australia, including for business events.
Read more
BECA planning more lobbying for events industry support
By Joyce DiMascio
The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) is preparing for another round of lobbying following the announcement of the Federal Government’s National Economic Recovery Plan last week.
In a nutshell, that means the job is not over in securing assistance for the business events sector, with BECA recognising the Federal Government’s plan does not offer the support the business events industry needs.
BECA Chair, Dr Vanessa Findlay, said BECA would continue the consultation with the Government to develop targeted solutions as a priority. The Board met face-to-face last Thursday to consider its next steps.
“The business events industry is clearly a sector that requires targeted assistance to enable its recovery,” Dr Findlay said.
“Given the challenges we are facing with operating restrictions, border closures, consumer confidence to travel to participate in events and the lead time required to plan and deliver events, our research shows the industry is still nine to 12 months away from any significant return to business operations.
"Targeted support is critical to sustain valuable businesses and event professionals in the interim period as is the timing and implementation of this support.”
She said last week’s announcement was a starting point for what was required by Government to support the sector.
BECA's full statement can be read here
A first look into Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley’s multi-million dollar refurbishment
Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley recently revealed their all-new accommodation offering as part of the hotel and resort’s stunning transformation. Unveiled in January 2021, the multi-million-dollar transformation shows the first of the resort and spa’s 75 guestrooms, now re-imagined with light-filled and modern interiors.
Known for its iconic river, colonial heritage and picturesque countryside, the Hawkesbury has become one of Sydney’s most idyllic destinations for regional businesses events. Coined as the Hawkesbury’s ‘Crown Jewel’, Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley now welcomes guests into an all-new, premium accommodation experience to enjoy the best of the Hawkesbury in style.
Read more
Oops, we need a rerun: Ex Reed Exhibitions executives launch new business
Sometimes the gremlins get to work and we publish the wrong link in a story….our apologies. Here’s a story again which was published yesterday, this time with the correct link.
By Joyce DiMascio
Major exhibition organisers are shedding some of their best and most experienced staff, but out of the carnage new enterprises are emerging.
The latest duo to combine their outstanding events industry expertise are former Reed Exhibitions executives Paul Baker and Tim Rusbridge. Between them, they know the Australian and UK markets inside-out.
The duo have formed a full-service event consultancy and management business called connexU. With refreshing optimism, they have launched the business saying that it is the agile businesses with the clearest strategic vision that will burst back to pre-COVID levels quicker than others.
“In fact, those who also execute well, could usher in a new golden era for face-to-face events,” they said.
connexU will assist businesses, associations and government in navigating the evolving face-to-face landscape - providing strategic clarity, access to new technologies and new methods to engage communities and unlocking previously untapped sources of revenue, their PR says.
Tim Rusbridge said: “This industry has changed and connexU was created specifically for the new era - one that values agility and a more entrepreneurial mindset. There are incredible opportunities out there for those set up to identify them and then capitalise quickly.”
For more information on connexU and its services, visit the connexU website or contact connexU on +61 2 8277 4324.
Brisbane EDA offers cash to bring more business events to the city
Brisbane Economic Development Agency (Brisbane EDA) has opened applications for a subvention fund offering cash incentives of $50 per in-person delegate for eligible business events held in Brisbane between March 2021 and December 2022.
Juliet Alabaster, General Manager of Tourism, Business and Major Events at Brisbane EDA said providing support to attract more business events back to the city was key for the economic recovery of the events industry.
“We know our local industry has experienced incredibly challenging conditions the past year and we want to provide a helping hand to encourage more Brisbane business events bookings to boost our local economy and support our local businesses, accommodation providers and our service industry,” Ms Alabaster said.
“We want to instil confidence in event planners that Brisbane is ready to host their next event, and they can expect our signature warm welcome when they do.”
The funding on offer must be used for approved Brisbane products and services associated with the business event including venue hire and delegate experiences.
Events must be booked with a Brisbane venue by the end of this financial year.
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