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Grants to help boost the Business Events Industry

Georgina Forster
11 Mar. 2021

Between the Summer Bushfires in January and COVID-19 restrictions, the events industry is going through some difficult times this year. The industry as a whole has experienced severe decreases in revenue and hile technology has allowed us to connect and collaborate to create events virtually, the road to recovery will be a long one.

With all this in mind we have created a list of grants that are helping to support the industry through these tough times, all sorted by state (excluding VIC, SA and TAS).


Business Events Grants Program

The Federal Government has announced changes to the Business Events Grants program, as part of a new package to support “businesses, workers and regions still doing it tough” in the wake of COVID-19.

Focussed predominately on the tourism and aviation sectors, the $1.2 billion support package will see 800,000 half-price airfares released to the public, with a goal to boost domestic travel and support tourism businesses.

Business events also got a look in, with the $50 million Business Events Grants Program to be expanded and extended by three months to cover events scheduled through to 31 March 2022.

Other changes to the program see the minimum grant amount reduced to $5,000 (from $10,000), an increase in the number of delegates covered by the grant, an expansion of the priority sectors and an increase to the sponsorship cap.

Applications for the grant will be extended to 30 June 2021 and expressions of interest for event owners to have their event included on the Schedule of Approved Business Events will also reopen in early April.

On September 11 the Australian Government announced that it would provide $50 million in funding to create the Business Events Grants Program. The grant is aimed at larger, multi-day business events taking place in 2021 and applicants will be able to subsidise up to 50 per cent of eligible expenses associated with their events.

You can find out more about this grant, and how to apply, here.

Business Events Australia Bid Fund

Managed by Tourism Australia through its specialist unit, Business Events Australia, this grant is designed to assist businesses in Australia that are bidding against international competitors for the right to host events. In an effort to reduce the cost of hosting these large-scale events, the BFP will allow successful applicants to subsidise the event costs including (but not limited to) accommodation, venue hire and transport

For more details on this grant (including its prospectus) you can visit the Tourism Australia Website

Business Events Boost Program

Also run through Tourism Australia this grant is a domestic partnership program looking to provide expertise and funding to industry-led marketing and distribution projects. This funding is aimed towards creating and developing business in the industry and is specifically focused on strategic initiatives and project working towards this goal.

You can read more about this grant here.

Business and Events Perth Support Package

In an effort to boost event registrations, Business Events Perth is launching a new funding initiative to help planners secure their dream keynote speaker for their 2021 business event anywhere in Australia.

For a limited time, the Bureau is offering up to $25,000 to eligible business events to lock in a must-see headline speaker.

This new package is in addition to the Event Here Now campaign, launched in August 2020.

You can find a summary of support options in Western Australia is available here. For more specific information on business events support, you can visit the Business Events Perth

Western Australia

Tourism Western Australia

Tourism WA is providing a diverse range of options for both recreational and business events. In particular, Business Events Perth is currently offering expert support and funding for up $30 per delegate for business events held in WA.

You can find a summary of support options in Western Australia is available here. For more specific information business events support, you can visit the Business Events Perth


Tourism and Events Queensland

Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) is providing multiple avenues for events funding for those wanting to hold events in QLD.

For businesses wanting to submit bids for international business events based in Queensland through Business Events Acquisition and Leveraging Fund

You can find more details on this grant, as well as resources with alternative means of support for business events, here

For non-business events, TEQ has two further options - The Queensland Destination Events Program for regional and rural events and their Major Events Fund for other large-scale events.

You can find additional information on the TEQ website

Northern Territory

Northern Territory Events Support Fund

Business event planners looking to host their events in the Northern Territory can apply for financial assistance of $100 per delegate (maximum $50,000) to cover associated logistical costs. Please note the grant is looking to prioritise support for business events that align with specific industries such as Health, Agirbusiness, Renewable Energies, Tourism and Education among others and, as such, other applications will be assessed on a case by case basis

You can find a full list of eligible industries at the Northern Territory Business Events Website


City of Melbourne Reactivation Event Grants

In recognition of the huge contribution the Events Industry makes to the city of Melbourne, in partnership with the Victorian Government, are providing grants up to $100,000 to help deliver COVID-safe events in 2021.

Applications are now open for grants:

  • up to $25,000 for small events, exhibitions, and activations
  • up to $100,000 for medium to large events – this requires evidence of funding from other sources.

Special consideration may be given to proposals seeking funding above $100,000.

Applications will be assessed in two rounds. Round one funding will be allocated to events planned for January and February 2021. Round two funding will be allocated for events planned from March through to December 2021.

Find out more about the scheme here.

National Business Events Program

In a bid to encourage interstate organizations to hold events in Melbourne, the Melbourne Convention Bureau has announced a funding initiative for up to $25,000.

This $25,000 cash injection may be offered to business event organizers to support costs for hosting their event in Melbourne, including accommodation, venue hire, transport, and other event costs.

In addition to this, 50% will be payable before the event commences to support upfront expenses.

Funding will be determined based on event duration and the number of delegates attending in-person travelling to Victoria from interstate.

Expressions of interest are now open.

Find out more about the scheme here.

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