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Overview

There has been considerable growth during the past years in the Events sector, with various types of events and exhibitions planned across Australia. These events include gatherings for both business and leisure-purposes for international and domestic visitors and include:

  • Art exhibitions and shows
  • Community events
  • Concerts and performances
  • Festivals and celebrations
  • Food and wine events
  • Sports events
  • Business conferences and seminars
  • Trade and consumer exhibitions.

The Exhibition and Events sector encompasses companies involved in organising and hosting exhibitions, events and conferences. The sector is rapidly growing and making significant contributions to the economy and is expected to experience continued growth in the future.

Employers in this sector include businesses involved in event and/or meeting management, venue owners, hotels/venues with accommodation, audio-visual/production organisations and exhibition suppliers. Examples of occupations include Event or Exhibition Assistants, Conference or Engagement Coordinators, Venue Coordinators and/or Organisers.

Nationally recognised training for Conference and Event Organisers is delivered under the SIT - Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package.

For more information on the Cookery, Hospitality, and Tourism please visit the respective pages. 

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The employment level for Conference and Event Organisers more than tripled between 2001 and 2019, increasing from 11,400 to 38,700. Employment levels declined significantly to 24,400 in 2020, before increasing to 25,900 in 2021. Employment levels are projected to increase to 46,900 by 2025. According to the 2016 census approximately 60% of Conference and Event Organisers are concentrated in 10 industries, with the majority working in the Administrative Services industries.

Training trends

Training Snapshot

In 2020, there were around 4,890 program enrolments in Events-related qualifications and approximately 1,530 completions. Enrolment levels have been relatively stable since 2018, however at close to half (48%) of the 2016 peak of around 9,360. Program completions are also down from the 2016 peak of approximately 2,420, but have also been relatively stable since 2018.

All enrolments were either at the certificate III or diploma or higher level. These enrolments were in the Certificate III in Events (51%) with the intended occupation of General Clerk, and Event Management (Diploma and Advanced Diploma) (49%) with the intended occupation of Conference and Event Organiser.  

More than two thirds (69%) of training was delivered by TAFE institutes, while private training providers delivered 27%. Over half of all training was Commonwealth and state funded (57%), followed by international fee for service (26%) and domestic fee for service (17%). There was some variation between provider type, with domestic fee for service and international fee for service notably higher among private training providers (51% and 37% respectively), while 72% of training provided at TAFE institutes was Commonwealth and state funded.

Almost a third of students resided in New South Wales (30%), followed by overseas (19%), Queensland (17%) and Victoria (15%). Training was mainly delivered in New South Wales (40%), Queensland (21%), Victoria (16%) and Western Australia (12%).

There were very few apprentice and trainee commencements and completions in Events-related qualifications as of December 2020, with just 26 commencements (up marginally from 24 in 2019) and 11 completions (compared to 10 in 2019). Commencements peaked in 2011 at approximately 150, while completions peaked the following year at just under 100. Figures have since declined by more than 80% for both.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, please visit NCVER’s Data Builder.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, please sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

According to the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Industry IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast, the top priority skills for the industry (inclusive of the Events sector), are:

  • Teamwork and communication
  • Problem solving
  • Resilience, stress tolerance and adaptability
  • Self-management.

In addition to these priority skills, the job vacancy data shows that communication skills, planning, organisational skills, detail-orientated and creativity were the top generic skills in demand by employers. According to job advertisements, the top occupations in demand were Event Coordinator, Venue Manager and Event Manager, with the New South Wales Government and the Government of Victoria identified as the main employers.

The Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast highlights the impact of trends in digitalisation and technological innovation, growing international competition, workforce mobility, and increasing customer demand and expectations for live experiences, on the Events sector. These trends have meant a shift in the skills and knowledge required of the workforce. In order to meet these changing skills and knowledge requirements, a Case for Change has been submitted which proposes an update of qualifications and related units of competency and skills sets for the Event and Exhibition sector.

The Inquiry report by the Victorian Economy and Infrastructure Committee found that due to extended lockdowns and border restrictions throughout 2020 and 2021, as well as ongoing restrictions on events in terms of density restrictions and other safety requirements, the events industry in Victoria has been one of the hardest hit within Australia. As events were progressively cancelled from March 2020 onwards, businesses were forced to refund deposits, ticket fees and other critical revenue. Many businesses reported loss of revenue of over 85% in 2020. Event organisers also reported difficulty accessing suitable venues in which to hold events due to the repurposing of key venues for public health measures during the pandemic, such as vaccination hubs. While public health restrictions are slowly relaxing, and events are beginning to resume across the state, financial uncertainty remains a critical concern for many business operators. Depending on their size, type and complexity, events can take many months - and sometimes years - to organise. This ‘lead time’ exacerbates existing financial insecurity for suppliers working on events, which will often not receive payment until an event has taken place. Financial losses in the events sector have caused many business owners and workers great personal stress. The mental health toll of the pandemic is ongoing, and the report recommends the Victorian Government increase mental health support for the events sector and ensure equal access to and effective communication of these services.

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant research, organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

IRC and skills forecasts

Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Industry Reference Committee

 

Relevant research

Events Qualifications – Case for Change – SkillsIQ

Inquiry into the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Tourism and Events Sectors – Victorian Parliament, Legislative Council, Economy and Infrastructure Committee

 

Government bodies

APEC Tourism Working Group

Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)

Destination NSW

South Australian Tourism Commission

Tourism & Events Queensland

Tourism Australia

Tourism Research Australia

Tourism NT

Tourism Tasmania

Tourism Victoria

Tourism Western Australia

Visit Canberra

 

State-based industry associations

NSW Business Chamber - Tourism

Queensland Tourism Industry Council

Tasmanian Hospitality Association

Tourism Council Western Australia

Tourism Industry Council South Australia

Victoria Tourism Industry Council

 

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Accommodation Association of Australia

Australian Culinary Federation

Australian Hotels Association

Australian Regional Tourism Network

Australian Tourism Export Council

Clubs NSW

Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia

Restaurant & Catering Australasia

Tourism Accommodation Australia

Tourism Hospitality Catering Institute of Australia

Tourism and Transport Forum Australia

 

Employee associations

Australian Services Union

United Workers Union

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2021, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSCO 1493 Conference and Event Organisers, employment projections to May 2025

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ08 - Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, viewed 1 August 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2021

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 1493 Conference and Event Organisers, 2001 to 2021, May quarter.

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by ANZSCO 1493 Conference and Event Organisers, and 4 digit level industries to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

 

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training packages or qualifications:

  • SIT Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package
    • SIT30516 - Certificate III in Events
    • SIT30607 - Certificate III in Events
    • SIT30612 - Certificate III in Events
    • SIT50207 - Diploma of Events
    • SIT50212 - Diploma of Events
    • SIT50316 - Diploma of Event Management
    • SIT60207 - Advanced Diploma of Events
    • SIT60212 - Advanced Diploma of Events
    • SIT60216 - Advanced Diploma of Event Management
    • THT30102 - Certificate III in Meetings and Events.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2016 to 2020 program enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 subject enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 program completions.

 

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

SIT Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee collection, including:

  • 2011 to 2020 commencements
  • 2011 to 2020 completions
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2020 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

 

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2021, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2021, https://www.burning-glass.com.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2018 and June 2021 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

ANZSCO occupations have been used as industry filters because they provide more relevant job vacancy data for this sector.

  • Generic skills / Occupations
    • 1493 Conference and Event Organisers.
  • Employers
    • 1493 Conference and Event Organisers.
Updated: 21 Jan 2022
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