1146.0 - Directory of Service Industries Statistics, 2002  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/02/2002   
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Business Events Venues Industry, Australia (cat. no. 8566.0)


The business events industry operates venues to support conferences, seminars, workshops, colloquia, conventions, exhibitions, and other events (such as incentives and business lunches/dinners). Such events are designed to enhance the development of the industries and associations which host them and to provide a means of sharing knowledge and information.

Business events have significant economic impact in their own right and are sought after by private and government agencies in the cities or regions in which they are held. They generate significant economic activity which would not otherwise occur in the cities and regions in which they are held: these include direct inputs such as registration fees, accommodation, meals and beverages, transport, entertainment, shopping, and in the process employment is created.

In 1999 the Bureau of Tourism Research completed a study of the Australian meetings and exhibitions industry sector which suggested that basic statistics on the structure and operations of the events industry were not available. The BTR study provided some basis upon which to estimate the economic activity of the events venue industry, however it revealed significant gaps in the information available on the industry. This Business Events Venues Survey attempts to fill some of those gaps.

The survey collects data which will provide information on the types of events held, the financial operations of the industry in terms of income and expenditure and the capacity and use of events venues. This will inform major stakeholders including industry associations (e.g. the Business Events Council of Australia, Meetings Industry Association of Australia, and Exhibition and Event Association of Australia) , other ABS statistical collection areas, government agencies and the business establishments operating in the industry. It will also provide information (such as comparative size of operations and profitability) to inform decisions made by business establishments who wish to enter the industry.


The scope of the collection includes all businesses operating in 2000-2001 within Australia which provided venue facilities and services in support of business events. Venues included within the scope of the collection must meet the following criteria:

  • able to provide for venue facilities for 500 or more delegates or attendees
  • in both plenary (whole of conference) and multi-location concurrent (ie "break-out") sessions
  • whose main activity is business events (as opposed to social or entertainment)

For the purpose of the collection business events include those a commercial, financial, technology and scientific nature. (It excludes venues which have as their predominant events activity social and entertainment events).

The final collection frame was developed using information obtained from industry associations, from convention/conference bureaux in each State and Territory, and from published lists of venues marketed on the World Wide Web and in published directory services of telecommunications agencies (eg Yellow pages). The frame was developed with the assistance of the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) which is the peak consultative body for the industry.


Business establishments which provide facilities and services in support of business events (conferences, meetings, exhibitions).

Counts of the following:
  • number of establishments providing venues and other facilities for business events
  • employment
  • capacity and usage including space (area) of venues, type and number of events held, number of delegates/attendees

Estimates of:
  • income and expenses
  • operating profit before tax, operating profit margin, industry value added
  • selected operating ratios, eg:labour costs per employee, venue hire to total income, venue hire income per sq. metre, attendees per event

State summary data will be made available for selected key indicators (eg number of establishments, total space, number of events held, total income).

Data sets will be cross-classified by type of venue.

The following other key terms and concepts are applicable to this collection:

Types of events:
  • Meetings, conferences and conventions: All off site gatherings, held in commercial venue space, which consist of more than 15 people. This would also involve congresses, seminars, workshops, symposiums, and associated gatherings that bring together people for a common purpose.
  • Exhibitions - An event that brings together suppliers of products, equipment, and services in an environment where they can display their products and services.
  • Other events - This includes weddings, graduations, parties etc.
Employment (Permanent, Casual, Casuals sourced from other businesses)
Source of Income
Expense items
Capacity and usage of facilities (including floor space, number of lettable rooms)
Number of events
Delegate/Attendee days (Total number of delegates/attendees attending x days attended)


New South Wales
South Australia
Western Australia
Northern Territory


The collection will be conducted once as a one-off survey, with no current intention to repeat it. The collection will be conducted by means of a mail-out questionnaire and after processing the results will be released in standard ABS products. The collection reference period is 2000-2001 and the release of final results is expected in June 2002.


For information on other related products and services visit the Product Information page.

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