Regional Australia, driven by a tremendous surge from the agricultural industry, is seeing a noticeable increase in the number of events, festivals and shows being held. The positive effects from booming exports of key crops, and continued growth in cattle and horticulture, is generating a trickle down effect that is being enjoyed across the entire country. As revenues increase for agricultural business, so too does disposable income of those involved, and the regional councils in the area. Below we’ll explain how this has a knock on effect with regional events.
Agricultural Industry Growth
Almost every week we are seeing positive reports about expected crop yields and estimated export value from all manner of crops and from all parts of regional Australia. A mild winter and and generous spring has meant that Australia’s two biggest export crops (wheat and barley) are both experiencing record breaking years in terms of yield and export value. Canola, our 3rd biggest export crop, also experienced it’s 3rd biggest year on record in 2016.
As the ABC reported here, bumper grain harvests are having a flow-on effect throughout the Victoria economy. Banks are reporting that creditors and loans are being paid and debt is being reduced, key signs that an economy is rebounding nicely.
Other crops such as macadamias, almonds, plus horticultural exports such as grapes and potatoes, have also experienced excellent years.
The Benefits of a Boom
As the agricultural sector booms, regional communities bathe in the glow. The Regional Australia Institute report that regional cities are, for the first time in years, seeing a growth in their population. A growing population provides stimulation for the local economy. More shops open, residents spend more money, creating a growth cycle.
Fiona Nash, Federal Regional Development Minister, said “When agriculture is going well, it feeds right across our regional communities. We are not just seeing the financial benefit of better commodity prices for farmers but to machinery dealers, local stock agents, car dealers, the clothes shops and even the supermarkets — it really underpins everything in country towns.”
After four years of declining employment in the agricultural sector, employment figures have also grown over the past 2 years.
More money, a growing population, increased employment, less debt. It’s a formula for a prosperous regional Australia.
The Effect on Regional Events
The event industry specifically benefits from all this growth and prosperity in several ways. Firstly, when we talk about events, we refer to community events, music and arts festivals, agricultural shows, rodeos and other gatherings. Organised by regional councils in many cases, there is also a growing number of privately run events focusing of regional Australia.
Take Groovin the Moo for example. This is Australia’s premiere regional music festival, attracting more than 100,000 patrons to it’s regional events. Held all over Australia, Groovin the Moo hosts it event in Wayville SA, Maitland NSW, Townsville QLD, Bendigo VIC, Bunbury WA and then Canberra ACT. Despite including the nations capital, the focus of the events is on supposedly less glamorous locations in regional Australia.
The rising waters of events in regional Australia
For an event industry to be successful, you need four factors to present. When they are present, the waters rise for the entire event industry, stimulating growth.
- Regional councils and potential event hosts/organisers, need to be “cashed up”. When regions and states do well economically, this results in more generous budgets being allocated, and confidence to plan further ahead. Bigger events need more planning, so suddenly events become a more central element of council planning.
- Potential patrons of these events need to be generating a disposable income. With a growing economy, the average household will have a higher disposable income.
- The mood in a community needs to be positive. The agricultural boom provides confidence to the community from top to bottom. When times are good, people are more active, more social and more positive.
- Potential private and government sector partners and sponsors need to see a benefit to being involved in the event.
Regional councils are enjoying full coffers and increased budgets, but with that comes the responsibility to use it wisely. The running of events has long been a core part of regional council mandates, as the effects are far ranging within the regional communities. With the agricultural boom, regional councils have the budget to organise events.
Potential patrons in regional Australia are enjoying the trickle down effect of a booming agricultural industry. With a high proportion of regional residents being involved in agriculture in some way, when the industry booms, the effect is wide spread. In terms of the event industry, this creates a market of potential patrons who have disposable income. With more disposable income, residents are more likely to spend money on attending a regional event, agricultural show or rodeo.
The mood and “happiness index” that comes on the back of a boom is just as important. A community that is struggling with debt, poor crops and under-employment is far less likely to attend a regional event. But with a prosperous regional economy, the mood in most cases will be enhanced. This influences potential patrons and makes them more likely to attend an event.
The combination of the three factors above means that sponsors and other event partners are also more likely to be involved. A sponsor becomes involved in an event in order to promote their brand, their message or their products and services. With events selling more tickets and generating more positive “buzz” in regional communities, the more likely it is that sponsors will want to be involved. Their investment in events is crucial, and further stimulates the growth of the industry.
Boom sees the regional events industry grow
AAC ID Solutions, as Australia’s leading supplier of event accreditation such as wristbands, cards and lanyards, has its finger on the pulse of event trends nationwide. The agricultural boom is having a clear effect on regional events, with more events being held, and greater numbers of people attending these events. Long may it continue.
For more information about event accreditation for regional events contact AAC ID Solutions at [email protected]