Melbourne is a business destination that understands how important it is to evolve and adapt to ‘new normals’. This progressive way of thinking is at the core of the city’s dedicated convention bureau, which goes the extra mile to help associations organise their events. The support, provided by the Convention Servicing department, goes beyond financial aid, with its most important element being access to the extensive MCB Knowledge Partner network of local industry and academia.
Among its collaborators are the Doherty Institute, AusBiotech, the Burnet Institute, Bio21 Institute, Swinburne University, RMIT, Melbourne Connect, and Melbourne Centre for Cities. Collaboration opportunities between these knowledge hubs and visiting associations – not to mention governmental collaboration – not only support the development of local talent, but also contribute to breakthrough legacies that help shape the future of each industry.
“MCB is able to open up discussion channels with government and industry sectors via our links into government departments and knowledge partners. We can provide insights on government policy initiatives and projects and link your activity back to the Victoria’s future industries – putting your issue on the government agenda,” said MCB Chief Executive Julia Swanson.
Safety & Sustainability Take The Lead
Melbourne boasts a safe environment when organising a large-scale event. MCB has created a Safe Events Melbourne microsite to assist organisers in planning an event in Melbourne with confidence. It is accredited as an international ‘Safe City’ by the World Health Organisation. Health and hygiene continue to be a number one priority, so testing and vaccination against Covid-19 are quite high in the entire state of Victoria.
The concept of safety could not be complete without a conscience for sustainability. In fact, Melbourne is considered one of the most sustainable cities in Australia, with environmental, economic, and social initiatives that affect the business events industry too. Besides the new Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030, a ban of single-use plastic and its commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050, Melbourne recently presented SkyFarm. The collaboration of three Melbourne-based sustainable companies produced an urban farm and environmental oasis out of a 2000-square meter rooftop car park in the heart of the city. Set to open in the second half of 2022, delegates can tour and dine at the facility, which overlooks the Yarra River and Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre. Unique event spaces are also available for bookings with classes also available at the environmental education centre.
“Part of the charm of our wonderful city is that its consistently changing – boldly innovating and adapting to meet new needs over many decades and this includes sustainability,” said Swanson. This is most evident with the city cementing its number one position as a sustainable city in the Asia-Pacific region for business events in the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) 2021.
New Facilities for New Experiences
Designed with conference and events in mind, CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park is the newest arrival for the events world. With an auditorium that will seat 250 guests and 15 breakout rooms upon completion, the conference center is flexible to use for smaller or bigger events. “Melbourne’s newest conference venue will be on show when it hosts the leading trade event for the meetings and event industry in the Asia Pacific region – the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) Welcome Event in late March 2022,” said. Swanson.
Melbourne’s hotel boom continues with world class accommodation open for new bookings in 2022 and beyond providing exciting options for professional conference organisers and associations, looking to host their next conference in Melbourne. FromThe Oakwood Premier Melbourne – the first Oakwood Premier hotel in Australia and the Hyatt Centric by Hyatt boasting spectacular views across Melbourne’s Yarra River, to the hotly anticipated Ritz-Carlton Melbourne which is destined to be an attraction in its own right when it opens later this year.
Adding to the opening of new hotels all over town, the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre now offers exclusively THE LUME Melbourne. Australia’s first permanent digital gallery can transform traditional events into multi-sensory event experiences using immersive art and projections which reach the height of four floors. Exclusive event packages including curated menus, sound, and tech support are offered to interested associations.
The city’s track record of successful major events speaks for itself: the World Engineers Convention (WEC), the World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), and the International Society on Thrombosis and Hemostasis were all held in 2019 with delegates and organisers equally satisfied.