Home' micenet eMag : micenet AUSTRALIA February March 2015 Contents I
t has been a stellar year for business
events in Melbourne as typified by the
engine room of the conference sector, the
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre,
which staged 1045 events for 700,000
people in 2014.
Already winning new business well beyond
2015, Melbourne has had little time to reflect
on its record 2014 with news that the city is
essentially “sold out” for the first 80 days of
Short term business, such as incentive
groups of 100 or 200, many from south east
Asia have to wait for a procession of major
events (tennis, cricket, F1 GP, fashion and food
shows). Not content to rest on her laurels,
Melbourne Convention Bureau CEO, Karen
Bolinger is awaiting decisions – expected in Q1
- on more large association business.
Having successfully staged Australia’s
largest ever medical conference – the 20th
International AIDS Conference 2014 - plus
other global medical conferences covering
diabetes, cardiology, haemophilia,
gynaecological cancer and the World Cancer
Congress – Melbourne generated $209
million and 40,000 delegates for these events
alone. Last year it staged 69 national and
international conferences and exhibitions at
the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition
Centre, compared with 46 in 2013.
A critical platform for Melbourne’s business
events growth is said to be its ambassador
program, which last year was credited with
bringing in 26 international conferences with
a combined economic impact of
$179,571,915, compared with 17
International conferences and economic impact of $123,731,837 in 2013.
Key events at MCEC for 2015 include Cisco Live! (March), Australian Tourism Exchange
(June), Cardiac Society of Australia & New Zealand (August), Australian HR Convention (August),
Penny Arcade Expo (October) and AusRAIL PLUS (November).
“We’re focused on long term – 2018 and beyond. And we are waiting on some big decisions
from the association sector in the first quarter of 2015,” Ms Bolinger said.
Late last year she announced a 2019 win with the International Particle Accelerator
Conference (IPAC 2019) to bring 1000 delegates in May 2019.
She explained that the incentive sector was ticking along quite nicely and usually fills the booking
gaps, “but for the first 80 days of 2015, Melbourne is full with all these major events coming
through, which is fantastic but it is making it a little more difficult to fit those incentive groups in.”
An unnamed incentive group of 2000 was coming “but they are doing it in eight waves and
over a longer period due to air availability and accommodation,” she said.
“Shorter lead business is growing. While a group of, say, 2000 might book 10 months out, we
are getting inquiries for up to 200 only three months out, many of them coming from Asia – not
China, but south east Asia.
“New Zealand is a really good market for us – we get a lot out of there. Europe is starting to
come back from an incentive perspective, but it is also headquarters of a lot of our associations
so we do a lot of work there.”
MCB changed its USA representation about 18 months ago to have dedicated people in
Washington DC and New York. Ms Bolinger said the next couple of years were looking healthy
and the bureau had a strong pipeline.
“Strategies put in place over the past couple of years are coming to fruition and we’re very
happy about that,” Ms Bolinger said.
Builders’ cranes have returned to the Melbourne skyline with a slew of new hotel rooms either
approved or under construction.
A Singaporean developer with three city hotel sites could add 1000 hotel rooms to the CBD
with Four Points by Sheraton Docklands due to open with 269 rooms in early 2017; Starwood’s
Aloft brand at 380 Lonsdale Street and another unannounced hotel brand in Bourke Street; and
Rosati’s restaurant in Flinders Lane is mooted to become a 195 room hotel, adding further to
HAVING SUCCESSFULLY STAGED
AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST EVER
MEDICAL CONFERENCE – THE
20TH INTERNATIONAL AIDS
CONFERENCE 2014 - PLUS OTHER
GLOBAL MEDICAL CONFERENCES
GYNAECOLOGICAL CANCER AND
THE WORLD CANCER CONGRESS –
MELBOURNE GENERATED $209
MILLION AND 40,000 DELEGATES
FOR THESE EVENTS ALONE.
South Wharf works wonderfully
well for galas, pop up dinners,
and all kinds of events.
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