Melbourne’s Convention District unveiled

Reinforcing its appeal as a business events hub in Australia to contend with – a nod to its friendly but fierce rivalry with Sydney – the freshly branded (see previous news) Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) has come up with a new initiative to highlight its MICE assets.  

Melbourne’s “Convention District” was launched yesterday at the start of the annual leading business events show AIME ending tomorrow, February 27.

Identified in a glossy brochure intended for event planners is the four-kilometre-wide area along the Yarra River, from the stylish Docklands in the west to the sporting precinct, including the Melbourne Cricket Ground among others, in the east; and encompassing the CBD from the arts centre in the south to the elegant Carlton Gardens in the north. Within these boundaries are found Australia’s highest concentration of conference facilities, with almost 198,000 sqm of meetings space and over 15,000 hotel rooms in the heart of the city.

Karen Bolinger, MCB’s chief executive, observed: “Melbourne is an extremely compact city with a wealth of conferencing facilities and accommodation options all within walking distance of the city’s hot spots and just 20 minutes from Melbourne Airport, which not many cities around the world can boast.” 

Complementing the Convention District brochure was a range of other collaterals including the Melbourne Incentives brochure (taking readers through Melbourne and regional Victoria’s unique incentive and corporate travel reward experiences) and Melbourne Convention Bureau brochure (introducing the organization’s core functions and how it can assist meeting planners).

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), dubbed as the “jewel in the crown” of the city’s MICE arsenal, will be due for expansion if the state government approves extra funds that its executives are urging. According to Peter King, MCEC chief executive, “We are turning away 30 per cent in business opportunities, and we believe that makes for a strong case to invest in additional facilities.” 

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Margie T Logarta

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