Australia/NZ Supplement March/April 2022 - Page 19


Pent-up demand for in-person
There is pent up demand for in-person events and the 2021 calendar year has seen MCB secure 64 business events for Melbourne . These are expected to attract almost 46,000 delegates and inject A $ 191m direct revenue to the Victorian business events supply chain . MCB won over 80 % of everything it bid for , which is a 20 % increase on previous years . Melbourne now has 123 international and national business events confirmed until 2028 worth more than A $ 803m . They are expected to attract close to 134,000 delegates – a strong pipeline .
Victorian Tourism Conference
We ’ ve come out of the starting gates for 2022 strong , delivering a successful bid to bring the Global Entrepreneurship Congress ( GEC ) to Melbourne in 2023 – the first time that annual congress will be held in Australia .
That event will provide a significant platform for Melbourne ’ s most innovative minds to share the secrets to their success on the global stage . Melbourne boasts more than 1,800 technology-based startups , with almost a third ( 30 %) of Australia ’ s top 100 young entrepreneurs hailing from Melbourne .
MCB is currently managing over A $ 465m worth of bids that have the potential to attract 88,000 delegates .
In terms of challenges , my top three would include : sustainability , optimisation of meeting design and technology products .
The pandemic has given the sector the opportunity to rethink the return to in-person events and how they can be run to minimise impact on the destination . Planners are increasingly including environmental credentials in their RFPs and seeking assistance from convention bureaux and the supply chain to minimise their impact .
In terms of optimisation of meeting design , the last 24 months have been an environment of fast decision making with a focus on business continuity .
This has meant short-term planning cycles , learning on the run and fast execution , especially across virtual and hybrid events . But , with that comes knowledge and the feedback gained from hybrid and virtual delegates can help event professionals better strategise their future meeting design .
There has been an explosion in technology options available , although many are not tried and tested . It will be survival of the fittest and we can expect to see some strong products evolve as market leaders .
Further to that , I see the wellness of attendees growing in importance . This will increase focus on outdoor events , pre and post regional touring and the inclusion of wellness programmes into meeting design .
What ’ s new for 2022 in Melbourne ?
Melbourne ’ s hotel boom continues : from the Oakwood Premier Melbourne , the Hyatt Centric by Hyatt and the hotly anticipated Ritz-Carlton which is set to be the tallest hotel in Australia when it opens in 2022 . It will also offer a 500-seat Grand Ballroom and 2,781sqm of meetings and event spaces .
Guests will be able to take an elevator straight to the hotel ’ s sky checkin on Level 80 , where breathtaking panoramic views across Melbourne ’ s CBD and beyond can be enjoyed .
A new Digital Art Gallery , The Lume Melbourne , located at Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre , is a multi-sensory experience and adventure into art and digital projections which can spread over four storeys . It offers a range of exclusive event packages .
Why not welcome your team aboard The Q Train ? MCB is partnering for this award-winning restaurant that travels along the historic Bellarine Railway between Drysdale and Queenscliff . During a lunch experience guests can enjoy views of Swan Bay and local scenery .
The Lume
Melbourne ’ s newest conference and event space CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park is also now open . This home of the Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam Tournament also offers a 2,000 sqm pillarless ballroom and outdoor terraces .
And for those wanting to take their next event experience to new heights , Melbourne ’ s SkyFarm is a 2,000sqm rooftop car park transformed into an urban farm and environmental oasis in the heart of the city . Located in the emerging Seafarers precinct , it overlooks the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre .
Opening to the public in the second half of 2022 , visitors will be able to tour the working farm , visit the orchard , dine at the sustainable café and hire unique event spaces .