Stable and prosperous Melbourne, Australia, is on a roll as it continues to leverage its superior MICE infrastructure, brain power, iconic venues and attractive lifestyle to win major group business.
“We are currently experiencing our most successful two years on record in terms of hosting international association conferences,” says Karen Bolinger, CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), located in the state of Victoria. “By the end of 2014, the bureau will have secured 70 international conferences bringing more than 85,000 delegates to the city, contributing almost $420 million [US$393 million] to the Victorian economy.”
Confirming Melbourne’s global MICE prestige is the city’s unprecedented hosting of three of the world’s preeminent health-related conferences in the space of a year.
Last December the city welcomed more than 10,000 delegates from 170 countries to the 22nd World Diabetes Congress, and approximately 6,000 delegates attended last month’s World Congress of Cardiology. In July, Melbourne anticipates hosting more than 14,000 delegates of the 20th International AIDS Conference, the largest health-related conference ever hosted in Australia.
In addition, Melbourne has the highest concentration of CBD (Central Business District) convention facilities of any Australian city, led by the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). The fully integrated MCEC includes the largest pillar-free exhibition space in the Southern Hemisphere; a 5,500-plus-seat, multifunctional setting divisible into three self-contained theaters; a grand banquet room; and 52 meeting rooms.
Voted Australasia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination at the 2013 World Travel Awards, and the world’s most livable city for the past three years by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Melbourne’s voluminous appeal reaches out to all segments of the meetings industry.
“Melbourne’s thriving multiculturalism, sophisticated food and wine scene, labyrinthine laneways and accessibility ensure a captivating delegate experience,” Bolinger says.