Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) has achieved the highest ever result for business events in Victoria with a 28 per cent increase in economic contribution from secured business events in 2018/2019 financial year from the previous year, exceeding all targets and cementing business events position as the highest yielding sector in Victoria’s visitor economy.
Economic contribution for the state reached an impressive $507 million from 229 events secured, which is expected to bring over 136,000 new visitors to the state, and significantly fill over 226,000 room nights injecting $45 million in direct revenue into the accommodation sector.
The record-breaking year can be attributed to years of work resulting in several significant wins, including ‘The 2023 Rotary International Conference’, the most valuable conference ever won for the state, expected to attract 20,000 Rotary members from over 200 countries and regions worldwide and injecting over $110 million into the Victorian economy.
Other notable conferences include; ‘The International Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses 2019’, ‘International Congress of Genetics 2023’, ‘20th International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) World Congress of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology 2026’ and the ‘World Congress of Philosophy 2023’.
The series of high-profile international association conferences confirmed guarantee a strong pipeline of business and continued significant economic contribution to Victoria up to 2026, providing long term certainty for Victoria’s visitor economy.
MCB Acting Chief Executive Officer, Julia Swanson said “these outstanding results is a testament of MCB’s efforts and ‘Team Melbourne’ approach. Thank you to the Victorian Government, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the City of Melbourne and our partners, for supporting us in driving Victoria’s global standing as a premier destination for business events, and continuing Melbourne’s reign as Australia’s business events capital.”
Conferences in the health and medical sectors are the most lucrative making up 38 per cent of conferences secured in the past financial year in the field. This is a result of Victoria’s strong reputation for excellence and globally recognised medical and research facilities.
“We continuously demonstrate Melbourne is a progressive, forward-thinking city, with world-leading medical infrastructure, globally renowned research centres and intellectual capital.
“Melbourne is a city where the world’s greatest minds gather to connect, innovate and drive real change in research and development”, Ms Swanson added.
Victoria’s corporate meetings and incentive business was strong with MCB securing 132 events which will deliver over $64 million to the state’s economy and over 16,000 new visitors to Victoria.
The most significant incentive win was the ‘Jeunesse Global 2020’ which will deliver over 6,000 visitors to Victoria’s regions and inject $27.8 million into the economy, with a significant proportion to be absorbed into regional communities.
“Melbourne is considered a premier incentive destination; vibrant and welcoming with limitless options for exploration available. This combined with the MCB team going above and beyond to accommodate every incentive group has cemented our position in the incentives market,” Ms Swanson said.
Acknowledging the importance of business events to the Victoria’s economy, MCB increased sales leads and business opportunities for its partners and executed a bold and innovative strategy to propel the sector forward.
During 2019 MCB launched its innovative ‘Melbourne Virtual Site Visit’ – an immersive 360 virtual reality experience featuring over 30 Melbourne venues, hotel and attractions to influence international decision makers to choose Melbourne for their next event. MCB was globally recognised for this tool at the Skift Global Forum in New York, being awarded ‘Best AR, VR or Mixed Reality Experience’.
“We’re proud of the transformational experience we’ve created using VR technology. Its proven to be a real asset in not only influencing international decision makers to choose Melbourne for their next business event but also incredibly popular for delegate boosting,” Ms Swanson said.