With just under a week to go until the return of Business Events Week, the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) has announced an expanded program of activities, bringing the total number of events to over 60.
Business Events Week, an MCB initiative, is a week-long program of activities starting on 17 February, which showcases the value of business events to Australia – from generating economic wealth and export opportunities, through to driving tourism, creating lasting legacies for business, the community and job creation.
Throughout the week, a range of events will take place covering topics from medicine to technology and innovation. New additions to the calendar include the prestigious Convergence 2014: The Promise of Precision Medicine, which is taking place for the first time in Australia on 19 February.
Karen Bolinger, Chief Executive Officer of MCB, said that the goal of Business Events Week was to put the spotlight on the industry and educate the wider community about its significance.
“The inaugural Business Events Week in 2013 laid the foundations for this message, which we plan to build on through a number of new initiatives in 2014, including the appointment of Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, as the official Ambassador,” Ms Bolinger said.
“The value of the business events industry to the nation’s economy will rise to AU $31 billion by 2020, but the the benefits go far beyond the dollar value.
“I have no doubt that Professor Chubb will play an invaluable role in assisting us to communicate the intangible contribution of the industry to Australia’s knowledge community.”
Professor Chubb said he was proud to support the Business Events Week initiative.
“Business events bring senior scientific figures from around the world to Australia to share knowledge and collaborate,” Professor Chubb said.
“For example, Melbourne will be hosting the 20th International AIDS Conference later this year and I understand more than 14,000 delegates will travel to the city for this event.
“A conference of this size brings not only economic benefits, but allows medical researchers the opportunity to hear first-hand the advances in understanding a disease like AIDS, as the search for an effective HIV vaccine continues.”
Other events taking place throughout the week include Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s (MCEC) Open Space.
On Thursday, 20 February, MCEC plan to amaze and inspire attendees with thought-provoking talks around the event’s theme of innovation from Dr Ken Cato AO, renowned designer and founder of agIdeas International Design Week; Dr Cathy Foley, leading scientist and Chief of CSIRO’s Materials Science and Engineering Division; and Todd Sampson, Chief Executive Officer of advertising agency Leo Burnett and panellist on ABC’s The Gruen Transfer.
The free public event will come a day after the conclusion of the Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME), which is hosted annually at MCEC and the centrepiece of Business Events Week.
AIME is a two-day exhibition taking place on 18 and 19 February for those involved with planning incentives, events, meetings and business travel. AIME currently attracts over 750 Exhibitors from 50 countries and is the leading event of its kind in the Asia-Pacific.