The Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB) has recorded strong results for the 2009/10 Financial Year, securing Business Events expected to inject more than $269 million into Victoria’s economy over the next five years.
Announcing the results at MCVB’s Annual General Meeting, MCVB’s CEO, Ms Sandra Chipchase, said initiatives such as a new digital marketing strategy and further developing partnerships with Government and industry stakeholders were key to the Bureau’s success.
“The 2009/10 Financial Year was one of the most challenging in the Bureau’s history.
“The global economic crisis continued to hit the Association market, and we saw a distinct trend in the corporate market postponing meetings until the new financial year.
“Despite the challenges, I am pleased to report that MCVB, with the support of Government, strategic partners and our members, continued our track record of success, securing Business Events which will bring 71,891 delegates to Melbourne over the next five years.”
Ms Chipchase said that MCVB’s key successes for 2009/10 included an increase in incentive sales and national business wins, as well as winning major international multi-disciplinary Business Events.
“MCVB secured an impressive 47 national and international Association conventions for Melbourne in 2009/10.
“Wins ranged from the International Congress of Aviation and Space Medicine 2012, to the 63rd Annual DPI/NGO Conference 2010 (marking only the third time this event has been held outside of the UN’s New York headquarters), confirming the diversity of Melbourne’s appeal to a wide range of international interest groups and Associations.
“Wins also included major international Association conventions, such as the 35th Congress of the Societe Internationale d’Urologie 2015, expected to attract 4,000 delegates and generate an economic impact of $10.8 million for the State.
“Our Incentive Unit also continued its impressive track record, this year achieving a strike rate of securing 87% of all business it bid for.
“New initiatives, such as joint sales missions and advertising initiatives to target new and emerging markets, such as India, China and Korea, assisted in generating these results.
“MCVB’s annual Asia Roadshow also contributed to this success, with MCVB and partnering members engaging with 190 travel agents and buyers in Malaysia and Beijing in 2009, generating strong sales leads.”
Ms Chipchase said that expansions to the MCVB team also contributed to the Bureau’s success throughout the year.
“This year we created a new Convention Servicing & Government Partnerships Team to oversee MCVB’s growing portfolio of Government-related international meetings, delegate boosting activities and convention support services.
“We also expanded our Business Development team to further our sales research capacity and to extend our capacity to target national Associations and sector-specific luminaries to bid with us to secure major events for Melbourne and Australia.
“This contributed to a 41% increase in the number of leads generated by MCVB’s Business Development team, with a potential economic impact of $468 million.”
Ms Chipchase said that 2009/10 was also a year of innovation, with new marketing and research projects assisting the Bureau’s performance.
“This year MCVB created a new digital marketing strategy, which included creating a world-first online digital delegate boosting tool.
“Not only will this tool assist us with achieving and potentially exceeding expected delegate numbers, but also in increasing the number of those accompanying delegates to Victoria.”
Ms Chipchase said that other new marketing initiatives included a television campaign on the Australia TV Network, reaching six million viewers in 44 countries across Asia, the Pacific and India.
She said that continuing to provide members with business leads and international exposure was also a priority.
“MCVB’s Melbourne Meetings + Events Service (MM+ES) provided strong results for members this year, with referrals up 21%, and business booked up 29%, generating $22 million worth of short-term business for Victoria.”
Ms Chipchase said that the Bureau is also expanding its initiatives to promote regional Victoria, this year embarking on a marketing program with partners including Tourism Victoria to promote regional Victoria’s Business Events capabilities.
Ms Chipchase acknowledged the support of Government and MCVB members in helping to drive the Bureau’s success in 2009/10, and said she and her team looked forward to expanding Melbourne’s reputation as a leading Business Events destination in 2010/11.