Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB) Chairman, Chris Barlow, has today announced another year of impressive results for the organisation, with the 2011/12 financial year seeing MCVB deliver its best results on record in terms of estimated room nights and forecasted economic impact.
“Across the business MCVB secured 210 international and national business events for Victoria – a 62 per cent increase on the 2011/12 full year target. These events will deliver an estimated economic impact valued at $361 million,” he said.
Speaking at today’s Annual General Meeting, held at RACV City Club Conferences and Events, Mr Barlow added that one of the year’s most significant achievements was the announcement that Melbourne will host the International AIDS Conference 2014, and was a major contributing factor to this year’s outstanding results.
“As the largest medical conference ever to be held in Australia, the conference is expected to bring 14,000 delegates and generate an estimated $80 million in economic impact for the state of Victoria.
“It is encouraging to see that in a financial climate that is still uncertain MCVB continues to produce results and make a real impact on both the state economy and the local business events industry,” he said.
The 2011/12 financial year was a busy year for the organisation with a number of initiatives implemented by the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Karen Bolinger.
“Ms Bolinger commenced her role as CEO in November 2011 and was quick to develop a new strategic direction for the organisation in light of the increasingly competitive nature of the business events industry both nationally and globally, as well as the enduringly unpredictable economic climate,” said Mr Barlow.
Announced in May, the new Strategic Business Plan was developed in consultation with staff and stakeholders across the business, aiming to position Melbourne as the premier destination for business events in the world.
One of the most significant changes to have been implemented to date was a recent organisational restructure of the Marketing and Communications department which is now operating under the title; Commercial Partnerships, headed up by Edwina San.
“A core component of the Strategy and one of the main motives behind the restructure of this team is to better engage with our members at all levels, acknowledging the vital contribution they make to our industry and working together to achieve our common goals,” said Ms Bolinger.
Changes were also made to the Business Development and Convention Sales department, headed up by Julia Swanson, which now includes a dedicated research team which will assist in streamlining and validating the organisation’s core business activities.
Other key activities during the year included the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME), the introduction of the organisation’s new positioning campaign: Melbourne IQ: The Intelligent Choice for Conferences, while the 2011 annual Asia Roadshow visited Shanghai, Hong Kong, and for the first time, Mumbai.
Financial Year 2011/12 also saw Melbourne officially acknowledged as the conference capital of Australia by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), while the organisation’s award cabinet continued to fill, with six major industry accolades awarded, including being named winner in the Meetings and Business Tourism category at the RACV 2011 Victorian Tourism Awards, and consequently receiving Hall of Fame status.
Ms Bolinger acknowledged MCVB’s network of staff across the organisation’s eight global offices as the defining factor in achieving the year’s significant results.
“Our staff are incredibly capable and never fail to give one hundred per cent to what they do, continuing to represent MCVB and Melbourne at the highest level.
“I thank them for their valued contribution to our 2011/12 results, and look forward to what the coming years will bring for both the organisation and the wider business events industry at a local, national and global level.”