EEAA members gathered in Melbourne to hear exciting plans for Melbourne’s future focus on events.
Business Events is centre stage in the economic development agenda of the Victorian Government under new plans to establish visit Victoria.
As part of its tailored representation work for Members around the country, EEAA presented a round-table for Victorian Members to hear the latest news regarding the expansion of the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC), upgrades to the Royal Exhibition Building, priorities of the Melbourne Convention Bureau and the overarching policies of the Victorian Government.
EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio, said the goal of the Association was to ensure Members had access to the latest information about issues and policies impacting the exhibition and events sector.
“There are exciting changes on the horizon in Victoria and this forum provided a timely opportunity for our Members to hear from key people driving the changes.” Ms DiMascio said.
Key to the discussion was an update from MCEC Chief Executive Officer, Peter King, on expansion plans for the Centre since the Victorian State Government’s announcement to fund the project in the 2015-16 State Budget.
Mr King said the project was on track with a building contractor expected to be locked in by December 2015 and work to commence late January / early February 2016.
“It is a very exciting time for the MCEC. We are taking this opportunity to create a “precinct” around the centre where exhibitions, conferences and events can run through a continuous 360 degree space.
“There will be changes to our existing cafés as well as the creation of a new indoor/outdoor eating area to facilitate much better networking experiences for visitors, organisers and exhibitors.”
The completion of MCEC’s expansion is expected to result in an additional 74,000 international visitors annually, create hundreds of jobs and provide an estimated $167 million boost to the economy.
EEAA Members also heard from Nick Foa, Interim Chief Executive, Visit Victoria; Karen Bolinger, Chief Executive Officer, Melbourne Convention Bureau; and Marisa Uremovic, Manager, Museum Spaces.
“It was positive to hear from Tourism Victoria and the Melbourne Convention Bureau on changes which support the growth of the Victorian exhibition and event industry, including an update on the newly formed tourism and events company, Visit Victoria.” Ms DiMascio said.
Visit Victoria will bring together Tourism Victoria and the Victorian Major Events Company, with a new conventions division. There will also be a Regional Division, designed to work directly with Regional Tourism Boards and operators to grow tourism in Victoria’s regions.
“Visit Victoria will have a greater focus on attracting the non-leisure visitor, which includes the Business Events delegate and exhibitor.
“It will also offer cooperative marketing support and calendar management for the procurement of new exhibitions and events, as well as the growth of existing shows with the potential to increase their footprint in Victoria.”
The new board of Visit Victoria hopes to have a single point of entry for industry to engage with government and a unified approach to attracting and marketing events within the State.
Ms DiMascio said it is positive that the Victorian Government recognises the value of exhibitions and events to the State’s economy and is actively seeking ways to work with industry to grow events and remain nimble and competitive.
EEAA looks forward to a greater engagement with Visit Victoria.
EEAA thanks Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre for their support of this event.