It’s conferencing, but not as you know it

Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre brought plenty of surprises to planners attending the Defy All Conventions showcase.

Defy-all-Conventions-2021
MCEC recently demonstrated its in-person and virtual meetings offering to event planners during a hybrid showcase. Photo Credit:MCEC

Conference attendees may be all 'zoomed out' with online meetings, but as Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre's (MCEC) recent Defy All Conventions showcase proved — the right "connected event design" can be the key to driving overall attendance numbers and event revenue.

The 11 November event saw 76 in-person and 231 virtual attendees tuning into sessions providing a mix of insights into successfully staging a hybrid event, keynote speaker tips from transformational coach Lisa McInnes-Smith, while watching a cooking demonstration from the venue’s on-site kitchen brigade including Peter Haycroft and Renae Hooper.

In welcoming attendees, MCEC CEO Peter King explained how the centre had adapted to the changed market conditions over the past 18 months, citing examples as becoming a vaccination hub, launching THE LUME, Australia’s first permanent digital art gallery, and establishing the Skyfarm, a 2,000sqm urban garden on the rooftop carpark.

The hybrid event featured a keynote presentation from transformation guru and motivational speaker, Lisa McInnes-Smith.
The hybrid event featured a keynote presentation from transformation guru and motivational speaker, Lisa McInnes-Smith.

The MCEC hybrid meetings platform used for the Defy All Conventions showcase is another example of the venue’s skill in adapting to the “new normal” in events in a Covid-19 world.

“Whilst I’ve loved the informality and the honesty of some of our Covid communications over the last 18 months we do have to find ways to create a high impact, authentic, broad and total connection,” King said.

“We knew we were going to have to do things differently when we came out of Covid, and we’ve been looking at ways to connect beyond the traditional events delivery methodology. This is what today is all about. This is about connected event design: the latest ideas, immersive and human approach to online events wherever you may be in the world. Today it’s looking at what is possible.”

Following a Welcome to Country, participants were also welcomed by Victoria Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, Jaala Pulford, and then heard from the MCEC digital event manager, Mark Higgins, followed by a keynote presentation from transformation guru and motivational speaker, Lisa McInnes-Smith.

The Defy All Conventions online platform allowed for participants to ask questions of speakers, meet with sponsors and fellow attendees.

It was concluded in just under two hours.



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