Melbourne wins bids for events with value adds such as customised ancilliary events, marketing promotions and activities that exceed expectations, giving them a competitive edge over alternative destinations.
"Last year, we had 203 business events by Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MCEB), which saw 72,000 delegates and 308 million dollars worth of value coming into Melbourne," shared Lord Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle during the press conference for AIME 2016, held from February 23 to 24.
"As a business events destination, Melbourne is all about value add. We don't compete in terms of dollars and cents but in terms of value. One example I would like to cite is the International AIDS Conference last year, which had 60 ancilliary events. Under normal circumstances it would be unfathomable to think a city could wrap itself around an event to such an extent. But that is the kind of value add that we like to create for each event depending on the requirements," added Doyle.
According to Karen Bollinger, CEO of MCEB, business events contribute AUD10 billion to the economy each year, with new growth markets coming from Singapore, Indonesia, India, Taiwan, China, Malaysia and New Zealand.
Both small and large events benefit from MCEB's initiatives. The Melbourne Values You Program was set up to benefit the corporate meetings and incentives sectors. It presents varying special offers from premium hotels, venues and service providers in Victoria, allowing meeting planners to take advantage of cost-effective options.
"This programme allows us to go above and beyond in helping our partners to convince buyers that Melbourne is a great place to come to. These offers vary and help create awareness of the various ways in which we can be flexible in meeting requirements," said Bollinger.
Bollinger also shared on the bureau's focus on highlighting Melbourne as the ideal venue for medical conferences. With Victoria's repute as a medical hub, the city is well positioned with the knowledge and infrastructure to host world-class conferences.
"The Club Melbourne Ambassador Program has helped us tremendously in this respect. Distinctive individuals such as Professor Jose Villadangos at the Doherty Institute has helped the city to secure the bid for the International Congress of Immunology 2016 with his comprehensive planning. We basically won it before the bid was even officially open," shared Bollinger.
In addition to securing bids for international medical conferences, MCEB is also looking to pioneer the organisation of new conferences. Last year, MCEB assisted an organiser with a conference on breast cancer and was able to help attract 700 delegates, an attendance that outperformed initial expectations of 200 delegates.