Melbourne’s pipeline grows to 118 business events worth $804 million

Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) has released its 2020-21 annual report today, announcing 40 business events worth $150 million to add to its strong pipeline of future events.

From 2022-2028, Melbourne’s pipeline now boasts 118 business events that will attract 133,495 delegates, filling 387,372 hotel room nights across the city and set to inject $804 million into Victoria’s visitor economy.

Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting, MCB chief executive Julia Swanson reflected on the challenges created by the pandemic.

“Driving economic and social progress for Victoria by securing and delivering world-class business events has provided MCB with a strong sense of direction in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

“Against this backdrop, we have delivered a sound result, strengthening Melbourne’s position as a global leader in business events and reinforcing Victoria’s reputation as Australia’s event capital.

“Our strategy has been the right one to guide the organisation in laying the foundation for a bright future for business events in our state, from enhancing our profile and business opportunities across both international and domestic markets, engaging stakeholders, and an ambition to provide a leading digital experience for professional event organisers and event planners globally.”

MCB chair Deborah Beale acknowledged the stability afforded through the Victorian government’s long-term investment of $41.3 million in the convention bureau over four years, and stated it has been a significant factor in enabling MCB to continue its business development for larger international association events, and a focus on driving short term business via the domestic market.

“This commitment recognises business events as an important contributor to our economy, and has also supported a broadened focus of MCB’s business event acquisition into the domestic business events market with the successful launch of the National Business Events Program, designed to aid the immediate restart of the business events sector,” she said.

The first of its kind for Victoria, the funding program provided business event organisers with a significant cash injection to support costs for hosting their events in Melbourne.

The events, approved at the close of the financial year and to be held in 2022, are expected to deliver $102 million in economic contribution to the state.

Featured image source: iStock/DavidHewison