Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) proudly received the Business Event Venue of the Year Award 2023.
Business Events Australia’s signature incentive showcase, Dreamtime, began today in South Australia’s capital, Adelaide/Tarntanya.
Melbourne’s premier airport hotel, PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport, has revealed an extensive multi-million-dollar refurbishment to further enhance its appeal as the ultimate gateway for domestic and international travellers, and elevate its offering as a business event destination.
Event Centre at The Star Brisbane
Brisbane largest hotel ballroom – the Event Centre at The Star Brisbane – is now welcoming bookings for April 2024 onwards.
Part of Brisbane’s A$3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf precinct, the 3,500 sqm (37,674 sq. ft) venue’s ballroom has the capacity to host 2,000 guests. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame the Brisbane city skyline and an exclusive outdoor terrace offers views of the iconic Story Bridge.
Taking inspiration from Queensland’s subtropical landscape, the ballroom’s perforated gold ceiling replicates dappled light breaking through the rainforest canopy, as a nod to Brisbane’s natural surrounds.
The venue also offers six additional breakout rooms and a business centre.
Sydney will be the host city for the International Congress of the Transplantation Society in 2026. Returning to Sydney for the third time, the event is expected to bring an estimated 3,000 delegates to the International Convention Centre (ICC Sydney) across four days.
Business Events Sydney CEO Lyn Lewis Smith says Sydney is recognised for its expertise and high standard of care in transplantation and is home to several research centres and groups. “We can’t wait to showcase our burgeoning health precincts and the transplanters who are true global talents in their field,” she says.
The bid to secure the congress was supported by Tourism Australia’s Business Events Bid Fund Program.
Heritage-listed GPO (General Post Office) building has been transformed into a dining destination after a 12-month, A$9 million renovation.
The 80-seater restaurant Tama has taken up residence on the ground floor, boasting double-storey windows, chandeliers, marble and stone features. The restaurant’s main drawcard is a charcoal powered Josper oven that allows the chefs to grill, roast and smoke locally sourced meats and vegetables over coals at temperatures of up to 450 degrees Celsius.
The building’s original staircase leads guests upstairs to The Gatsby, a sleek cocktail bar boasting a 74-page drinks menu that features more than 400 spirits. The building’s third venue – The Tax Office – is a multi-room bar, restaurant and late-night hotspot which is available for exclusive use for up to 150 guests seated or 470 guests, cocktail-style.
Cairns Convention Centre lifts the curtain on its new expansion, revealing a new standard for international and domestic conferences and events.
The Queensland Government in Australia has invested $176 million in the refurbishment and expansion of the city’s international convention centre.
Already an eco-tourism hotspot, Cairns is set to further capitalise on the lucrative international Business Events sector with a renewed convention facility that complements the region’s natural, pristine beauty.
The award-winning Centre, which has been operated by ASM Global since it opened in 1996, will now be able to host multiple events as well as larger conferences requiring multiple break out spaces.
ASM Global (Asia Pacific) Chairman and Chief Executive, Harvey Lister AM, says the Centre’s expansion and refurbishment would deliver significant economic benefits to the Cairns economy over the next decade and beyond.
“The expansion will enhance Cairns’ standing as a world leader in hosting business events. Cairns Convention Centre is on track to host 160 events this financial year, including 60 conferences bringing more than 35,000 delegates to Cairns, delivering a visitor spend of over $100 million into the region,” added Mr Lister.
The state-of-the-art expansion delivers an extra 10,500 sqm of meeting, banquet and exhibition space featuring:
- Exhibition area with space for 30 booths
- 450-seat theatre-style plenary lecture space that can be divided into two
- Three large meeting rooms that can be configured into multiple sizes
- 500-capacity Trinity Room banquet space
- Outdoor terrace
- Spacious lobby for pre-event functions
A key part of the expansion is the Trinity Room and Terrace level, offering unparalleled views over Trinity Inlet. The significant expansion project also includes a large undercover Porte Cochere planted with native, tropical flora that can also be used as a function space.
Clients hosting their events at the Cairns Convention Centre can take advantage of the latest audio-visual equipment, contemporary interiors and new building systems for seamless event delivery and experience.
Cairns Convention Centre, general manager, Janet Hamilton said the refurbished and expanded centre was poised to welcome event organisers and delegates from across Australia and the world.
“We are already receiving positive reactions to the new spaces, with clients impressed with the contemporary design and light filled areas that feature our lush, tropical rainforest in the background,” Ms Hamilton said. “We sit at the heart of one of the world’s most beautiful destinations and great care and consideration was taken to bringing the natural environment into the Centre’s spaces. From our open spaces with floor to ceiling windows, to our stunning Trinity Room and Terrace with views across the inlet, the Centre showcases Cairns’ natural assets.”
Cox Architecture Director Richard Coulson who led the design team (with local collaborators CA Architects) for the refurbishment and expansion of the Cairns Convention Centre said this project stands out amongst the rest of the world’s convention centres due to its mix of sophistication, modern technology, and relaxed ‘truly Cairns’ sensibility.
“The Centre is a very sophisticated building. The technology is quite remarkable. Yet it feels like a place of Cairns, which has a renowned, relaxed lifestyle,” Mr Coulson said. “This expansion has allowed a richness which is quite rare for these spaces. It is open, generous and flexible and yet intimate at the same time. And that's what Tropical North Queensland is as a destination.”
The Gold Coast is continuing to grow its reputation as one of the most accessible and inclusive cities in Australia with the launch of a brand-new Gold Coast Accessible Visitor Guide developed by City of Gold Coast in partnership with Destination Gold Coast.
Buoyed by the rise of Australian corporates heading offshore for meetings and incentives, Tourism Portfolio has expanded its international DMC network, adding destinations including the UAE, Morocco, South Africa and Brazil in recent weeks.
Around 80 event planners, professional conference organisers and media representatives from Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia will experience the Gold Coast’s best business events offerings this week (14 – 16 August) for the ninth This is Gold Coast 2023 (TIGC23).
The Society of Incentive Travel Excellence ANZ one-day conference will be held in Sydney on Monday, August 7.
Destination Gold Coast’s business events signature familiarisation This is Gold Coast 2023 (TIGC23) is gearing up to showcase the best example of venues, culture and experiences for event planners, professional conference organisers and media representatives.
Destination Gold Coast has welcomed Screen Producers Australia (SPA) CEO Matthew Deaner as the newest addition to BE Connected Gold Coast, to help showcase the city as a hub for innovation and attract more events.
Air New Zealand restarted its season service between Auckland and the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.
Australasia’s oldest PCO ICMSA has had plenty of industry firsts in its 57 year history but has never managed three meetings all starting on the same day.
The Australian Business Events Association, the newly formed peak body for the business events industry announces its board of directors and launches its new logo in the lead up to its official launch on 3 July 2023.
Don’t expect any further Australian business event industry associations to go away anytime soon despite the creation of a new body.
By Brad Foster
The Northern Territory is now home to a new Red Centre Light Trail, cementing the region as one of the most unique multi-sensory travel destinations in the world.
The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux Inc (AACB), the Australian Convention Centres Group (ACCG), and the Exhibition & Events Association of Australasia Ltd (EEAA) have combined to form the Australian Business Events Association.
Melbourne has secured the hosting rights for the inaugural APAC Offshore Wind and Green Hydrogen Summit 2023, the first of its kind to be held in the Asia Pacific region. The event will bring together governments with offshore wind ambition, global offshore wind industry leaders, and the full wind value chain to jointly address the goal of advancing the uptake of offshore win and green hydrogen in the region.
Australasian event management company Arinex has become the first to trial a new reforestation project open to business event groups visiting Tropical North Queensland.
While in Cairns for the Arinex Conference, team members had an opportunity to learn about and revitalise the endangered ecosystem of the Wongabel Mabi Forest Restoration project.
The team funded the planting of enough native trees to remove the non-travel related carbon emissions generated by the conference.
Situated on the Atherton Tablelands near Cairns, the project is the only one of its kind involving Mabi Forest species. It is a collaboration between Reforest (a company that assists businesses in taking climate action), Terrain (an environmental management organisation), and the local community.
With support from Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ), their goal is to revegetate an area of land previously cleared for forestry and agriculture, by enlisting the help of businesses and individuals.
Nicole Walker, Managing Director of Arinex, says empowering clients to reduce their event carbon footprints is a priority for the company and the team was privileged to be the first to trial the reforestation project.
"This project highlights a practical and impactful way that sustainability can be incorporated into conference and incentive programs."
“We were able to give back to the Cairns region and make a positive environmental impact through hands-on work. We look forward to extending this opportunity to our clients in the future."
Reforest CEO Daniel Walsh said the Wongabel Mabi Forest restoration was one way they were helping businesses drive change through carbon removal activities that are engaging and personalised for customers and event attendees. "This project demonstrates how corporate responsibility can go beyond carbon offsetting to create tangible positive outcomes for local ecosystems and communities. We hope that other business events will join Arinex in supporting reforestation initiatives like this one,” Walsh says.
Terrain CEO Stewart Christie says the important restoration activity would contribute to the preservation of the critically endangered Mabi Forest ecosystem. “We are thrilled that Arinex and their team members could participate in this project and hope it inspires other business events to take similar steps towards sustainable tourism and conservation.”
TTNQ CEO, Mark Olsen, noted that by including a corporate social responsibility aspect in an event itinerary is a fulfilling way to leave a positive impact on a destination beyond the event's influence. “The Wongabel Mabi Forest restoration project is an exemplary model of regenerative tourism and part of a larger set of sustainable tourism initiatives that allow visitors to make a positive impact on the Cairns region while exploring the area during their visit.”
Arinex followed up their reforestation efforts with a wider tour of the region including Lake Eacham, the mountain village of Kuranda and the Caravonica lakes.
MEA has announced that Olympic Gold and Silver medallist Brooke Hanson OLY OAM will MC its annual conference Evolve 2023 over 7 & 8 June.
Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME), the leading trade convention for the meetings and events industry in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, has released new insights into the success of their 30-year anniversary show which took place over three days at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) from 13 - 15 February 2023.
A post show analysis has revealed:
- AIME will generate an anticipated $200 million in business between exhibitors and buyers over the next 12 months - a near 70% increase on 2022.
- 90% of exhibitors were satisfied with their attendance at AIME. This statistic outperforms equivalent benchmarks and places AIME in the top 5% of trade shows globally for exhibitor satisfaction.
- Similarly, nearly 90% of visitors were satisfied with their attendance at AIME. This statistic outperforms both equivalent benchmarks and also previous AIME events. It places AIME in the top 10% of trade shows globally for visitor satisfaction.
- Almost 80% of visitors are likely to return to AIME, feel it’s important in advancing their businesses, and is the place to source new products/services.
- 84% of visitors felt their objectives for attending AIME were met.
Endorsing the success of the 2023 event, Silke Calder, AIME event director, says: “These results are testament to the hard work that goes into fostering outstanding business outcomes. From our bespoke technology to the rigorous vetting of buyers, and from our AI powered meeting platform to our first-class Knowledge and AIMEbassadors Programs, the value of business events is championed at every juncture.”
“Excitement is building for AIME 2024, with the majority of 2023 exhibitors already reserving space for next year. This demonstrates both the show’s legacy as well as its importance to the global business events industry. It is also a reason why AIME is one of the most trusted shows in the Asia Pacific Region.” she says.
Julia Swanson, CEO, Melbourne Convention Bureau, is proud of the significant business platform AIME has become over it’s 30 years and the far-reaching commercial outcomes the event drives: “AIME enables new and valuable connections to drive commerce not just for us here in Victoria, but for the wider Asia Pacific Region. At the Melbourne Convention Bureau, we are thrilled with the achievements to date in bringing this event to you, for three decades.”
“At the core, we are about business events and providing the best access to key decision makers and the people who make it all happen. AIME has proven itself as an essential platform for this.” she says.
Over 400 hosted buyers and media outlets, 3,000 visitors and more than 350 exhibitors attended AIME, where over 12,000 meetings took place. New zoning on the show floor enhanced networking and navigation and new features - The Accor Hosted Buyers Lounge, a new ‘Tech’ area, and a Wellness Café - improved the delegate experience. A huge kangaroo and a special anniversary lanyard featuring First Nations’ artwork were some of the ‘touches of Australia’ visitors were treated to throughout.
A highly-anticipated Knowledge Program launched AIME on 13 February and saw an inspiring keynote from Australian tennis star, Jelena Dokic. The program addressed industry hot topics around the future of work including how to build a more resilient events community.
Delegates celebrated AIME’s 30-year legacy at a Welcome Event co-hosted by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) on the Marvel Stadium oval. State-of-the-art pearl theming celebrating 30 years was reflected in a directional menu created by Victorian producers, Delaware North. Entertainment from Hot Dub Time Machine took revellers through 30-years of dance tunes.
AIME 2024 will be held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre from 19 -21 February 2024. For expressions of interest or for more information, please visit aime.com.au
A conference for one of Australia’s leading event management companies is kicking off a bumper week of business event activities in Cairns from Monday (March 27) showcasing the destination’s capability to host sustainable meetings, conferences and incentives.
The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) have launched its second edition of the popular interactive Melbourne e-Guide. Educating and influencing business event planners on why the world meets in Melbourne, the latest Melbourne e-Guide highlights the city’s strengths as a leading destination for business events.
Special features include how to create first class VIP experiences at iconic venues such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Flemington and Melbourne & Olympic Parks, to learning how to weave your business event or itinerary program around one of Melbourne’s major events such as the Australian Formula 1™ Rolex Grand Prix.
Event planners will also enjoy learning about Melbourne’s unique new venue offerings for major business events; benefit from an update on the city’s Accor properties; receive tips for hotels with excellent twin-share rooms to consider; and product and venue ideas to take their event to the next level.
MCB chief executive officer, Julia Swanson says the Melbourne e-Guide is an excellent example of the high-quality planning tools MCB produce for event owners, planners and delegates.
“We’ve received positive feedback on the first e-Guide’s useful content, easy-to-read layout, accessible design and itinerary mapping ability,” says Swanson.
“Melbourne is constantly evolving, innovating and adapting to meet new needs in the business events sector. Since launching the first edition in last year, the e-Guide has become an essential planning tool, encouraging both planners and delegates alike to rethink their next visit to Melbourne.”
“Both event planners and delegates will also find the e-Guide’s interactive map, used for researching and creating custom itineraries, a fantastic way to uncover all the exciting offerings available during, pre and post the business event.” Swanson added.
The embedded interactive map in the e-Guide enables event owners, planners and attendees to seamlessly plan their trip and create custom itineraries for site inspections, delegate tours and pre-and-post conference travel, with the aid of videos, images, 360-degree experiences, product descriptors and hyperlinks.
Offering geographic location or category search functions such as Eat, Play, Relax, Conference and Caffeinate, the map is an effective way to familiarise users with how to maximise their time in Melbourne and even provides real time directional features accessible via mobile phones to help guide you through the city.
Melbourne eGuide - top features
- User friendly accessible design read on desktop, tablets or mobile devices
- Intuitive navigation, short and relevant content layout that can be easily shared
- Plan your trip and activities by a geographic and category searchable interactive map
- Create custom conference and event participant tours and itineraries including a real time directional feature accessible via mobile phones.
Tourism Australia supported the launch the Melbourne eGuide via its Business Events Advance Program which partners with industry on activity that aims to increase the number and value of international business events for Australia.
Stay up-to-date on all things innovative, new and popular in Melbourne. Access your copy of the Melbourne e-guide at https://eguide.melbournecb.com.au and start planning your next business event experience in Melbourne.
A carbon offset program for business events and online hubs designed to make sustainable and accessible travel easy to access are among the new initiatives revealed by Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef at AIME 2023.
Business Events Australia has announced Adelaide will be the host city for Dreamtime 2023, its signature incentive showcase designed to increase awareness of and interest in Australia as an outstanding business events destination.
Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) is delighted to announce that it is partnering with Destination Gold Coast as Destination sponsor to deliver its annual conference Evolve 2023.
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has revealed its 2023 menu – "reflecting a commitment to celebrate the city and deliver an extraordinary culinary experience for every guest, every time." says MCEC.
Queensland Airports Limited have welcomed the news that Air New Zealand will be adding two additional flights on its Auckland to Gold Coast route, providing an extra 27,400 seats between the two cities from March 2023.