‘I’ll miss MCEC’ Peter King’s decade-long legacy celebrated

(L-R) Peter King and John Brumby next to the red chair at MCEC's plenery.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s (MCEC) outgoing chief executive Peter King has been recognised for his contribution to the business events sector and his work growing the MCEC over the past decade.

In his final month as CEO, King has been celebrated with a permanent tribute installed in MCEC’s Plenary, inducted as a Club Melbourne Ambassador and received lifetime membership of the Exhibition and Events Association of Australasia.

This week, a unique red chair was installed at MCEC’s Plenary space as a nod to his earlier career as a first-class cricketer. The green chairs of the Plenary are designed to represent the grass of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where King once hit a record six into the northern stands. A red chair marks where the ball landed at the MCG, mirroring the new one installed in King’s honour in the Plenary.

King finishes up at MCEC at the end of the year, but he leaves behind a lasting legacy on the centre and broader industry.

“Peter’s contributions to MCEC and the industry over the years are many and numerous,” said John Brumby, MCEC’s Chairperson.

“It’s vital that his achievements are recognised by the business and the industry.

“His contributions transcend the boardroom and can be seen with tangible outcomes on the ground. Peter led the $205 million expansion of MCEC and during Covid-19 when the chips were down, he played a key role in advocating for the interests of the exhibition and event sector.

“He built strong relationships with his team, customers, and stakeholders, and is held in high regard by everyone he worked with. I’m delighted that we can recognise his incredible contribution to MCEC.”

King said he was grateful of the acknowledgements and recognition he received from well-wishers.

“The red chair as a memento at the Plenary is a real honour. Two of my great Melbourne passions are now aligned – the MCEC and the MCC,” he said.

“There are many things I am proud of that have occurred during my time here. Our business, in revenue terms, more than doubled in the years since I arrived. Every successive year saw us increase the size of the business and its impact. The footprint of the venue also increased by about 25% after we added the expansion space which opened in 2018.

“The thing I will remember most is that everything I have achieved has been made possible by the team around me. I’ll miss MCEC. I’ll miss walking through the concourse when it’s filled with hundreds, sometimes thousands of people. The smiles we put on faces, especially kids. And I’ll miss stopping to chat with our team and event organisers to see how everything’s going.

“I’m so proud about what we have done to reinforce our position as one of the best convention and exhibition centres in the world.”