MCEC expansion ‘exceeds expectations’

The $205 million expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has hosted 247 events including a diverse range of meetings, conferences and exhibitions since it opened 12 months ago, helping deliver $1.1 billion to the Victorian economy.

The project added almost 20,000 square metres of flexible space including meeting rooms, banquet rooms and a 9,000 square metre exhibition hall, as well as the 347-room Novotel South Wharf and a multi-deck car park.

MCEC hosted just under 1300 events last financial year and the biggest in terms of attendance was the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal extravaganza, which saw 85,000 people flock to the centre.

Melbourne Street Eatz attracted 55,000 food lovers while the Good Food and Wine Show (30,000), Penny Arcade Expo (20,000) and Schwarzenegger-heavy Arnold Sports Festival Australia (19,000) rounded out the top five.

On Friday, MCEC will welcome 6000 delegates to the Australia-China Economic Trade and Investment Expo.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said they were seeing clear dividends from their investment.

“It’s one thing to have ambition but we need to be able to provide world-leading facilities to attract big events from around the globe – and that’s exactly what the new MCEC does,” he said.

MCEC chief executive Peter King said the expansion has exceeded all expectations.

“We’ve been inundated with interest and our golden expansion has already become an iconic addition to the Melbourne skyline,” he said.

The MCEC also announced that it will host the CODA 2020 healthcare conference which is expected to attract up to 3000 delegates.