MCEC explores Unconventional Ideas as it looks to shape new future

Over the past two and a half days, more than a hundred innovators and thought-leaders from the events industry have taken part in a virtual idea generation hackathon as part of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s (MCEC) inaugural Unconventional Ideas event.

The event brought together in-house experts, as well as customers and stakeholders within the sector, to workshop and pitch business ideas for MCEC to a panel of judges, including Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp, AFL star, television personality and hotelier Luke Darcy and MCEC Chair and former Victorian Premier John Brumby.

Many of the ideas dealt with new and unexpected ways to use MCEC’s facilities and expertise.

“MCEC Unconventional Ideas is a first for our business and is designed to position MCEC for success in the future, ensuring we remain an industry leader, a preferred partner and a innovative, successful business,” said Peter King, MCEC chief executive.

“The past two and half days have been an opportunity to shape a new future for MCEC, our industry and maybe even our city.

“Like many in the event sector, we found ourselves unable to perform our core business, so we made the decision to embark on a ‘business relaunch’ journey to secure MCEC’s future, in this ‘new normal’ that we find ourselves in.

“Over a condensed two and a half days, MCEC Unconventional Ideas participants experienced an intensive version of the idea exploration process that all MCEC initiatives are currently following. It’s an exciting and dynamic way to work.”

Teams with a mix of MCEC employees and external partners worked across 12 ideas, with the event culminating in a final pitch to the judging panel.

“We believe the secret to ongoing success, is great partnerships,” said Helen Fairclough, MCEC’s new director of business relaunch.

“It’s working with employees, customers, suppliers and stakeholders who are willing to be brave, to innovate and to disrupt.

“We invited creative thinkers and entrepreneurial minds, industry leaders and achievers, the analytical and the innovators and asked them to submit their unconventional ideas and were blown away by the response, with well over 50 ideas submitted.”

The four winning ideas from MCEC Unconventional Ideas will now proceed to the next phase of further exploration or delivery.