As a premier destination for delegates and event planners, Melbourne is ever-changing its offering providing an array of new reasons to host business events in the city. CIM Business Events spoke with Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) Chief Executive Julia Swanson about some of the newest exciting things coming to Melbourne in 2022.
“A high number of new attractions, hotels, dining offerings and cultural experiences are now open in Melbourne and its regions making it a great time to be hosting an event in Melbourne,” said Swanson.
“Business events will be spoilt for choice with a range of new openings like the Oakwood Premier Melbourne and Hyatt Centric by Hyatt providing exciting new options for our clients, with the hotly awaited Ritz-Carlton destined to be an attraction in its own right when it opens later this year.”
Oakwood Premier Melbourne is Australia’s first Oakwood Premier hotel in Australia and the first five-star ‘hybrid’ hotel, designed with rooms 392 rooms for both guests on short stays as well as studios or one and two-bedroom apartments which are perfect for extended stays.
“This 40 storey debut hotel for Oakwood Premier in Melbourne is set to inspire guests. Four function spaces of various sizes are available to host business events and celebrate special occasions in a quiet and private pocket of Southbank,” said Swanson.
“For end of the day networking with unbeatable views, head to the rooftop bar, Sky Bar Melbourne. Ideally located for business trips, guests are within walking distance to Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne’s incredible dining scene and the Yarra River is at the doorstep.”
Recently opened, Hyatt Centric Melbourne features 277 guestrooms and a premium restaurant inspired by Melbourne’s local foodie scene all within minutes from the city’s Docklands and Southbank precincts.
“Melbourne is known for its rooftop bars and guests won’t be disappointed when they head to TOMA Restaurant and Bar located on the 25th floor to enjoy spectacular views across Melbourne’s Yarra River,” said Swanson.
Meeting planners take note, Hyatt Centric Melbourne’s contemporary unique event spaces offer versatile solutions and are equipped with the latest audio visual technology. With 210 square metres of stylish space, plus a beautiful 248 square metre alfresco terrace, Hyatt Centric Melbourne provides a memorable location to hold business meetings, professional conferences and work celebrations.
Opening in 2022, the hotly anticipated Ritz-Carlton will take centre stage in the city skyline. Featuring 263 luxury hotel suites with quality finishes, guests will enjoy state-of-the-art bathrooms, breathtaking views, luxurious amenities including day spa, restaurants and bars, concierge services, function rooms, business centre, 500-seat grand ballroom, and outdoor garden terrace.
“This is one hotel that will certainly be a showstopper. Upon arrival guests will enter the hotel lobby via the porte-cochere and take a direct elevator straight to the hotel’s sky check-in on level 80, where breathtaking panoramic views across Melbourne’s CBD and beyond can be enjoyed,” Swanson said.
For those wanting to take their strategy meetings further afield, Swanson suggests the InterContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula where a new era of seaside glamour awaits at a locally loved landmark offering next-level, retreat-style ambience for team building activities or incentive group itineraries.
Guests will enjoy the harmonious blends of rich history with contemporary design creating a luxurious ocean side retreat. Wake up to the sea breeze before spending the day soaking up the relaxed alfresco lifestyle of the Mornington Peninsula. Not just an incredible stay, Intercontinental Sorrento’s venue space offers meeting and conference spaces that are ready to live the next generation of meetings of minds, moments of discovery and soulful connections. Mornington Peninsula is only 90 minutes from Melbourne.
MCB’s close relationship with clients and the industry to curate bespoke itineraries is why corporate meeting and incentive groups choose Melbourne.
“The proximity of the city to country and coast is very attractive with corporate meeting and incentive groups and pre-and post-conference touring options, particularly those interested in nature-based activities,” said Swanson.
One of the newest offerings providing a once-in-a-lifetime incentive experience for delegates is the Grampians Peaks Trail where participants hike through the backbone of a mountain range famed for its dramatic scenery and Aboriginal heritage.
The 160-kilometre trail, located three hours west of Melbourne, stretches the length of the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park and features dramatic mountain peaks, rugged rocky outcrops, unforgettable panoramas and the ancient Aboriginal heritage of Gariwerd. Stage one is already open with a 36-kilometre, 3 day/2 night hike through the rugged interior of the national park, beginning and ending in Halls Gap.
And for those not wanting to work up a sweat, welcome your team aboard The Q Train. MCB is proudly partnering for the first time with this award-winning restaurant that travels along the historic Bellarine Railway between Drysdale and Queenscliff. During a lunch experience that showcases the best of the Bellarine, guests can enjoy views of Swan Bay and local scenery.
Packages are available for your team to sail directly from Docklands to Portarlington on board Port Phillip Ferries where your group will be met and transported to The Q Train.
“It’s never been easier to depart Melbourne and take a business meeting or networking event offsite. Making for a memorable day on the Bellarine, every minute of the journey is as much a part of the adventure as the destination itself,” added Swanson.
Last not but by no means least, take your next event experience to new heights with incredible views at Melbourne’s SkyFarm.
The result of a collaboration between three Melbourne-based sustainability companies, SkyFarm is the transformation a 2000-square metre rooftop car park into an urban farm and environmental oasis in the heart of the city. Located in Melbourne’s emerging Seafarers precinct, it directly overlooks the Yarra River and Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Opening to the public in the second half of 2022, visitors can tour the working farm, visit the orchard, dine at the sustainable café, have a drink on the deck, hire unique event spaces, attend classes at the environmental education centre.