Plan to use Melbourne venues as vaccination hubs leaves event ‘high and dry’

The Royal Exhibition Building and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) will be used as high-volume vaccination centres by the Department of Health in the next stage of the nation’s vaccine rollout.

“The commencement of these sites in the coming weeks, and other potential locations across the state, will depend on vaccine supply from the Commonwealth,” a Department of Health spokeswoman said.

The MCEC stated that the plans for a vaccine hub have not affected any other booked events at the venue.

“At this stage, the vaccine centre will operate until at least mid-year and will occupy three bays (4,500sqm) within the exhibition centre,” MCEC stated.

“The space will be zoned managed in line with MCEC’s VenueSafe plan.

“We do not anticipate there will be any impact to customers, employees and visitors.”

However, one event company which produces nine consumer exhibitions each year is scrambling to find an alternative venue for their show in May after their booking at another venue was cancelled just 12 weeks out from the event following the vaccine hub announcement.

“We understand the importance of the vaccine roll out,” said a source, who claimed they had been left “high and dry” after having their booking cancelled.

CIM reached out to Museums Victoria but did not receive a response.