Team Melbourne heads to IMEX off the back of record demand for business events


Demand for business events in Melbourne has bounced back faster than expected as Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) travelled to IMEX 2022 in Frankfurt this week to talk to the international market about everything Melbourne has to offer as a destination.

The Melbourne delegation for the first IMEX event since 2019 was led by Peter King, CEO of MCEC, and Julia Swanson, CEO of MCB, who are meeting a significant number of international buyers and potential clients from all around the globe.

Melbourne has not stood still during the pandemic, with a high number of new attractions, hotels, dining offerings and cultural experiences now open in Melbourne and its regions providing more compelling reasons to host business events in the city.

IMEX also provided an opportunity for the team to showcase how Melbourne has demonstrated business events can be conducted with Covid-safe measures in place that don’t compromise the experience as seen with the return of Melbourne signature events like the Australian Open, the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Asia Pacific Incentives & Meeting Event (AIME).

With one of the highest Covid vaccination rates in the world, Melbourne is expecting to welcome 17,600 international delegates across 25 international business events before the year’s end.

The swift return to large delegations is spurred on with international travel made easier with no pre-departure Covid testing requirements or quarantine for fully vaccinated international visa holders.

Aviation access is rebuilding quickly with many routes now re-established and new routes are opening up such as Melbourne to Dallas Fort Worth which connects with a significant market in the mid US.

More from the east coast of the US are expected, while flights out of San Francisco and Los Angeles to Melbourne are starting to reopen over the next few months, as well as long haul from Europe.

“Melbourne’s presence at IMEX has been a significant opportunity to show the world that Melbourne is back in full swing and boost international buyers’ confidence to plan and book their events in Melbourne,” said Swanson.

Business has swiftly returned to pre-pandemic levels at MCEC with May one of the busiest months in the Centre’s history.

“It’s incredibly important for us to be on the front foot when attracting international events back to Melbourne after the pandemic,” said King.

“IMEX is an excellent opportunity for us to connect with international buyers and world leaders in business events and remind them of our world class offering.

“This was the first gathering in three years, so it provided an exciting opportunity for us to speak to buyers and peers about our business transformation, sustainability and what we’re doing next. Although we’ve been busier than ever in 2022, we’re always looking at the future needs of our customers and maximising our world class space for visitors to Melbourne.”