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Mice Net : October 2008
melbourne style, story By Brad Foster I attitude and space Melbourne is entering a new phase of growth in the business events sector that will have other destinations struggling to keep pace. ndeed, Melbourne is already the quintessential city of style. And it is fast becoming the city of choice for high-profile business events. Head of the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau, Sandra Chipchase, is understandably upbeat about what’s been happening and what is happening right now. “This is an exciting time for the city, with many major developments due for completion within the next 12 months, including Melbourne’s new convention centre - the first in the world to be awarded a six Star, Green Star environmental rating,” she says. “The convention centre will be complemented by new hotel developments including a 396-room Hilton hotel, and a new hotel at Crown Entertainment Complex, which will become Australia’s largest at 658 rooms, as well as be beside Melbourne’s exciting new entertainment and lifestyle precinct, Waterfront City. “Waterfront City combines retail, commercial and residential developments and will also become home to a major new Melbourne icon - the Southern Star Observation Wheel, offering a venue space with a difference when it opens in late 2008.” These new attractions alone would be enough for most destinations. But not Melbourne. Developments in the Docklands area at venues including four brand new waterside spaces operated by The Atlantic Group [V] are already finding favour with savvy event planners. And nobody should ever forget Federation Square. This building caused plenty of controversy when it opened in 2002, but since that time it has become a Melbourne icon – embraced by the public and 96 mice.net event planners with its vast array of event spaces. What’s more, the city is doing everything in the business events space with the environment in mind. As Ms Chipchase explains, the MCVB is committed to leading and supporting green initiatives in the business events industry in Australia. “As a part of this commitment, earlier this year the MCVB published Melbourne’s ‘Green Credentials’ Summary Report - a report identifying green initiatives undertaken by various Melbourne and Victorian government bodies and suppliers to the business event industry – which was the first of its kind for an Australian convention bureau. “We have now gone one step further, and published a Green Checklist for Business Events in our Planner’s Guide 2008-09 in order to assist in planning environmentally sustainable events.” Clearly the most exciting development though has to be the opening of the Melbourne Convention Centre next year. National support for the new Melbourne Convention Centre continues to go from strength to strength with a predicted 97 conventions to date expected to inject more than $515 million into the Victorian economy. Twenty-five major international conventions are booked for the new centre which will see more than 58,000 international business travellers visit the city, pouring a massive $371 million into Melbourne and Victoria. Opening in 2009, the new centre is confirmed as one of the world’s “greenest” buildings.