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Mice Net : June 2009
melbourne industry version of the Oscars for our food and beverage product and service and operations,” Mr Harry said, promising that with the centre operational “it’ll only build on that best practice”. “We’re committed to ensuring we lead the way both environmentally and generally in the way we operate and will continue to assess our operations to ensure we maintain that standard both now and in the future.” As if to prove the truism “if we build it they will come”, the new centre has won major conventions Melbourne would not have held before including: the World diabetes Congress for 12,500 delegates in 2013. Other large delegate numbers are expected in 2013 - International Council of nurses (ICn) 25th Quadrennial Congress, 6000; 2013 - International Congress of Paediatrics (ICP), 5000; 2012 - Annual Meeting of the International Society for Magnetic resonance in Medicine – ISMrM, 4000; 2011 - General Assembly of International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), 4000; while next year it will host the 2010 World Congress in Internal Medicine (WCIM) for 4000. For delegates the new centre is within walking distance of two new hotels, and the burgeoning docklands precinct with its restaurants and bars has been opened up via a new pedestrian bridge part funded by the State Government and Melbourne City Council. Integrated meetings and accommodation Breathing life into a once neglected stretch of the yarra at South Wharf, the centre has spawned the adjacent 60,000 square metre retail development, restaurants and residential buildings, including the integrated Hilton Melbourne South Wharf which debuted on April 16. Apart from a physical connection at lower levels, the MCEC and the Hilton have created “South Wharf Meeting and Events” a seamless facility allowing small to medium meetings and events to book their event using both facilities during the booking process with access to 32 meeting rooms in the centre and eight flexible rooms in the hotel. Hilton’s business intentions are not simply to be the accommodation arm of the convention centre, as evidenced by an aggressive advertised day delegate rate of $99 pp including AV, welcome tea and coffee, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Hilton’s 396 rooms start with a standard 38 square metres of contemporary style and views of either the yarra and the city or the bay. A separate walk-in shower and bath, i-pod connectivity and wireless internet access are among the creature comforts delegates 106 mice.net will enjoy. But Hilton also offers a broad range of room types, which is certain to appeal to corporate meeting planners who often have to appease multiple levels of management with event accommodation and services – so the option of larger 85 square metre suites, plus 32 one and two-bedroom apartments plus complimentary fitness room could be a delegate drawcard. Much has been made of the executive lounge which floats above the yarra and offers a new view of the city and river, but it is the dining option that has Melbourne intrigued: Spanish Michelin-star chef, ramon Frexia, presides with precision and passion over flagship restaurant, Neuvo 37, expected to be popular for formal event dinners; while Sotano, a Spanish cellar-themed space with 7m high ceilings and a 4m high charcuterie tower offers a riverfront terrace lunch option for delegates. Sotano serves unique Barcelona-style tapas, a distinct point of epicurean difference in a city well endowed with other European fare. Unusually the wine cellar is not a cellar, as we define it, but a suspended cage soaring above Jambon-munching patrons, and is home to 5000 of the finest vintages. Proximity to the new MCC is not Hilton’s only claim – its other unique selling point is: “you’re only 25 minutes and two traffic lights from the airport”. multi-million dollar refurb Based in the corridor just outside the CBD that houses Melbourne’s grand boulevard, St Kilda Road, is the 242room Sebel Albert Park Melbourne. It is fresh from a multi-million dollar refurbishment of all rooms and public areas. The Sebel has always been one of the area’s busiest events venues, offering 28 meeting and convention areas over 2600 square metres, naturally lit and able to seat up to 1400 guests. Apart from offering large plenary space it fits exhibition booths and can handle events requiring multiple break-out rooms. With six different room types the Sebel also caters to a range of pricepoints. Adding to the appeal, Mirvac recently appointed highlyregarded Englishman, Andy North as executive chef. Over 20 years he’s won two chef’s hats, has high level experience at Melbourne’s major five-star hotels and was admitted to the American Express Hall of Fame. sWindows Restaurant overlooking Albert Park Lake and the F1 racetrack is his culinary kingdom now.