Surekha Ragavan
Feb 26, 2019

Melbourne wins biggest ever conference

20,000 delegates will land in the city in 2023, the most ever for an event in the state of Victoria.

Melbourne wins biggest ever conference

Melbourne will welcome 20,000 members from over 200 countries for the 2023 Rotary International Convention. The event is projected to contribute AU$88mil (US$63mil) into the Victorian economy.

The event is also expected to create millions of dollars in economic spinoffs, including the biggest room block in Melbourne’s history for hotels guaranteeing high occupancy levels for up to 50 properties across Melbourne during the off-peak winter season. Meanwhile, convention events will be hosted across two venues: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne & Olympic Parks.

The bid was led by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) and supported by the state and federal governments. Karen Bolinger, CEO for MCB, attributes the win to the city’s capability to meet stringent bid regulations and to cater to specific needs of Rotary delegates and the convention format.

“The MCB’s strong connections and collaboration with government and local suppliers – its ‘whole-of-city’ approach to winning and delivering events in Melbourne – provides invaluable support to Victoria’s visitor economy,” said Bolinger.

“No two events are the same. We recognise the importance of being able to tailor solutions to the individual requirements of such esteemed business events and this requires teamwork. It’s this unity that enables Melbourne to deliver…."

Lara Burnes, general manager, premier events and experiences, for Melbourne & Olympic Parks, told CEI: "The calibre of this event should not be underestimated, and now joins the exciting mix of year-round events hosted at Rod Laver Arena each year including the Australian Open, P!NK, UFC and Elton John.

"Whilst Rotary have not confirmed the finer details of the event just yet, we expect to show off our brand new spaces that are set to open in February 2022 for this event and will be working with Rotary International throughout their planning phase on delivering an extraordinary event."

The win comes on the heels of Australia’s Business Event Bid Fund that was introduced by Tourism Australia last year to provide financial assistance to secure new international business events for the country.

Since its launch in June last year, the program has delivered a AU$$187mil (US$133mil) boost to the Australian economy. On average, every dollar invested in securing events through the fund has generated an additional AU$19 (US$13) for the national economy.

A few wins converted with the help of the fund include the 2019 SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit in Gold Coast and the UITP 2021 Global Public Transport Summit in Melbourne.


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