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3 July 2015

Melbourne's knowledge economy securing new business and driving growth

Brainpower is positioning Melbourne on the world stage, attracting lucrative business events and helping drive the Victorian economy by supporting jobs growth, infrastructure investment and developing future industries.

The city's global reputation as a knowledge centre has helped Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) secure multiple international association conferences for the city over the first six months of 2015.

"These 18 major conferences will attract thousands of world-leading academics, scientists and medical professionals to Melbourne and Victoria between 2016 and 2021, and reinforce world awareness of Melbourne as a centre of excellence in science and medicine," said Karen Bolinger, MCB Chief Executive Officer.

Benefits from these business events will flow into the broader community, validating the need for continued public and private investment in expanded meetings and visitor infrastructure across Melbourne.

The conferences will deliver to Melbourne 14,600 delegates, who will stay long enough to fill every hotel bed in the CBD for more than four consecutive nights. Victoria will gain an estimated $65 million in economic contribution from the conferences.

"Victoria has significant and globally recognised expertise in future industries, which is reflected in these wins, which cover sectors including engineering, agriculture, business, public health and infectious diseases," Ms Bolinger said.

"Our ‘Team Melbourne' approach to attracting business events connects many part of the city and helps produce long-lasting social legacies beyond the actual conference.
"MCB promotes Melbourne as a uniquely collaborative business events destination, giving conference organisers compelling reasons to choose us, which in turn means dollars flow into infrastructure construction and help create jobs in traditional and knowledge sectors."

Peter King, Chief Executive Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, said: "MCEC is a world-leading venue where leaders in their fields gather to learn, connect and share knowledge.

"With the announcement of MCEC's expansion, we will be in a position to attract more international conferences to Melbourne and retain our position as Australia's number one business events destination."

"The investment supports the work MCEC conducts with Melbourne Convention Bureau to attract major business events to Victoria to support the growth and development of this sector."

Major wins secured by MCB include:

• World Congress on Controversies in Obstetrics Gynaecology & Infertility - Asia Pacific Chapter 2016
• IEEE Power and Energy Society Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies - Asia 2016
• International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging 2017
• World Congress on Science and Football 2019

Club Melbourne Ambassadors played a vital role in securing seven of the bid wins, with Ambassadors leading the bid and championing the process with MCB.

"We congratulate our Club Melbourne Ambassadors on their role in aiding Melbourne and Victoria to secure major international conferences which create lasting legacies for the city and state," Mr King said.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said: "I think there are two reasons that we are winning such important conferences.

"The first is the remarkable partnerships between the City of Melbourne, MCB, MCEC and the State Government that enable us to offer a holistic bid.

"Melbourne is also well-known for embracing these conferences across the broader city and there's no better example of that than AIDS 2014.

"The second reason I think we are successful is that we have developed a world-wide reputation, particularly for medical and technical conferences. We were the first city to stage the four big medical conferences in one year: haemophilia, cardiology, AIDS and diabetes."

MCB will continue to promote Melbourne as a premier destination for business events with the integration of its new brand positioning, The Melbourne Effect, across all channels and markets, including activation at key trade events in Australia and internationally.

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