As we close FY1516 I am proud of the changing landscape of business events in Victoria, and broadly in Australia.

The unification of Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), Tourism Victoria and Major Events Company to form Visit Victoria, is demonstrative of the evolving visitor landscape, and the State governments recognition of the significance of the business events sector.

Visit Victoria will be a unified organisation with MCB as a subsidiary, working to sell Victoria's strengths nationally and internationally. The alignment of tourism and major events with business events illustrates the government's commitment to conventions as a major component of a successful visitor economy, which translates to greater opportunities for you, our partners.

Add to this the recent announcement of the Victorian State Government's $205 million investment in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre expansion, and the stage is set for business events to be a driving force of the visitor economy.

To all our members who attended our Extraordinary General Meeting or voted by proxy I would like to thank you for your support and vote of confidence in MCB. Rest assured we still need your investment and support as we are not fully funded by Visit Victoria, and as we work intently to continue to deliver large international conferences.

We have been working hard to secure more business for Victoria, with recent association conference wins including the Meeting of the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists 2020 expected to attract 850 delegates and the 11th World Congress on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 2019 attracting 800 delegates.

Additionally, we won the right to be the first ever city in Australia to host VidCon, the world's largest online video conference, and will be among the first two cities ever outside of North America to host VidCon, which in 2010 attracted 20,000 attendees.

Our incentives teams based in China, Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne have had a bumper year, increasing incentive delegates secured by 106% on last financial year with a couple of large events such as Perfect China and Taiwan Life Insurance bringing over 6,500 delegates in the next 18 months.

Our future is bright, and I look forward to successfully continuing to convert new business for you.

Kind regards,

Karen Bolinger
Chief Executive Officer
Melbourne Convention Bureau