As Melbourne celebrates Knowledge Week, the city's intellectual capacity continues to be a key driver in securing highly lucrative business events.
International association conference wins in the health, business, engineering and science sectors have led to an excellent first quarter for Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) further cementing the city's reputation as Australia's knowledge capital.
"We are outperforming our results when compared to this time last year, continuing to deliver for Melbourne and recognising the wonderful pool of talent in our research institutes, hospitals and universities with whom we work closely to attract these business events," said Karen Bolinger, MCB Chief Executive Officer.
"Our unique Team Melbourne approach of collaborating with partners city-wide means we continue to secure events by leveraging the skills, knowledge and experience of these experts in their respective fields and who are champions of Melbourne and Victoria," Ms Bolinger said.
In the first quarter of 2015/16 MCB has achieved:
• A 69% year on year increase in total events won
• More than triple the expected economic contribution from large international association conferences, to $22.6 million, and international delegate room nights
• A 62% year on year increase in international incentive programs.
Ms Bolinger announced the results at the conclusion of Melbourne Knowledge Week, a City of Melbourne initiative that celebrates Melbourne's science, technology, business and learning industries.
"This is the ideal time to celebrate our first quarter achievements, as Melbourne's world-class knowledge community is a central reason that we secure these events," Ms Bolinger said.
MCB last night jointly hosted with the City of Melbourne and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre a Knowledge Week event for academics and industry leaders to encourage their involvement in bringing more business events to the city.
"Melbourne's intellectual capacity, led by these academics, scientists and medical professionals, helps drive the Victorian economy by attracting valuable international association conferences, which support jobs growth, infrastructure investment and the development of priority industries," Ms Bolinger said.
These industries are the Victorian State Government's priority sectors and include medical, health and a range of other technologies, professional services and agriculture.
Among the seven international association conferences won during the first quarter, and to be held between 2016 and 2019, are the International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences, the International Society for Hip Arthroscopy Annual Scientific Meeting and the Digital Games Research Conference.
"Victoria has significant and globally recognised expertise in priority growth industries, which is reflected in these wins across the engineering, business, health and science sectors," Ms Bolinger said.
"We will continue to share the good news about the broader economic and community benefits of international business events, once again hosting Business Events Week early next year."
This will coincide with the prestigious Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo from 23-24 February 2016.
"Like Melbourne Knowledge Week, this is an opportunity for us to share with the broader business sector and general community the value that business events deliver for Melbourne and Victoria," Ms Bolinger said.
A full Business Events Week program will be released by the end of the year.