Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) has closed the 2015/16 financial year (FY) on a high, delivering some of its strongest ever results for Victoria.
MCB achieved $310 million in economic contribution for the state, an increase of 32 per cent on annual targets, from 200 events and 69,000 delegates secured, incorporating the international association and incentive business sectors.
Melbourne's incentive business had the strongest year on record, with 109 events secured which will deliver over 23,00 delegates and $107 million in economic contribution.
This success can be attributed to a number of significant wins, including Perfect China which will be one of the largest incentive travel reward groups ever in Victoria, and will bring 6,000 delegates to the city and regional areas, contributing $33.4 million to the economy in 2017.
Also secured was AIA Hong Kong Insurance, China Life Insurance and Taiwan Life Insurance groups, which combined will contribute $16.9 million to the economy and bring 3,650 delegates to the state.
The international association sector continues to be Melbourne's strength with 30 events secured which will deliver over 30,000 delegates and contribute $160 million to the economy.
Karen Bolinger, MCB Chief Executive Officer said "with Melbourne being Australia's knowledge capital with thriving research and innovation hubs, we were able to secure high-profile and high-yield international association conferences across various industries.
"Some of the highlights include VidCon 2017, one of the world's most high profile video conferences and the first time ever it will be held in Australia, The International Conference on Composite Materials 2019, Commonwealth Law Conference 2017 and 15th Meeting of the Asia Pacific Federation of Pharmacologists 2024," Ms Bolinger said.
Medical and health conferences continue to be the most lucrative, with 10 events secured in the sector combined delivering $61.4 million to the economy and over 10,000 delegates.
"Victoria is internationally recognised as a leader in the health and medical field thanks to our world-class research centres, hospitals and universities, which are home to some of the world's brightest minds," Ms Bolinger said.
A major coup was winning the World Congress of Nephrology in 2019 which will attract 4,000 delegates and deliver $24 million in economic benefit.
Ms Bolinger said the organisations performance demonstrates the benefit of business events for the state.
"Business events are the highest yielding sector of the visitor economy, delivering $9.8 billion to the Victorian economy annually. The average stay for conference delegates is six nights, with much of this business coming during the winter months, an added bonus for the city.
"This year Melbourne Convention Bureau implemented a number of strategies to ensure that efforts were focussed on winning business that delivered the most benefit back to the state, stakeholders and partners.
"As a result we have increased the number of delegates secured by 53 per cent. These are new visitors to the state who would not have come had we not won this business. These delegates will now be staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants and visiting our attractions.
"I would like to acknowledge the support we have received throughout the year from the Victorian State Government, City of Melbourne, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and our industry partners - who like us recognise the benefits of business events in driving economic prosperity," Ms Bolinger said.