January 08, 2023
Not to toot our horn or anything (okay, we are tooting, but for good reason), Melbourne’s impressive track record of securing and hosting successful major business events speaks for itself. It’s one of the many reasons why business events such as the 2023 Rotary International Convention have chosen Melbourne as their destination for 2023, with an estimated 14,000 delegates from over 120 countries and regions worldwide.
Of course, there are significantly more than four reasons to host your next business event in Melbourne. But to keep this short and snappy, we’ve selected four fresh reasons to give you an insight into why Melbourne continues to be where the world meets in 2023 and beyond.
Learn more about our growing hotel room capacity and unique hotel and event venues coming to Melbourne. Find out how the city is championing more and more Indigenous offerings into business events. And discover exciting new infrastructure that will further Melbourne’s reputation as Australia’s Knowledge Capital.
1. We do big (really) well, with more options coming onboard
Did you know that by the end of 2023 Melbourne will provide access to an estimated 42,000 hotel rooms to accommodate delegates? Some exciting big hotels opening this year include the 263-room Ritz Carlton opening in March 2023, which will be the tallest hotel in Australia and boast world-class meeting and event facilities.
Meanwhile, the Rydges Melbourne has been undergoing a significant multi-million dollar refurbishment, with a plan to reopen in June 2023. Their new flagship property will feature one of Melbourne’s largest conference and event venues.
Another major meeting and events hotel slated to open early 2023 is the 600-room Hilton Melbourne Square in Southbank.
Melbourne will also become home to a $340 million, yet-to-be-named purpose-built Collection that will be developed by TFE Hotels, including a 1,000-capacity event conference centre located on a sky bridge that connects two accommodation towers. Another large hotel opening to look forward to is the 500-room, $640 million Shangri-La in 2024.
With so many new hotels in the pipeline for Melbourne and large event venues such as the MCG, Centrepiece, Marvel Stadium and The Timber Yard — plus the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (Australia’s largest of its kind) — our extensive portfolio of major venues are state-of-the-art and extraordinarily unique.
2. We do small well too, but with a big unique factor
There are always new and eclectic venue options opening in Melbourne for the ultimate small to medium business event.
Melbourne recently welcomed the luxurious and unique Ovolo Laneways in late 2022, bringing 80’s Memphis nostalgia to the heart of the city.
The new Le Meridien, on the site of the Palace Theatre, has been redeveloped into a luxury 235-room hotel due to open in March 2023. Maintaining the theatre’s original art deco façade, the venue will cater to the business events market with five event rooms and a 240-delegate capacity in its largest room. The 171-room Voco South Melbourne hotel is also set to open Q1 2023 with four meeting spaces.
Other unique venues to consider include Showtime Event Group partner venue Polly Woodside - a late nineteenth-century, ocean-going trading ship moored along the Yarra River. Or the Melbourne Cricket Ground’s exclusive Committee Room, curated by renowned Melbourne chef Guy Grossi in partnership with MCG events.
The Old Melbourne Gaol offers private dining for small events through to large cocktail party soirees. While The LUME Melbourne is an incredible contemporary event space, with jaw-dropping digital projections on an epic scale. You can even work with their creative team to develop a fully customised, immersive experience for an unforgettable gala do.
3. We are championing new and exciting Indigenous product and experiences
Melbourne is known for serving up the country’s most exciting and diverse cultural offerings to elevate your business event, and Indigenous businesses and cooperatives are actively contributing to these experiences.
Melbourne events catering business, Mabu Mabu, is Torres Strait owned and operated and serves up catering menus from morning teas to evening share dishes. Think strawberry gum scones with hibiscus jam and cinnamon myrtle whipped cream or kangaroo skewers with saltbush chimichurri.
While in Melbourne’s Federation Square, Big Esso by Mabu Mabu, with chef Nornie Bero at the helm, is an all-day bar and kitchen that whips up Indigenous food in the form of share plates and seasonal dishes using native ingredients.
Planners can also incorporate experiences such as an Aboriginal guided walk at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria into their conference schedules. Delegates can take a break outdoors, hear how local Aboriginal groups lived off the land and learn more about local ecosystems, and flora and fauna.
The Melbourne Convention Bureau offers a free service to event planners to help identify and connect planners with Indigenous businesses and cooperatives catering to the business event industry. Get in touch with our sales team to find out more.
4. We are forward thinking, investing in infrastructure to attract academic and professional minds.
Melbourne is a city of great minds and a place where the world’s brightest thinkers gather to inspire, innovate and deliver real change.
The Melbourne Convention Bureau works closely with its world-class Knowledge Partners, such as the Doherty Institute, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology and purpose-built innovation precinct, Melbourne Connect, to attract events that leave valuable legacies to the state.
New infrastructure initiatives that will continue to help connect event delegates to the country’s leading academic and professional minds include the Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct and the Arden Precinct.
Located on the former General Motors Holden site in Geelong, the Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct is undergoing a major transformation to put Victoria at the forefront of global innovation in advanced manufacturing, engineering and design. It will also encourage collaboration between industry and academia, with the University of Melbourne leading the way.
Victoria’s renewal of the Arden Precinct will transform the site it into a globally recognised destination for innovation and industry collaboration. Its location and connectivity of the site will also present Arden with a unique opportunity to leverage and complement the success of Melbourne’s Biomedical Precinct in Parkville – one of the world’s leading research hubs for health, technology, life sciences and education.