Are you an association event professional, executive or board member that wonders how Melbourne is chosen to host international conferences, summits and business events related to your industry?
Have you considered how your association’s field of expertise, and the work you are doing on a local scale, could be amplified on the global stage?
The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) works closely with many local association chapters and committees to successfully bring international conferences to Melbourne such as the 2023 Rotary International Convention, Global Entrepreneurship Congress and International Congress of Genetics.
So how does it all work?
MCB builds a relationship with the local chapter of a global association or industry body that holds international conventions and summits.
Alternatively, a local association identifies an opportunity to create an inaugural global summit related to their sector or industry and gets in touch with the MCB to work together.
MCB then project manages the bid submission and identifies and submits applications for potential funding streams to support event delivery.
Ongoing support from MCB
Once an event has been secured for Melbourne, the MCB Convention Servicing department provides bespoke end-to-end event delivery support.
Working closely with you in the lead up to, during and post meeting, your dedicated MCB team will provide a suite of services to ensure the planning process is smooth and the event is attended by the maximum number of delegates.
As each event is unique, MCB works collaboratively with you, tailoring the approach for your business event — whether it be securing financial support, coordinating site inspections or connecting you with the right people, places and products to ensure your event is secured, planned and executed with ease and on budget.
Image: 'Team Melbourne' celebrating 2025 hosting rights of World Chambers Congress. Pictured left to right: Peter King, Minister Dimopoulos, Julia Swanson, John W.H. Denton AO, Paul Guerra.
How MCB Knowledge Partners play a significant role
MCB partners with a number of leading organisations in the knowledge community to drive collaboration opportunities, amplify Melbourne’s position as a global knowledge hub, and support the development of local talent.
For example, MCB Knowledge Partner, the Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute (Bio21 Institute) has been prolific in producing some of Australia’s most internationally acclaimed research in molecular science and biotechnology.
However, it has also made a significant contribution to securing some of the most prominent scientific events for Melbourne.
The Bio21 Institute’s leading academics have collaborated with MCB on securing three premier scientific events over the next two years, that cement Melbourne’s position as a leader in biological sciences.
These include the International Congress of Genetics 2023, General Assembly and Congress of the International Union of Crystallography 2023, and the Congress of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2024.
Combined, these conferences are expected to attract delegates from more than 77 countries and deliver in excess of $67 million to the local economy.
Image: MCB Partner, the Bio21 Institute
Why go to the effort to bring a global summit to Melbourne?
Many local association partners and Knowledge Partners MCB have worked with see value in hosting a global event on Melbourne soil for many reasons, including:
- Supporting knowledge exchange
- Developing local talent
- Identifying trade partners
- Positioning Melbourne as a leader in your industry
MCB Chief Executive Julia Swanson explains that through MCB’s Knowledge Partnerships, the bureau can increase the profile of your association and your event – helped along by engaging industry sectors leaders to participate in and promote your event.
“Our partnerships advocate for strengthening global networks and engagement across industry and academia. We can highlight the importance of your meeting on a global scale – and put the spotlight on research and developments within your association,” said Ms. Swanson.
The value of MCB partnerships and legacy outcomes
Professor Sharon Lewin, Director of the Doherty Institute, has become a household name through her extensive commentary during the pandemic. However, she already has a 10 year relationship with MCB via her work under the Club Melbourne Ambassador Program (CMAP).
Owned and led by the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and supported by MCB, CMAP comprises a group of Victoria’s elite thinkers and leaders who work together to secure and host international conferences in Melbourne.
Professor Lewin says knowledge networks are essential.
“The MCB Knowledge Partnership Program provides a platform for us to attract the biggest and best international conferences to Melbourne and place our world-leading research on the global stage, develop connections to academics to facilitate strong education programs, powerful knowledge sharing and foster world-leading innovations.
“When I think back to AIDS 2014 for example – to the incredible Team Melbourne approach steered by MCB to bring this event to Melbourne.
“Some of the most significant lasting legacies that have changed and improved the lives of people affected [by] HIV around the globe as a result, the true value of a knowledge partnership is realised,” Professor Lewin said.
Image: MCB Knowledge Partner Dr Sharon Lewin
What happens once MCB wins the hosting rights?
MCB offers so much more than a bidding service. As a full-service bureau, MCB can become a strategic business partner for your entire business event.
“We engage what we call ‘Team Melbourne’ to not only support the business development and bid process, but to ensure successful delivery of the event – MCB is there every step of the way, whether the event is held in one or seven years’ time,” explains Ms. Swanson.
“Legacies are as important to the city as they are to the client, so we focus on delivering powerful legacies aligned with the core purpose of the association, lasting beyond the event itself.”
MCB’s free one-stop service includes:
- Sourcing accommodation and venues
- Linking the association to professional conference organisers, key business event products and event suppliers
- Facilitating access to industry experts and working with relevant MCB Knowledge Partners to support your bid journey and delivery of your event program
- Marketing and delegate boosting support
- Providing planning resources such as MCB’s Sustainability Tool Kit
- Providing inspiration for unique experiences including pre and post touring options
Where to begin
It’s easy. Get in touch with MCB today to learn how the team can work collaboratively with you to secure and deliver a successful event that drives tangible outcomes and long-lasting legacies.