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  • Melbourne hosts successful BestCities Forum

    February 01, 2024

    Melbourne hosted a gathering of global industry thought-leaders, international associations and partner destinations at the BestCities Global Forum in January. Hosted for the second time in Melbourne (first in 2015), the BestCities Global Alliance annual flagship event is an influential business development and engagement opportunity for key decision makers and international media to see firsthand Melbourne at its finest and our capacity to manage events when they come to the city. 

    The theme of this year's Global Forum Melbourne, "Meeting the Challenge: Creating Connections with Purpose," encapsulates the goals of the event.

    The BestCities Global Alliance, of which Melbourne is a founding member, seeks to harness the power of collaboration and community to create positive impact through business events.

    BestCities Forum Melbourne

    The curated program at this year’s Global Forum was designed to facilitate peer-to-peer connections between associations and engagement with convention bureaux to establish enduring strategic partnerships beyond mere transactions. 

    Melbourne Convention Bureau Chief Executive Julia Swanson said BestCities ambition is to cultivate a community where mutual learning drives the success of business events.

    “We strive to maintain a year-round dialogue and connection within this community, enabling international associations to connect with the Alliances’ 13 global cities and in doing so creating efficiencies as they plan their future meeting rotations.

    “Moreover, our educational offerings addressed the specific challenges faced by international associations. By spotlighting the broader impacts of international business events beyond tourism., we encourage associations to integrate legacy and social outcomes into their strategic plans from the outset.”

    BestCities Forum Melbourne

    Among the highlighted speakers were Mark McCrindle and Mike van der Vijver.  Social researcher, best-selling author, influential thought leader and TEDx speaker, McCrindle is recognised globally as coining the name for the emerging generation, Generation Alpha. Leading meeting designer, advisor and author van der Vijver, steered workshops with engaging debate and discussion surrounding association challenges and optimising meeting design. 

    Olena Lima delivered an insightful session on the membership journey and essential digital trends, while Belinda Moore owner of Strategic Membership Solutions spoke about impactful strategic planning for associations. Of particular interest was the emergence of AI, its integration into business events and the need to develop a strategy around it.

    BestCities Forum Melbourne

    BestCities Global Alliance Managing Director Loren Christie said BestCities is steadfast in its commitment to champion the societal benefits of international association meetings, which was a key focus during the Global Forum Melbourne.

    “Attracting industry thought-leaders, international associations, and member destinations, BestCities’ flagship event aims to unite senior global meeting planners with our BestCities destinations. 

    BestCities Forum Melbourne

    Across the four-day program, the intersection between major and business events was on show throughout with events hosted across several Melbourne and Melbourne Convention Bureau partner venues including venues including Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Marvel Stadium, Pan Pacific Melbourne, The Lume, Madame Brussels, Longrain Restaurant, Cargo Hall, Showtime Event Centre, Aerial, The Langham Melbourne and only in Melbourne experiences such as a visit to the Australian Open at Melbourne & Olympic Parks.

    BestCities Forum Melbourne

    MCB curated an exceptional program and event delivery to showcase how the city’s exciting events calendar, state-of-the-art infrastructure and world-class supply chain can enhance conference and meeting offerings. 

    Engage with the Melbourne Convention Bureau

    Learn more about Why Melbourne and reach out to the MCB team for further information on free Conference Service Support available to international associations.