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  • Three ideas for walkable conference programs in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD

    March 25, 2023

    One of the greatest strengths about conferencing in Melbourne is the accessibility between our magnificent conference and exhibition facilities and accommodation located right in the middle of the CBD.

    When delegates arrive into Melbourne, they’re not staying an hour out of town in a nondescript location. They are staying in the pulsing heart of our cosmopolitan city.

    Not only does this remove the need for coach transfers between hotel, conference and gala dinner venues, but delegates can enjoy the short walks to clear their mind, stretch their legs and soak up the city’s vibe.

    It also means your event has a lower carbon emission, as a result of eliminating any real need for transport during the conference.\

    Hosier Lane

    Here are three examples of how you can hold a small or large conference in Melbourne’s CBD and be within fifteen minutes’ walk of all your key venues.

    Example one: Ideal for large conferences

    Stay and conference at the Pan Pacific and be within one to fifteen minutes’ walk from Australia’s largest conference and exhibition centre and impressive venues for gala events.

    Hotel: Pan Pacific Melbourne

    Pan Pacific Melbourne is one of the city’s finest premium hotels and the 2022 winner of Australia’s Best Mice Hotel at the World MICE Awards. The hotel offers 396 spacious guest rooms and suites and direct internal connection to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). Melbourne's most famous attractions and landmarks are also within easy walking distance, such as the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex.


    Pan Pacific offers eight venue spaces, with the largest room accommodating up to 220 delegates theatre style.

    See location of Pan Pacific

    Conference & Exhibition venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC)

    If you require a larger conference and exhibition space, the MCEC is perfectly positioned next to Pan Pacific. Australia’s largest conference and exhibition centre, the MCEC welcome events of all shapes and sizes.


    70,000m2 of scalable, flexible event space.

    Distance from Pan Pacific

    Eight minute walk along the Yarra River or via direct internal connection from hotel.

    See Google map for walking route

    Gala event location: Marvel Stadium

    Marvel Stadium is a state-of-the-art sports, entertainment and conference complex. With over 20 event spaces and an impressive retractable roof, Marvel Stadium has hosted some of the biggest international sporting events and concerts and is a truly unique venue.


    Adjustable spaces and facilities can match the demands of any event; from intimate gatherings, major corporate conferences or world-class live entertainment for up to 10,000 guests.

    Distance from Pan Pacific

    Sixteen minute walk.

    See Google map for walking route


    Image: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

    Example two: Fun and creative

    Stay and conference at the Crown Metropol and be within four to twelve minutes’ walk from Australia’s largest conference and exhibition centre and creative, unique venues for gala events.

    Hotel: Crown Metropol

    With 658 rooms, infinity pool, rooftop bar and ability to host up to 840 delegates, the Crown Metropol offers a playful conference experience in the vibrant Southbank precinct.


    Crown Metropol's business zone features four meeting rooms that can each hold up to 50 guests in a theatre-style setting. Larger conferences can be accommodated at the adjacent Crown Conference Centre, catering for up to 840 delegates.

    See location of Crown Metropol

    Gala event location: The LUME

    THE LUME Melbourne is an outstanding venue for unique gala dinners or cocktail parties and is the only multi-sensory immersive space of its kind and scale in the Southern Hemisphere. Delegates will journey into the world of Monet and the French Impressionists, as the most famous artworks of the era burst to life during a 45-minute feature experience.


    Perfect for 150 to 1200 delegates.

    Distance from Crown Metropol 

    Twelve minute walk.

    See Google map for walking route

    Gala event location: Polly Woodside

    After travelling 1.5 million miles and circumnavigating the world 17 times over, tall ship Polly Woodside is permanently docked at South Wharf and run in partnership with Showtime Event Group.


    The ship can comfortably seat up to 150 people or 300 cocktail-style.

    Distance from Crown Metropol

    Seven minute walk.

    See Google map for walking route

    THE Lume_MCEC 

    Image: Event venue, The LUME

    Example three: Perfect for medical conferences

    Stay and conference in Melbourne’s innovative knowledge precinct.

    Hotel: Ibis Melbourne Hotel and Apartments

    The Ibis Melbourne Hotel and Apartments offer 250 rooms and is located in Melbourne’s knowledge precinct. It’s also within easy walking distance to the famous Queen Victoria Markets, legendary Lygon Street restaurant precinct and a short tram ride to theatres.


    ibis Melbourne's conference rooms are extremely versatile and can cater for small, intimate board meetings through to large 300 delegate conferences.

    See location of Ibis Melbourne Hotel & Apartments

    Conference venue: Melbourne Connect

    Melbourne Connect is the epicentre of digital talent in Melbourne, accessing an extensive pipeline of highly skilled graduates, emerging researchers and thought-leading academics. Powered by the University of Melbourne, the purpose-built Melbourne Connect offers a wide range of premium event spaces, state-of-the-art facilities and resources. It is also home to companies of all scales and stages, including start-ups, spin-outs and scale-ups, through to publicly listed companies.


    Melbourne Connect offers a number of unique event spaces including The Superfloor (3,600m2) and adjacent Forum - a highly versatile space that can host 400 (lecture), 200 (dining), or even be split into three smaller rooms with 100-person capacity for events such as seminars, presentations and workshops.

    Distance from Ibis Melbourne Hotel & Apartment

    Twelve minute walk.

    Google map for walking route

    Gala event location: State Library Victoria

    Originally built in the 1850s, the State Library Victoria offers ten unique event spaces that deliver historical beauty with contemporary refinement, including the stunning Ian Potter Queen’s Hall.

    The library itself takes up an entire city block and is home to art collections, curated records and classic books. The interconnected spaces within the library walls can be used individually or together to create large-scale events. Showtime Event Group is the Library's exclusive caterer and events partner, an industry leader with a proven track record of events.


    Larger event spaces can cater from up to 290 banquets style and up to 520 cocktail-style.

    Distance from Ibis Melbourne Hotel & Apartment

    Seven minute walk.

    See Google map for walking route

    Gala event location: Old Melbourne Gaol

    Completed in the mid-1800s, the Old Melbourne Gaol is one of Australia’s most fascinating and unique spaces. Showtime Events Group is the exclusive caterer and event partner of this remarkable venue steeped in history.


    The Gaol has capacity for up to 120 guests for a banquet dinner or 350 for a cocktail reception.

    Distance from Ibis Melbourne Hotel and Apartment

    Seven minute walk.

    See Google map for walking route

    Melbourne Connect

    Image: Melbourne Connect Knowledge Precinct.

    Ask the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) about conferencing in Melbourne

    These three examples are just a taste of the convenience and accessibility Melbourne offers conference and event planners.

    The MCB provides free assistance with:

    • Identify and bid for conference opportunities
    • Introduction to key stakeholders and knowledge partners in government and private sector
    • Sourcing local event service providers
    • Locating suitable venue and accommodation
    • Program development
    • Delegate boosting support
    • Pre and post touring options

    Contact the MCB team for more information and plan your next conference in Melbourne, the culture and knowledge capital of Australia.