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  • Unique venues for MEGA event activations in Melbourne

    July 25, 2023

    Wondering whether Melbourne can cater to your mega international convention or incentive group? The short answer is absolutely. 

    The city recently hosted Rotary’s international convention for 14,000 delegates from 120 countries. The five day convention was held across two of Melbourne’s iconic venues – Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne and Olympic Parks and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), with hundreds of ancillary events held in many of Melbourne’s leading venues.

    In addition to Melbourne and Olympic Parks and MCEC, Melbourne is home to many unique venues perfect for showstopping mega conventions and incentive groups. It's one of the reasons why the Melbourne Convention Bureau continues to secure large business events, including a mega Chinese incentive group for 2025 - one of the largest Chinese delegations to visit Melbourne expected to fill 20,000 hotel room nights. 

    Curious? Here are a few unique venue ideas to consider for your future mega convention or incentive program...

    Southbank Promenade

    Showtime Event Group is a leading event venue and catering company that manages a number of unique event venues dotted along Melbourne’s South Wharf Promenade and within the inner CBD. In addition to their individual venues, Showtime Event Group are experts at activating the entire South Wharf Promenade for up to 6,500 people.

    The promenade is steps away from the MCEC, offering event planners a highly unique and convenient location for an exciting dining and entertainment experience on the banks of Melbourne’s Yarra River.

    Showtime Event Group activate the promenade with their venues Cargo Hall, Polly Woodside,  Aerial and Showtime Event Centre, as well as partnerships with other venues including Common Man, Plus 5, Boho, 53 South Wharf and more.

    Key information for event planners:

    • South Wharf Promenade is adjacent to MCEC, Australia’s largest convention and exhibition centre
    • South Wharf is an inner city suburb of Melbourne minutes from the central business district, with impressive access to a variety of accommodation to suit all budgets
    • Activation includes a three-masted cargo vessel, Polly Woodside, built in Belfast in 1885 that now permanently resides along the promenade
    • Delegates will enjoy views of the Yarra River
    • Easy access to public transport and parking

    Contact the Melbourne Convention Bureau team to find out more about activating Melbourne’s South Wharf Promenade and other venues to host your next incentive or conference program.

    South Wharf Event Activation at Night in MelbourneEvent activation along South Wharf Promenade by Showtime Event Group

    Melbourne Royal®

    Melbourne Royal® represents the city’s largest and most versatile indoor-outdoor event venue, where your creativity for a mega convention, exhibition or gala event knows no bounds.

    Steeped in history, Melbourne Royal® is home to the iconic Melbourne Showgrounds. The showgrounds offer event planners a choice of heritage buildings and purpose-built exhibition and event facilities, including state-of-the-art function venue Victoria Pavilion.

    Event planners will also discover an impressive variety of outdoor spaces set across 19 hectares.

    In total, Melbourne Royal® offers 11 flexible, scalable indoor and outdoor spaces that can house your convention, exhibition and gala event.

    Key information for event planners:

    • ‘Grand Pavilion is an 8,000sqm event space with a ‘big top’ circus tent design
    • ‘Victoria Pavilion’ is a state-of-the-art event space seating up to 1,200 banquet, 2,000 cocktail and 1,850 theatre-style
    • ‘Town Square’ is located in the heart of Melbourne Showgrounds, offering 11,000sqm of outdoor grassed event space, including a grandstand seating 2,275
    • ‘Royal Block’ is a 2,135sqm venue built in 1916 that offers four different function spaces
    • ’Exhibition Pavilion’ is the largest indoor space onsite at 10,000sqm
    • Seven kilometres from Melbourne CBD
    • 15 minutes from Melbourne International Airport

    Contact the Melbourne Convention Bureau team to find out more about Melbourne Royal® and other venues to host your next incentive or conference program.

    Gala event space at Victoria Pavilion set up for banquet eventVictoria Pavilion at Melbourne Showgrounds

    The Commons Collective

    Embrace the unique blend of historic charm and modern elegance at The Commons Collective on the fringe of Melbourne's CBD. With roots in the 1890s, this venue is ready to host up to 1,900 delegates, offering an array of distinctive spaces, each rich with character.

    Imagine your event unfolding across the opulent Ormond Hall, the seductive Bar Moubray, the airy Conservatory and Rose Garden. These unique settings are the backdrop for captivating activations, carefully curated food stations, and sophisticated cocktail bars, engaging your delegates at every turn.

    The heritage-listed Ormond Hall, an art deco theatre with high ceilings and historic charm, creates a remarkable atmosphere of inclusion.

    Bar Moubray, reminiscent of the prohibition era, exudes a dark, sultry allure. On the other hand, The Conservatory and the Beer Garden offer delightful open-air vibes within the comfort of indoor amenities, perfect for winding down under the flickering festoon lights.

    Key information for event planners:

    • Only 5km from Melbourne CBD
    • Blend of historic charm and modern sophistication

    Contact the Melbourne Convention Bureau team to find out more about The Commons Collective and other venues to host your next incentive or conference program.

    GQ ball at art deco Ormond Hall in MelbourneGQ Ball at The Common Collective's art deco Ormond Hall by Karon Photography

    Ariel view of French style bar

    Events Flemington

    Home to the world-famous four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival, ‘the race that stops a nationĀ­TM', Flemington Racecourse is one of Melbourne’s most iconic and cherished event venues.

    Event planners can choose from sixteen event spaces ranging from contemporary to traditional, indoor and outdoor. ‘The Atrium’ is the largest size room at 1,600sqm, with five metre ceilings and the ability to cater for 2,500 cocktail or 900 banquet.

    For a conference format, Event Flemington’s five largest rooms can be used to accommodate between 400 to 1,450 theatre-style. The venue also offers state-of-the-art AV facilities including a three-story LED Super Screen.

    There are 23 race day events held throughout the year at Flemington, with the capability to host large-scale business events to coincide with the races.

    Key information for event planners:

    • Caters to 2,500 for a cocktail reception or up to 60,000 for large-scale outdoor events
    • A backdrop of spectacular grounds and city skyline
    • A host of indoor and outdoor venue options
    • Vehicle bump in access
    • Surrounded by the world-famous Flemington rose gardens
    • Public transport options and access
    • Family-friendly facilities and grounds
    • Internationally renowned through its rich racing history

    Contact the Melbourne Convention Bureau team to find out more about Events Flemington and other venues to host your next incentive or conference program.

    Business Event at Flemington RacecourseTime your business event with a race day at Flemington Racecourse 

    Werribee Open Range Zoo

    Hire the entire Werribee Open Range Zoo for an exclusive evening event and create a memorable experience of a night in Africa. This venue option is a fantastic way for your delegates to get a taste of regional Victoria, native Australian animals and an African Savannah all rolled into one.

    As the sun begins to set, your delegates will be treated to an evening of food, drink, and entertainment, accompanied by the sounds of the zoo’s wildlife. 

    This full exclusive hire allows up to 3,500 people on site and includes a private safari bus experience for up to 2,100 on the Savannah. 

    Marquees are set up on the African Kia Lawn to serve a BBQ dinner and activities can be hosted in their African-themed huts. This exclusive buyout includes scheduled keeper talks, roaming zoo staff to answer questions and access to all wildlife in their natural habitat.  

    Key information for event planners:

    • Werribee Open Range Zoo is located on a 200-hectare property
    • The zoo recreates the look and feel of the African Savannah
    • Home to some of Africa’s most iconic animals as well as wildlife from the grasslands of Asia, North America and Australia
    • Just 30 minutes drive from Melbourne’s central business district.

    Contact the Melbourne Convention Bureau team to find out more about Werribee Open Range Zoo and other venues to host your next incentive or conference program.

    Werribee Open Range Zoo VIP safari in giraffe print open air coach with giraffe in background

    Guests on a VIP sunset tour at Werribe Open Range Zoo

    Marvel Stadium

    Already one of Melbourne’s most unique venues for mega business events, Marvel Stadium’s exciting $225 million upgrade is launching Spring 2023, transforming the venue into one of the world's best sports and entertainment destinations. Watch this space…

    marvel stadium