Last financial year, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) contributed over $383 million to the Victorian economy, hosted 349 events and welcomed 1.6 million visitors, including the welcome return of international delegates. Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos this week tabled MCEC’s annual report for the 2021/2022 financial year, demonstrating a growing demand for the return of events. MCEC’s event numbers, delegate attendance and economic impact for the year continued to trend up after the venue reopened to events in earnest in late 2021.

Highlights during the financial year included the national NAIDOC Awards, Oz Comic Con, Melbourne Art Fair and the Good Friday Appeal’s annual Kids Day Out, which attracted more than 80,000 visitors and helped raise a record $22 million for the Royal Children’s Hospital. Early 2022 also saw the return of the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME), marking the first international tradeshow hosted in Melbourne following the reopening of international borders. During the year, MCEC continued its sustainability efforts, launching a new five-year strategy and a commitment to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2030, as well as donating more than 6,000 kg of food through charity partner, OzHarvest.

The year reinforced the industry leadership status of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust, who manage MCEC, with the announcement they will expand and operate the future Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre, opening in 2026. Up until late 2021, MCEC was home to one of the largest vaccination hubs in Victoria across the Covid-19 pandemic, contributing to the State’s successful vaccination program. The venue administered more than 280,000 vaccine doses, helping to reach vaccination milestones, protect the community and reopen the industry.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Steve Dimopoulos, said: “Meetings, conferences and exhibitions attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to Victoria each year, increasing accommodation bookings and delivering a buzz of activity in our restaurants, bars, shops and tourism attractions. Melbourne is a premium business events destination and it’s great to see planners and key decision makers continue to choose Victoria for their business events, supporting businesses and jobs right across the state.”

Peter King, Chief Executive, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, said: “The last financial year saw MCEC begin to recover from the impacts of Covid-19 on our industry. As a business, we didn’t sit still but doubled down on our commitment to customers, the community and the environment. We’re now starting to see the demand for meetings and events bounce back much stronger than initially anticipated, which means we can continue to play a key role in Victoria’s economic growth. We can be confident these results are a sign of things to come, as we maintain momentum toward our future return to the record-breaking revenue and impact we had in the year prior to Covid-19.”

MCET Annual Report 2021–2022 is now available for download.