Melbourne Records Robust Growth across Victoria’s Business Events Sector

27th Nov, 2023

The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) has announced strong results for the 2022/2023 financial year, reporting a 74 per cent increase in economic contribution from secured business events compared to the previous year. The annual results exceeded all targets validating Victoria's appeal as a premier global business events destination, attracting impactful gatherings that substantially bolster the state's economy.

Economic contribution for the state reached $354 million through the successful acquisition of 197 future events, anticipated to attract over 100,500 visitors and occupy over 196,000 room nights across Victoria.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting, MCB Chief Executive Julia Swanson, acknowledged the MCB team’s dedication and lauded their bold and innovative strategies that propelled the sector forward, overcoming challenges of recent years.

“Melbourne’s business events sector has not just rebounded; it is thriving, having transitioned into recovery faster than anticipated. We are now back on par with pre-covid levels, with further growth underway.

“This success is a testament to the collective effort and unwavering support from the Victorian Government, Visit Victoria, City of Melbourne, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, MCB Partners, and industry collaborators, emphasising the effectiveness of our 'Team Melbourne' approach in securing international business,” Ms. Swanson (on the right) said.

Prestigious global association meetings secured for Victoria were highlighted with standout events like the World Chambers Congress 2025 and the inaugural APAC Offshore Wind and Green Hydrogen Summit 2023, as examples of the city’s ability to draw significant and influential events aligned to the state’s priority sectors.

Corporate meetings and incentives events also played a crucial role, contributing $77 million in economic impact for the state from the 58 groups secured. Notable among these is the Amway China Leadership Seminar 2025, expected to bring over 10,000 delegates from China to Melbourne. As one of the largest delegations from China to visit Melbourne, this mega incentive group is a major coup for the state.

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Large-scale conventions, that Melbourne is renowned for, also made a strong return, hosting events like the Rotary International Convention 2023. Throughout the year, a total of 187 events were held, injecting $385 million into Victoria’s visitor economy, showcasing the strength of Melbourne's business events sector.

With the celebration of the Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Event (AIME) 30th anniversary, Ms. Swanson emphasised the enduring importance of the event not just for MCB as owners of AIME, but for Melbourne as the host city and its impact for the global business events industry: “AIME has become a significant business platform over its 30 years and driven far-reaching commercial outcomes.”

“It’s more than just secured meetings and events business that has resulted from AIME across the decades. It’s thirty years’ worth of legacy arising from the connections made during those business events,” Ms. Swanson said.

Chair of the MCB Board, Deborah Beale AM, acknowledged MCB’s considerable achievement: “MCB has a rich history of more than five decades as a high-performing organisation, and this past year’s results come as no surprise and demonstrate the ongoing commitment and passion of the MCB team.

“MCB continues to cement Melbourne’s reputation as a leading global business events destination. We have leveraged our city’s competitive position to ensure an enviable pipeline of future events that deliver impactful outcomes for Victoria, and its business events supply chain,” Ms. Beale AM said.

MCB Board appointments include Ms. Natalie O’Brien, Chief Executive of Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre and Ms. Janette Kendall, an experienced company director with more than 25 years board experience across public, private and not-for-profit organisations spanning a diverse range of industries.

Ms. Beale AM also acknowledged the excellent contribution of Anne Jamieson, as she completes her term on the MCB Board.

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