Melbourne, the Melbourne Effect and Karen Bolinger

22nd May, 2015

Interviewed at IMEX this week, Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Convention Bureau Karen Bolinger unveiled Melbourne’s new brand positioning for business events and how Melbourne can transform events and people.

The Melbourne Effect was designed to encapsulate the city’s strengths as a meetings, conventions and incentives destination and how this drives success for its clients. “Our previous campaign, Melbourne IQ – The Intelligent Choice for Conferences, which centred around the city’s intellectual capabilities, has worked extremely well for us over the years, however knowledge is just one of the many factors that entice planners to choose Melbourne,” Ms Bolinger said. “We conducted extensive research across our key market segments, international associations and corporate and incentive planners, and what stood out was their desire for a city and bureau to not just tick the boxes, but to facilitate collaboration and deliver real outcomes."

The Melbourne Effect speaks to everything about the city; its ability to transform ideas into innovations, the community into a collaborative force and the everyday into immersive experiences. Meetings allow to create legacies that will last long after the business event is over – research collaborations, policy delivery, membership engagement and empowered employees.

This goes hand in hand with the much-talked-about concept of "place branding" Australians are pioneers of. According to Bolinger, business events go way beyond the financial impact they have on a destination. They're all about knowledge transfer, education, fundraising, etc. Stakeholders all together have to have a cohesive, coherent approach when branding a place, and Melbourne might have understood this like no other destination.

With the expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, due to be completed by 2017, which will allow for events as big as for 20,000 participants, Melbourne is set to remain a major player of our industry.

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