Melbourne is soon to welcome an AUD $200 million expansion to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). Set to open in mid 2018, the additional space means MCEC will be the largest convention and exhibition space in Australia, taking the total size to over 70,000 square metres.
Energy use for the MCEC expansion will be offset by a wind farm project, that will enable the venue to purchase renewable energy certificates equivalent to the projected electricity consumption for the expansion.
MCEC’s Chief Operating Officer, Leighton Wood said the MCEC was inspired to become involved in this project because it recognised the positive difference it would make for the wider community.
“As an important public asset, it is our duty to improve our environmental impact and live up to the sustainability expectations of our stakeholders – our customers, our employees, our Club Melbourne Ambassadors, and our local community.”
Among the new features of the expansion will be 9,000 square metres of flexible spaces that can be quickly and easily adapted to cater for different style events - from boardroom to ballroom to cocktail function and more. New additions include a 1,000 seat theatre, additional exhibition halls and meeting rooms, a banquet room and a more dining options.
Commenting on the flexible spaces that the venue will boast, Director of Strategy and Innovation, MCEC, Michael Walsh said: “To create a truly innovative space, we listened to our customers. There is demand for greater efficiencies when it comes to hosting events. Businesses want to avoid logistical nightmares moving large groups of people from a large convention centre to an intimate gala dinner space”.
Some features already completed at the venue are a new central staircase, a skylight over the new foyer space and distinctive gold exterior panels to represent Victoria’s historic goldfields.
In line with Melbourne’s reputation for food, the expanded MCEC will continue to focus on locally sourced food, offering bespoke menus based on delegate tastes and what’s in season.
The expansion is part of a larger Melbourne project that includes the recently opened 347-room Novotel Melbourne South Wharf. The new four-star property is fully integrated with the MCEC, connecting delegates directly to the centre through the hotel’s lobby.