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MCEC Expansion

Construction is underway on the expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), with the new section opening in mid-2018. Fully connected and integrated into the existing centre, the expansion will make the MCEC a more versatile and dynamic venue for business events.


 

Michael Walsh, Director of Strategy and Innovation at the MCEC, says the new area has been architecturally designed to make sure it “has that little bit extra, and is uniquely Melbourne”.

The key to the new space is flexibility: it’s a multipurpose area with fully divisible meeting rooms that can be adapted to clients’ needs. A new theatre will also offer retractable seating for up to 1,000 delegates. 

Walsh says it’s a new approach that places the needs of the user at the forefront: “Historically, it was all about building a big facility and making events work within that space. But we’ve turned that on its head. What we’re doing is making the conference facilities work in with the event and allowing clients to design an experience that suits their needs.”

“In the same space they can run their plenary session; the next day it can become an exhibition space; and the following day it could be a gala dinner space for that same event. It’s really quite a unique and dynamic space for customers to use.”

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre expansion, Melbourne, VIC

The new space will feature a Banquet Room – suitable for gala dinners for up to 450 people – and two courtyard meeting rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide an abundance of natural light.

“People sitting through day-long meeting sessions can find themselves distanced from the outside environment,” says Walsh. “So we see the creation of meeting rooms with natural light and outside spaces as a really positivedevelopment for delegates.”

The expansion will also include casual networking spaces, new retail outlets, and cafés and restaurants. In addition, another 9,000 square metres of pillarless exhibition space will be added, bringing the total exhibition space at the MCEC to 40,000 square metres — the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Atrium at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, VIC

Walsh says the MCEC will also incorporate state-of-the-art technology into its new space: “We have led the way in this for a long time, and we’ve made sure the new areas all have built-in audiovisual capabilities and are saturated with high-density wireless internet.”

From mid-2018, the MCEC will offer more than 70,000 square metres of integrated space. “I think you’re really going to get a feeling of completeness,” says Walsh. “A single venue where you can have all your requirements met.”

MCEC FAST FACTS POST EXPANSION

  • Exhibition space: 40,000 square metres
  • Meeting rooms: 58
  • Largest tiered-theatre capacity: 5,500 people
  • Total meeting room capacity: 15,000 people