Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre expansion, Melbourne, VIC
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.”
“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.”
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