Released this week was the Melbourne Convention Bureau’s (MCB) annual report, which outlined impressive results for the 2019-20 financial year despite the coronavirus pandemic. During this time, the MCB secured 145 business events for Victoria, which are expected to collectively inject $234.3 million into the state’s economy in the coming years.

Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting, MCB chief executive Julia Swanson said her team was able to reschedule 70 per cent of events planned for 2020 to future years.

“We responded quickly to rapidly changing market conditions with our number one goal to maintain as much future business as possible. This involved continued support to the industry and significant digital transformation with an active focus on maintaining long-lead business,” she said.

Before the business events sector shuttered in March 2020, Melbourne hosted 140 business events previously secured by the bureau, attracting more than 98,6000 visitors – 47 per cent more than the previous year. Together, this generated more than $295 million for the state’s economy.

Julia continued by acknowledging the Victorian Government’s continued support of the bureau, which includes its $9.7 million boost to the Business Events Program aimed at attracting international delegates to the state.

“This year has been one of the most challenging for our industry and this commitment demonstrates that business events will play a large role in recovery efforts for our state and supports a broadened focus of MCB’s business event acquisition into the domestic business events market.

“It will support us to acquire as much business as possible and funnel the economic impact from these events to MCB stakeholders and partners.”