June 2, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

Part of the Australian delegation at IMEX Frankfurt, Europe’s largest international business events trade show, which wraps up overnight, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) are making the most of being back on the world stage after nearly three years away and many lockdowns in between.

“It’s incredibly important for us to be on the front foot when attracting international events back to Melbourne after the pandemic,” said MCEC CEO Peter King.

“IMEX is an excellent opportunity for us to connect with international buyers and world leaders in business events and remind them of our world class offering.”

Aligning with the trend amongst other major Australian centres, MCEC says business returned to pre-pandemic levels in May, yielding one of the busiest months in the venue’s more than 26 years of operation.

As international flight routes into Melbourne reconnect – and in some cases debut – and with fewer COVID-19 constraints to travelling to Australia, MCEC is expecting to welcome 17,600 international delegates across 25 international businesses events before 2022 is out.

The city’s business events leaders are using IMEX as an opportunity to discuss global trends in the business events space.

The centre is also using the event as an opportunity to spruik its new and forthcoming developments, including its sustainability focus, new digital art gallery The LUME, located onsite and Melbourne Skyfarm, on the rooftop of a MCEC owned carpark, which is expected to open, after some delays to the original timeframe, late this year.

“This was the first gathering in three years, so it provided an exciting opportunity for us to speak to buyers and peers about our business transformation, sustainability and what we’re doing next,” said King.

“Although we’ve been busier than ever in 2022, we’re always looking at the future needs of our customers and maximising our world class space for visitors to Melbourne.”

MCB’s CEO Julia Swanson indicated the bureau was using IMEX Frankfurt to demonstrate that Melbourne was back in business for events – particularly important for a city that became renowned around the world for its lockdowns during the first two years of the pandemic.

“Melbourne’s presence at IMEX has been a significant opportunity to show the world that Melbourne is back in full swing and boost international buyers’ confidence to plan and book their events in Melbourne,” said Swanson.