AIME 2016: MCEC continues to build for the future

By Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 23 February, 2016

It’s all hands on deck at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), with 2016 promising to be another busy year as the venue continues to plan for its $210 million Stage Two expansion.

Following on from a record-breaking year where it was revealed that MCEC contributed almost $1 billion of economic impact to Victoria’s economy, several key projects have recently commenced which aim to enhance both the customer and visitor experience.

MCEC’s Chief Executive, Peter King said that it is an exciting time to be involved with MCEC and for Melbourne to play host to such an innovative and financially healthy venue.  

“As we get closer to finalising plans for our expansion, we’re working hard to ensure that our business is in the best possible position it can be, across all departments,” Mr King said.   

“We’ve spent a great deal of time streamlining our processes and identifying opportunities to improve our services, highlighted by our customer journey research, so we can continue to meet the evolving needs of our customers.”  

Food and Beverage Additions 

With the recent appointments of Senior Food and Beverage Manager, Neil Mather and Executive Chef, Peter Haycroft, several significant food and beverage projects have quickly gathered momentum.

In April 2016, MCEC will launch its new permanent café, ‘The Shed’, located in the Exhibition Centre. This destination café will offer a wide selection of products made in-house by MCEC’s talented chefs, to be enjoyed by event delegates and Melburnians alike, while taking in the spectacular city and Yarra River views in an indoor-outdoor setting.

The Shed is designed to showcase what we do best. From our house-baked sourdough to our yoghurt and ice creams, we’ll be serving up a wide array of products to give local and international visitors an award-winning taste of MCEC,” Mr Mather said.

MCEC’s 2016 Menu Planning Guide will be officially launched at AIME, with more than 30 per cent of menu items newly developed or recreated, with Peter Haycroft adding his own signature style.

New additions include a ‘Streets of Melbourne’ canapé party, offering up a true taste of Melbourne inspired by the city’s multicultural food landscape and iconic eating destinations.

Additionally, a seasonal feature menu will be offered, providing customers with a premium menu option that ensures guests have access to the best quality produce on offer at the time of their event.

Upgrades to Technology

Recent upgrades to Clarendon Auditorium have officially completed MCEC’s $3 million digital signal project. Following customer feedback to help segment the space during more intimate events, a new blind system along with a state-of-the-art audio desk have also been delivered.  

Three new ultra-high definition 4K projectors in Plenary, which are 50 per cent brighter and deliver four times as much detail as full high definition, have also been installed. MCEC’s $580,000 investment in this new technology is expected to save customers up to 60 per cent on some services, with the in-house capabilities offering a lower entry point on wide screen displays without compromising image quality.

“Our asset replacement program is currently a key priority, to ensure all of our existing equipment and infrastructure is updated to integrate smoothly with the new building’s capacity and connectivity,” Senior Manager of Technology Services, Paul Rumble said.

“We’re investing a further $3,600,000 this year in rigging, lighting and vision capital works, which will ensure that MCEC maintains its world-leading position in the market,” Mr Rumble added.  

Training and Development

New Training and Development Officer positions in both Food and Beverage and Technology Services are part of a wider plan to ensure MCEC’s team is equipped with the right skills and expertise to continue to deliver memorable event experiences.

A 100 per cent increase in full-time technicians and the addition of Technical Directors and Specialists in audio, vision, lighting, multi-media and rigging will allow MCEC to offer customers a more tailored and focussed approach. 

Investment in technology solutions and upgrades for MCEC’s own in-house training facilities will also occur, to ensure employees have access to the best training programs. 

“Our people are key to MCEC’s success and we’re committed to attracting the best in our industry, especially as we head towards a significant and exciting period of growth,” Mr King said.  

“Our forward bookings and business outlook remains incredibly healthy – there has never been a better time to be a part of the MCEC team.”

Source: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre