Home » Experts & Interviews » [MCEC CEO] Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the first 6 star Green Start rated centre in the world

[MCEC CEO] Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the first 6 star Green Start rated centre in the world

“Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the first 6 star Green Start rated centre in the world.”


Since the Melbourne Convention Centre opened, it has been fully integrated operationally with the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, which opened in February 1996. The State government announced the development of a new convention centre as part of a major precinct development project in April 2004, and the State of Victoria and the City of Melbourne injected $370M and $43M respectively in order to carry out the project. The development of the precinct was a public-private sector partnership project and implemented by a consortium, the Plenary Group.

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is Australia’s leading venue for business events and the first six star Green-Star-rated centre in the world. The centre has represented leadership in best practice, innovation and sustainability. It was also the first centre to provide complementary Wi-Fi service to all visitors and has continued to reinforce to enhance the industry standards in a broad range of service options.

The centre features 52 meeting rooms of various sizes; 30,000 square metres of pillar less exhibition space along with a grand banquet room and a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose plenary and is located at the heart of the central business district. The centre annually hosts over 1,500 business, cultural and entertainment events and attracts approximately 250,000 visitors, and it is the venue of AIME.


GMI: Mr. King, please briefly introduce the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to our readers.


Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) understands connections are what make an event memorable. It’s about having the right spaces for people to connect. Leading technology to drive creativity. Fresh award-winning food made in-house. Teamed with people who have the skills and experience to help you bring it all together.

MCEC is the place to connect people and ideas. Our multi-functional Plenary, 52 meeting rooms and 30,000 square metres of pillar-less exhibition space are just the beginning. We’ve hosted everything from meetings, conventions and exhibitions to concerts, tradeshows and gala dinners.

GMI: What are the primary goals and objectives of your organization?


Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s (MCEC) team want to continue delivering memorable event experiences and ensure our customers are happy. We also want to be renowned as the world’s best venue leading the way in service, food and technology.


GMI: What are the key competitive advantages (i.e. strengths and assets) of MCEC?


MCEC has a great reputation for connecting people with leading technology, award-winning food made in-house and people with the skills and experience to bring successful events together.

We have a great team who embrace new ideas, creativity and are experts in their fields: from event planning and sales, to food and beverage and operations.

From a destination perspective, there is an ease of doing business at MCEC due to our proximity to the city and the collaborative nature of Melbourne.

We are proud to have a great relationship with the Melbourne Convention Bureau who we work closely with on securing national and international business events.


GMI: Apparently you have a strong commercial background across a broad range of market sectors. What is the core business development strategy you’ve employed to tackle potential pitfalls and obstacles to pursue the sustainable growth of MCEC? (perhaps in the perspective of the business events industry in comparison to other sectors)


The last 12 months have been focused on ensuring we have the right event delivery capabilities and organisational structure in place to deal with the next three years which will be the biggest in MCEC’s history.

Beyond this we are looking are building long term relationships with our customers and the local Melbourne community and continuing to tell good news stories about the business events industry.


GMI: What has been the outcome (and/or major accomplishments) of the recent expansion project took place in 2009?


Annually we deliver in excess of $250 million into Victoria’s economy as a result of the major business events MCEC hosts, reinforcing Melbourne’s status as the number one business events destination.

We are fully booked for the next three years and running at 100 per cent capacity.

Because of our unique venue capabilities we’re hosting some of the largest medical international conferences to date, including the World Diabetes Congress in December 2013 which will attract more than 12,000 delegates and the International AIDS Conference in July 2014 which will attract in excess of 14,000 delegates.

Our Club Melbourne Ambassador Program continues to grow from strength to strength with our Ambassadors, influential in their scientific, medical and professional fields, helping secure 70 international events for MCEC since its inception in 2005.

MCEC’s achievements have been recognised by industry too.

MCI Group’s President Roger Tondeur announced at Business Events Week during AIME in February 2013 that he considered MCEC to be the leading centre in the world.


GMI: Where do you see MCEC in 10 years? Any future plans in specific?


More demand is expected with the closing of Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre and we are continuing to look at funding models for the expansion of our exhibition space despite missing out in the recent Victorian State Government budget announcement.

We are expanding the size of our industry brief and looking at hosting a greater diversity of events. This mix of business will ensure we broaden the use of our space and infrastructure to engage and benefit the local community and economy.

MCEC are committed to regularly upgrading technology and consistently refining the services it provides to customers. More than ever we’ll be looking at new and creative solutions to continue delivering successful events.



Peter King joined the Melbourne convention and Exhibition Centre as Chief Executive in February 2012. An experienced Chief Executive, Mr. King has a strong commercial background across a variety of market sectors in Asia and the Pacific – from venue and event management to branded consumer product sales and marketing.

Mr. King has worked in a number of senior sales and marketing roles in the sporting goods industry at Puma Australia, both in Melbourne and Sydney.

He then became Chief Executive of the US Sunbeam/Coleman, a multi-national company. Mr. King was the Chief Executive Officer of Asia Pacific for nine years, with offices in four cities around the region.  More recently, he was the Chief Executive of the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW based at Sydney Olympic Park.


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