MCEC explores ‘unconventional’ ways to utilise venue

Doors might be closed but the MCEC team are busy coming up with new business ideas for the venue.

More than 100 thought-leaders from the events industry have pitched creative business ideas to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) team as part of its inaugural Unconventional Ideas event.

Over two and a half days, in-house experts, customers and stakeholders within the sector took part in a virtual idea generation hackathon, where they submitted business ideas on new, unexpected ways to use MCEC’s facilities in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

The ideas were presented to a panel of judges including Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp, AFL star, television personality and hotelier Luke Darcy and MCEC chair and former Victorian Premier John Brumby AO.

MCEC chief executive Peter King said the event was designed to help position the venue for success in the future.

“Like many in the event sector, we found ourselves unable to perform our core business, so we made the decision to embark on a ‘business relaunch’ journey to secure MCEC’s future, in this ‘new normal’ that we find ourselves in,” he said.

“Over a condensed two and a half days, MCEC Unconventional Ideas participants experienced an intensive version of the idea exploration process that all MCEC initiatives are currently following. It’s an exciting and dynamic way to work.”

Top-secret ideas to be revealed soon

Teams that combined MCEC employees and external partners worked across 12 ideas, with the event culminating in a final pitch to the judging panel.

MCEC director of business relaunch Helen Fairclough said it was heart warming to see so many partners taking part in the initiative.

MCEC directory of business relaunch Helen Fairclough
Helen Fairclough

“We believe the secret to ongoing success, is great partnerships,” she said.

“It’s working with employees, customers, suppliers and stakeholders who are willing to be brave, to innovate and to disrupt.

“We invited creative thinkers and entrepreneurial minds, industry leaders and achievers, the analytical and the innovators and asked them to submit their unconventional ideas and were blown away by the response, with well over 50 ideas submitted.

The four winning Unconventional Ideas will now proceed to the next phase of further exploration or delivery, with MCEC to announce more details as they progress.

Learn more about MCEC’s VenueSafe plan here.

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