MCEC launches COVID-19 recovery plan

The venue will explore new revenue streams and initiatives to "positively disrupt the sector".

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has launched a COVID-19 recovery plan to ensure a successful relaunch.

The plan includes exploring new business models, products and revenue streams across local, national and international markets.

MCEC chief executive Peter King said the immediate loss of revenue has proved challenging for the venue, which contributed more than $1 billion in economic impact for Victoria last year alone.

“Our immediate focus has been the safety and wellbeing of our customers, people and the community, which is why we were the first convention and exhibition centre in Australia to make the call to close our doors and help fight the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

“Now, we are turning our attention to securing MCEC’s future, both now and post-COVID-19.”

The strategy will be led by Helen Fairclough, who was recently appointed director of business relaunch.

MCEC directory of business relaunch Helen Fairclough
Helen Fairclough

Formerly acting chief operations officer and prior to that director of people, culture and improvement at MCEC, Fairclough has been with the organisation for almost six years and is a board member of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“Helen is uniquely placed to guide the business through a process that looks at every aspect of what we do well, what we could do better and what we have never done before, but may be able to do in the new world,” said King.

“Through this process, we will be living our values of courage and curiosity, and I’ve given Helen the licence to be unrestrained in what we explore as a business.”

Fairclough said she was excited to take on the interim role, which will involve “exploring new revenue streams, new business models and new initiatives to positively disrupt the sector”.

“My remit is to ensure we take advantage of this rare opportunity to ‘pause and reflect’, so we can position MCEC at the forefront of the industry when we make it to the other side of the pandemic,” she said.

“This is an exciting time to navigate through the change ahead. Even when MCEC is able to reopen its doors, we must accept that the world has and will continue to change. For this reason, MCEC must change too.”

While the business relaunch is in early stages of exploration, in the coming months MCEC will invite customers and partners across the industry to collaborate.

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