Peter King on the reopening of MCEC

'It is now embedded in the DNA of our organisation to be brave and creative.'

Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has announced it will welcome events back to the centre, following what chief executive Peter King describes as an “unrelenting, exhausting and challenging year”.

In line with the Victorian Government’s Public Events Framework, MCEC can operate events at 25 per cent of the venue’s seating capacity, up to a maximum of 250 people seated.

A density limit of one person per four square metres applies to non-fixed seated areas, while free-standing events are not permitted for the time being.

peter king mcec
Peter King

King welcomed the news, saying as the city’s largest public asset, the centre will play an important role in Melbourne’s recovery.

“MCEC is more than an incredible event space; we are home to unconventional experiences that bring people together,” he told Spice News.

“We are a key agent for reactivating the city and we will be using our space in a variety of ways over the coming months in unconventional ways and we will have more to announcements soon.”

Despite being closed to events throughout Melbourne’s strict COVID-19 lockdown, the team at MCEC explored creative and unconventional ways to utilise the centre.

“This includes launching our new Virtual Events offering and capacity to deliver hybrid events,” said King.

“Recently, we’ve transformed our exhibition bays into a film studio, where a Hollywood blockbuster is currently being produced.

“We also partnered with Guide Dogs Australia to accommodate the training of guide dogs while the building was closed.”

As the centre gradually reintroduces events, MCEC’s VenueSafe Plan will be implemented to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff and visitors.

Every event in the building will also be required to have its own COVID-safe plan, covering a range of public health, hygiene and physical distancing measures.

King said 2020 has revealed the strength and resilience of the MCEC team.

“Whilst this has been the most unrelenting, exhausting and challenging year we have ever had, I must say our employees and leaders in our business have shown resilience for sure, but also great support for one another,” he said.

“It is now embedded in the DNA of our organisation to be brave and creative and this is what will set us up for the challenges ahead and hence the optimism for 2021.”

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