Meet your industry: Peter King, Chief Executive, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has just been named Australia’s best at the Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) National Awards, receiving the top venue award ‘Meeting Venue 500 Delegates or More’ for industry excellence.

Peter King Cropped

We spoke to Peter King, MCEC’s Chief Executive about what MCEC has to offer to visitors and to the visitor industry.

“Team Melbourne”.  This is how Peter fondly refers to the visitor industry in Melbourne.

“Our industry bodies are terrific at working together and leveraging off the strengths of one another, to deliver a combined goal in support of Melbourne’s visitor economy”, Peter enthused.

Last year MCEC hosted over 1,000 events, which together contributed $959.4 million to the Melbourne local economy.

“It’s not just about the financial result – these events attracted world leaders and decision makers to Melbourne, helped to build new networks with international organisations, and provided unprecedented education and research opportunities for Melburnians. It’s this legacy that has the biggest, long term impact.”

MCEC attracts international visitors from right across the world, with a large majority from the Asia-Pacific region.  For those who are making their first visit to Australia, MCEC is often their first destination.  Peter feels that this is part of the reason why making a strong, positive impression is so important, not just for MCEC, but for the visitor industry as a whole.

 “Their entire experience is important. From the moment they arrive in our city, their experience in our hotels, visiting tourist attractions, eating in our restaurants, and attending events at MCEC should be exciting and memorable. They should be engaged at every moment, because their experience will determine if they choose to return again, and recommend or encourage family, friends and colleagues to do the same.”

Mcec Northside006

Peter believes that as a destination Melbourne is particularly strong at delivering on this promise, and that the overall appeal of our diverse, multicultural city is a major draw card for many.

“Our city offers an exciting combination of style, sophistication, sport, culture and dining. We have a unique offering that has a much more personal impact on our visitors.

“Unlike many other major cities, you can’t capture Melbourne in a photograph. The only way you can capture Melbourne is to experience it for yourself. Melbourne is a city you have to discover, piece by piece, and it is up to the individual how they choose to put their pieces together. To have a world class venue like MCEC on the banks of the Yarra and within walking distance from the CBD is a huge advantage.”

Mcec Exhibition Centre Exterior

It takes a world class venue to take out a top award for ‘Venue 500 Delegates or More’ at the Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) National Awards.  We asked Peter what criteria their recent award win was based on.

“The MEA awards are assessed across a range of business criteria and the year in review.  

"This includes financial information, business activities, challenges and holistic impacts on the meetings and events industry. They look at our business as a whole, so it’s great to win this award because it means we’re performing strongly in all areas!”

Peter says that businesses and clients are looking for a customised approach for every event, with the flexibility to deliver anything and everything. Regardless of the size of the event, the visitor experience must always be central.

“We understand no two events are the same – it’s no longer about making their event fit within our requirements, it’s about what we can do to make sure their vision comes to life, and to ensure their attendees have the best experience possible. We still have work to do, but we can definitely see our customers appreciate and value the improvements we have already made to be more customer-centric. Our venue is leading the industry in the way we are tailoring flexible meeting options.”

Learn more about MCEC here