Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Louise Asher, has announced Melbourne will host Australia’s inaugural Business Events Week from 25 February to 1 March 2013.

Speaking at the opening of the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia’s Conference at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), Asher said Business Events Week will be a week-long program of activities designed to showcase the value of business events.

“Business events generate extensive economic wealth for the local, state and national economy. In Victoria alone, business events inject more than$1.2 billion annually,” Asher said.

“Over the next two years Melbourne will host in excess of seven of the world’s largest and most prestigious conferences including the 22nd World Diabetes Conference in 2013 and the  International AIDS Conference in 2014, both of which will bring thousands of delegates to Victoria from all over the world and put our city firmly in the international spotlight.

“In May this year, the International Congress and Convention Association(ICCA) recognised Melbourne as Australia’s number one city for conferences and congresses in its annual Country and City Ranking Report, so it is fitting our city is taking the lead on driving this initiative which we hope will become a national event in the coming years.

“From the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME), which will welcome more than 500 international buyers, to an open day at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre for the public, I encourage everyone to take part in Business Events Work to learn more about this inspiring industry and recognise the dedication of Karen Bolinger and the team at the Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau,” Asher said.

Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau (MCVB), Karen Bolinger, said the organisation was very proud to be hosting the inaugural Business Events Week.

“Having a week dedicated to business events is a major coup for our industry and we firmly believe it will assist us in communicating how valuable the industry is to the Australian economy,” Bolinger said.

“Very few people are aware that as a convention and visitors bureau, our sole function is to bid for the right for Melbourne to host business events; from board meetings to corporate and incentive travel, right through to major conferences.

“In 2013, we hope to change that and educate Australia about this all important industry which provides so much value across the knowledge sectors, tourism and beyond.

“I would like to thank Minister Asher for her endorsement of Business Events Week and the Victorian Coalition Government for their ongoing support of the business events industry.”

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management