Earlier this month, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) debuted its much-anticipated $152.2 million expansion, increasing its event space by 25 percent.
The about 215,000-sf addition makes MCEC now Australia’s largest convention space, totaling more than 750,000 sf of space. The expansion includes the Goldfields Theatre, a 96,000-sf multipurpose space with a retractable 1,000-seat theater, as well as additional exhibition halls, meeting rooms and an outdoor terrace area.
“Customer experience was front of mind when planning the design—we wanted to ensure our facilities suited the needs of our customers, rather than constraining them to fit within our space,” says Peter King, MCEC’s chief executive.
One of MCEC’s biggest highlights is its investment in integrated audiovisual and information and communications technologies. That includes 4k laser projectors, LED-based theatrical lighting equipment and a fully integrated rigging infrastructure for meeting planners to create customizable setups. WCEC also invested $1.49 million into its Wi-Fi infrastructure alone, increasing its wireless capacity by 400 percent.
“The new expansion has allowed us to future-proof our venue; we’re able to meet the technical needs of today’s customer and continuously adapt into the future,” says King.
Construction on the expansion began in 2016 and was funded by the 2015-16 Victorian State Budget. It is part of a larger, about $260 million expansion to the city’s South Wharf that also includes a new 347-room Novotel Melbourne South Wharf and a new 1,150-space parking lot. The hotel, parking lot and WCEC are all integrated with existing buildings.