He said the Gift Show for example, has built its own 4000
square metre marquee out in the MECC grounds for the past
two years to accommodate the event's growth.
He also believes due to Bay 21's location on the Yarra and
proximity to the city, it would attract a number of smaller events
currently using space outside the CBD.
In other MECC news, the venue, which scored a hat trick
by collecting three accolades at the recent Victorian MIAA
Awards, has taken over management of the old South Wharf
area. The historic sheds, built in the 1860s and located on the
Yarra River, have been refurbished and leased out to private
operators as restaurants and function centres. An additional 200
car spaces have also been added. Mr Harry said the external
fabric of the buildings had been maintained while internally the
sheds had been remodelled.
"The whole strip now past the MECC will be restaurants
and function centres and people can now walk underneath
Charles Grimes Bridge into Docklands."
Leigh Harry has also been elected first vice president of the
International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).
Onward and upward
HOLIDAY Inn on Flinders Melbourne aims to grab a larger
share of the corporate market following the expansion of its meeting
facilities as part of a multi million overhaul of the property.
The CBD property, which underwent a complete
refurbishment last year, now offers six pillarless meeting rooms
with floor to ceiling windows. Six Continents Hotels' director
of sales and marketing VIC/ACT Andrew Loader said while the
200-room property had a new look, the brand's hallmark value
for money standards remained intact.
"We've adopted a style with the small meetings and
corporate guests in mind and hope to capture a larger slice of
the surrounding corporate meetings and business market," he
Meeting packages start from $59 per person which covers
room hire, morning/afternoon tea and lunch (minimum 20
Meeting room capacities are up to 50 theatre style, 150
cocktail and 120 for dinner parties.Three dedicated boardrooms
offer ergonomic chairs, while all meeting rooms are equipped
for internet connection. Visual supports can be arranged to
One of the characteristics of the refurbishment is a bright
pink feature wall located near the swimming pool - a space
suited to break outs and cocktail parties, Mr Loader said.
As part of the overall refurbishment, all 200 rooms have
been upgraded with white doonas, blue/grey feature walls and
matching bed throw. A muted sand colour has been used in the
hotel's public spaces and meeting rooms.
The property's lounge area has also been transformed into a
contemporary multi use bar suitable for cocktails, coffee or