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Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau (MCVB) Chairman Chris Barlow has announced another year of impressive results for the organization, with the 2011/12 fiscal year seeing MCVB deliver its best results on record in terms of estimated room nights and forecasted economic impact.


“Across the business, MCVB secured 210 international and national business events for Victoria – a 62 percent increase on the 2011/12 full-year target. These events will deliver an estimated economic impact valued at $361 million,” said Barlow.

One of the most significant achievements and a major contributing factor to this year’s outstanding results was the announcement that Melbourne, Australia, will host the International AIDS Conference 2014.

“As the largest medical conference ever to be held in Australia, the conference is expected to bring 14,000 delegates and generate an estimated $80 million in economic impact for the state of Victoria,” said Barlow. “It is encouraging to see that in a financial climate that is still uncertain MCVB continues to produce results and make a real impact on both the state economy and the local business events industry.”

The 2011/12 financial year was a busy year for the organization with a number of initiatives implemented by new CEO Karen Bolinger.

“Ms. Bolinger commenced her role as CEO in November 2011 and was quick to develop a new strategic direction for the organisation in light of the increasingly competitive nature of the business events industry both nationally and globally, as well as the enduringly unpredictable economic climate,” said Barlow.

Announced in May, the new strategic business plan was developed in consultation with staff and stakeholders across the business, aiming to position Melbourne as the premier destination for business events in the world.

One of the most significant changes was a recent organizational restructure of the marketing and communications department, which is now operating under the title “Commercial Partnerships.” Changes also were made to the business development and convention sales department, which now includes a dedicated research team that will assist in streamlining and validating the organization’s core business activities.

The fiscal year also saw Melbourne officially acknowledged as the conference capital of Australia by the International Congress and Convention Association.

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