Published date: 25/07/2023

Representatives from Asia Pacific’s biggest venues descended on Melbourne in May for the Venue Management Association (VMA)’s annual industry congress. 
The meet saw 300 people from sports stadiums, arenas, convention centres and the like converge for a 3-day conference, held exclusively within Melbourne’s iconic sports and entertainment precinct. 
Celebrating their 30th year, the stakes for putting on a world-class event were high. 
But a new partnership between CENTREPIECE, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and the Pullman Melbourne on The Park, helped create a “quintessentially Melbourne” experience for all in attendance.
The partnership provided guests with a place to “meet, celebrate and stay” within short distance of one another. 
And it did not disappoint, with the VMA Chief Executive Michael Brierly saying, “With a record number of attendees at this year’s Congress to celebrate our 30th Anniversary, we were all afforded the opportunity to connect with our peers, share ideas with the industry, and learn from a great mix of educational sessions. The feedback from the F&B offering from across the three days was exceptional and one of the highlights of the event. [Everyone] from across both venues should be immensely proud of what [they] delivered.”

Flexibility for any event
The event kicked off with a welcome address from actor Shane Jacobson, followed by a reception on CENTREPIECE’s Trade Floor and Grand Hall Terrace, which boasts views over Melbourne’s skyline. 
Tania Marshall, Venue Manager at CENTREPIECE, said the flexibility of each space meant guests still received everything they’d expect of a traditional conference, in a superior space. 
The halls, auditorium, break-out rooms and terrace were all put to use, which Ms Marshall said showcased just how versatile the space could be. 
With guests from across Australia, CENTREPIECE’s size yet intimate and connected feel were among its biggest drawcards.
And the proximity of the three venues, and their closeness to the city, meant guests could enjoy the very best of Melbourne. 

Bringing people together
Ms Marshall praised the experience as unique to the industry and a great way for venue managers to come together. 
“This year had the highest number of delegates… which is really exciting and reflective of the industry’s growth and passion to come together,” she said.
“[And it] was really exciting because we collaborated across a range of venues to deliver the congress.”
Tony Byron, Director, Commercial at Pullman Melbourne on the Park, agreed - adding the partnership “gives event planners a great option to create a unique experience for their delegates”.

Experience first
The overall experience the event created set a high standard, including sessions and speakers at CENTREPIECE, a VIP dinner held at the Committee Room at the MCG (a space usually reserved for members), and over 500 room nights booked by delegates at Pullman Melbourne on the Park overlooking the iconic ground and cityscape. 
Troy Stasinowsky, Director of Sales and Marketing at the MCG said the exclusivity of the offering added to the event’s feel. 
At the VIP dinner, a menu specially curated by famed Melbourne chef Guy Grossi was the icing on the cake, with guests able to “look out over the MCG and experience incredible, quintessential cuisine and really connect”.
Mr Stasinowsky said it was “a great option for events that are looking to create a VIP or exclusive dining option”.
And if you’re looking for somewhere for guests at your next event to meet, stay and celebrate, Melbourne’s sports and entertainment precinct can provide an exceptional experience for all. 
Reach out today to start planning your dream event.

For futher details please contact 

Email: H9875-SB@accor.com or call 03 9419 2000