MCEC Events Experts: David Howie, Customer Service Manager
By Deni Kirkova|
David Howie is an advocate for MCEC visitors and their experience. He works hard in his role as Customer Service Manager to make sure everyone has a good time.
We're delighted to feature David Howie as one of our Event Experts . The docuseries showcases the amazing people who help to plan and deliver epic events at our venue.
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) welcomes more than two million people each year. The visitor experience is integral to us. And David's role plays a special part in ensuring their time is smooth and pleasant from the time they walk through the door to after they leave.
The episode highlights David's exceptional passion, knowledge and people skills. We're so inspired by how David has continued to channel these qualities to make a difference to our visitors' experience every day for the past 20 years.
MCEC is a large venue with many different events running on one day. Some can attract up to 50,000 people while other events might be a meeting or small conference for 20 or 30 people. Each person's experience matters.
There's a huge diversity of people who come to MCEC, including various cultures and ages.
Some of the Customer Service Manager's main goals are to make sure that our services and facilities are working properly and that visitors can access their events easily.
David works with our business partners to provide services 'that you don't really think about'. Things like making sure the venue is clean and ready to go with security ready and prepped.
He says: "We have some very high-profile events here and people need to feel safe and comfortable in the venue. "
"People come here with really high expectations. They're excited, they want to be able to access things easily and often need assistance to find their way around."
As part of his role, David also conducts tours for people who want to learn about the venue.
He says: "People are always fascinated to hear the story of the design of the building. They really appreciate it when they hear about the amount of work and detail that has gone into its design."
Our exhibition centre was built first, in the 80s, designed by architects Denton Corker Marshall . It features a striking blade at the entrance which was an architectural trend among some of Melbourne’s most famous buildings.
The style is unique to the architect agency and is replicated at Bolte Bridge, Melbourne Gateway Sound Tube and Melbourne Museum.
Most notably, MCEC's design represents Melbourne's past, present and its future. Our venue is located on the banks of the Yarra River next to the famous Polly Woodside vessel. The area has a rich maritime history dating back to the 1800s.
A burnt orange decorates much of our convention centre interior; a marine paint colour used on ships. Meanwhile, sheets of stainless steel built into our architecture feature laser etchings with an abstract pattern that represents fishing nets.
Further into our rooms, people can find references to our city’s natural beauty. The Melbourne Room’s rose-patterned carpet represents flowers at Flemington Racecourse. And the Plenary seats in shades of green reference the MCG turf through the seasons.
The gold rush is one of the key reasons Melbourne prospered. And this key part of our history is referenced with the cladding on our glistening exterior. In fact, the era inspired much of the exhibition centre expansion project, including Goldfields Café + Bar.
One of our advantages is our proximity to the city – we're a 20-minute walk along the tree-lined riverbank to the CBD. International delegates want to explore Melbourne, and our amazing location helps them to do that.
People from the City of Melbourne set up a visitor information desk within the venue periodically.
Operated by a team of friendly and knowledgeable tourism staff and volunteers, the Melbourne Visitor Desk provides business event delegates with expert and personalised advice about things to see, do and explore during their Melbourne visit.
The team can carefully curate personalised city experiences tailored around their individual interests.
David works closely with these knowledgeable representatives, who are key to enhancing the delegate experience during key business events throughout the year.
He says: "What I enjoy most about working here is facilitating events that bring people here to learn and see some really inspiring thinkers and entertainers."
"I can remember when Sir David Attenborough came here, the Dalai Lama and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. People’s satisfaction and celebration after an amazing event concludes stimulates the building’s energy. It's exciting to watch and be part of."
David has enjoyed a long and prosperous career at MCEC, shining in a role that speaks to his persona as a 'people person'.
Ready to plan an iconic event in 2024 and beyond? Reach out to the team and discover the difference.