Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) Acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Narrm, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present, and to Elders of all First Nations communities that visit MCEC.

Crowd of people watching a presentation at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo.

Melbourne International Coffee Expo Returns

By Deni Kirkova|

It’s one of the biggest industry events for the coffee industry in the world. Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) came back bigger than ever in 2022 as hosts of the World Coffee Championships.

An event for growers to retailers alike, MICE gathers the global coffee industry to network and do business at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). Organised by Prime Creative Media, who also run MEGATRANS at MCEC, MICE2022 was their first show since Covid. Held from 27-30 September, the event posed a massive opportunity to bring the community back together again.

Towards the end of the event, we sat down and spoke with Lauren Winterbottom, Show Director, to chat all things MICE. Lauren said: “Everyone’s been excited about coming back to MICE after three years off, to see new and friendly faces and to do business.

“MICE started with a purpose to connect buyers and sellers, and now we see huge deals being done. In that sense, it’s extremely valuable to the industry. MICE is a massive business opportunity for businesses in the coffee sector. There’s a lot of money being exchanged on the trade show floor.”

Man standing in the background applauding a women in the foreground holding up trophy. She is smiling.

Lauren says: “MICE hosted the World Coffee Championships once before back in 2012. And now with a new venue, we’ve got a chance to make it bigger than ever. It’s a huge opportunity for us to bring the industry back together after the past three years. MICE is always an international show, but this year has brought a new level of excitement with the competitions taking place.”

Numbers-wise, 2022 is the biggest MICE event ever. At the time of interview, Lauren said: “This years’ event is tracking to be the biggest we’ve ever had. I know the competition has had an impact on that, but it’s also heartening to see the industry bouncing back from Covid so strongly. Everyone is ready to get back to business.”

A publishing business first and foremost, Prime Creative Media organises events that are aligned with their magazines – such as MICE and BeanScene Magazine. They started the expo in 2012 at a smaller, less central Melbourne venue with a lesser power capacity.

Lauren says: “Moving MICE to MCEC was the next step in ensuring the event remained world-class. Being a nationally known venue in a central location, MCEC provides us with a larger footprint to accommodate our expanding exhibition, and the facilities to help the event run smoothly. There is ample space to incorporate a wide range of creative custom stand designs, and easy-to-access power and water. Being able to run these essential utilities from the pits in the floor provides our exhibitors with the services they need to have a successful show, without having to build additional infrastructure.

A man in a white jumper speaking into a microphone head piece facing a crowd off screen. He is running a demonstration.

A gathering of international coffee businesses, the event is well-placed in Melbourne, arguably the global capital of coffee. A foodie haven with world-class cocktail bars and coffee shops known for innovation and expertise, Melbourne is known to have the best coffee culture in the world. Some of the most talented, passionate and creative baristas live and work here. So, it’s no surprise that MICE has taken off.

After elevating plans even further for 2022, MICE won the bid to host the World Coffee Championships by showcasing the event as a must-attend for industry and Melbourne as a destination, including how the venue could play a key role in ensuring the success of the event.

Lauren says: “MCEC played a key role in the win by showcasing its level of service and world-class facilities. It was clear that an event of this scale and reputation would be delivered to the highest standard. The venue is also well-known and positively received by Melbourne locals."

Crowd of people walking amongst the Melbourne International Coffee Expo.

While MICE has regularly hosted the national version of the contest in previous years - the Australian Coffee Championships - the World Coffee Championships see everything scaled up in size, including stages, grandstands and audio visual requirements. This year, the event saw finalists from more than 47 countries battle it out to win.

MICE is the only dedicated coffee trade show in Australia and is the largest in the southern hemisphere. The annual show was postponed in 2020, at the start of the pandemic, about a week before they were supposed to open. Despite being rescheduled for September 2021, it unfortunately had to postpone again. The organisers have been through a lot and the stakes were high, which makes their incredible comeback even more impressive.

Lauren says: “The move to MCEC has been important step for MICE as it reflects the standard of the event. MICE is a premium event. Our exhibitors invest a lot into this show. The displays and equipment are customised, companies have flown in international executives and they are selling to business owners and decision-makers. It was imperative for us that the venue delivered on our clients’ expectations, and MCEC does that.

A man sitting with headphones on in a colour glass house with plants around.

“The professionalism and level of service from the team at MCEC is exceptional. No problem is too large, with the team always looking for solutions. It makes such a difference as an organiser when the venue is supporting you through the planning process, and execution on-site.”

“With the help of Maxine [McIntyre, MCEC Event Planner] and team, we were able to provide our exhibitors and attendees with a smooth event experience.”

MICE2022 attracted over 15,000 attendees, connecting café owners, roasters, equipment manufacturers, service suppliers and more, showcasing the latest industry innovations.

Considering your next food industry event? Reach out to the team and start planning .