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.

Our history

Since opening our doors in 1996, we've planned and delivered many amazing events. We bring passion to each project: conferences, exhibitions, concerts and celebrations. And our venue has evolved many times. But with each reinvention, our commitment to sustainability, innovation and our city remains. Want to get to know us a little better? Grab a seat and join us as for a history tour of MCEC and a look to the future.


In 1990, the former World Congress Centre Melbourne opens at 7-23 Spencer Street.

Black and white photo of a bird's eye view of the former World Congress Centre Melbourne on Spencer Street in 1990.


Hello, world! Fast forward six years and we start life as Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Former Premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett AC, opens our venue on February 14.

View from high in the sky of the Melbourne Exhibition building. The new convention centre can been seen in the bottom of the image under construction. Dark blue skies are on the horizon.


The Victorian State Government announces plans to develop a new convention centre. It's part of a major precinct development. And the project is no small feat.

A financial commitment of $370 million from the Victorian State Government and $43 million from the City of Melbourne make it possible.

Inside view of the Melbourne Exhibition Centre under construction.


We launch the Club Melbourne Ambassador Program, established to bring the biggest and best conventions and exhibitions to our amazing city.

Group of people sitting at a formal table talking with a Club Melbourne sign in the background on a blue and black wall.


We officially open Melbourne Convention Centre.

And get this - we were the first convention centre in the world to be awarded a 6-star Green Star environmental rating. Talk about setting the bar high.

Our name undergoes a final evolution. Our business is now Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, or MCEC for short.

Jeffrey Kennett and the Hon John Brumby AO standing at a table, cutting a cake that looks like the Exhibition building. They are both smiling at the camera.


We become hosts of the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal. It’s one of Australia's most iconic and life-changing fundraising events and it means so much to us to be able to help.

That same year, we also host the International AIDS Conference. This is the largest health and development conference in Australia, attracting 14,000 attendees.

A large crowd walking around the foyer of the Melbourne Convention Centre.


The Victorian State Government announces a $205 million expansion of MCEC. And if that’s not enough, we’re also recognised as one of the BRW's Most Innovative Companies in Australia.

A person in red pants seen only from the shoulders down is leaning over a table with a pen in hand, drawing on large floor plan.


We launch the annual Club Melbourne Fellowship supporting Victoria's mid-career researchers and potential future Club Melbourne Ambassadors.

Large crowd seated at a formal gala dinner, with blue and yellow lights over head. In the background a screen displays the Club Melbourne logo.


We’re named an Employer of Choice by the Australian Business Awards. We’re honoured with the same accolade in 2018 and 2019.

A man is seen talking to a woman, showing her something in his hands as they both look down at it over a wooden table. Another person is seen to the right of them looking at the same thing as well.


On 1 July, our expansion is complete. This increases event space by 25% and the total size of our venue to an incredible 70,000 square meters.

That same year, our Club Melbourne Ambassador Program wins the Contribution to Profile by a Corporation award. It's an honour given to us at the annual Melbourne Awards by the City of Melbourne.

As part of our sustainability effort, we join 13 organisations to support the development of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project. The wind farm in regional Victoria offsets 15% of our electricity consumption.

One woman walks through the walkway in front of Goldfields Café in the Melbourne Exhibition building foyer.


Our economic impact to the state of Victoria exceeds $1 billion. We’re also named one of two Melbourne host venues for the 2023 Rotary International Convention, attracting 20,000 attendees.

A woman stands clapping her hands looking down at man who is seated at a table. A large crowd sits behind at more formal dinner tables. There is blue lighting that colours the crowd.


We launch our industry-leading VenueSafe plan. This initiative, backed by the state and federal governments, enables COVIDSafe events in our venue.

A man is walking through the empty foyer of the Melbourne Convention Centre. A large screen in the background displays covid safe directions.


Our new brand positions MCEC as the home of the unconventional: a fearless event partner seeking out innovative solutions to deliver meaningful experiences. Our new era is all about personal connections, making an impact and moments that matter.

We launch state-of-the-art virtual and hybrid event platforms and a five-year sustainability strategy. THE LUME Melbourne opens its doors as one of the most creative and unique venues in Australia, right here at MCEC.

Van Gogh's starry night artwork displays across the THE LUME Melbourne with a few people scattered through out the room.


We welcome back global events and collaborate with state and federal government to lead the industry’s post-pandemic recovery. Check out a look back at 2022, our comeback year .

Three people walk towards the camera with lots of bags in hand. Exhibition stands and a crowd is seen in the background.

2023 and beyond

As we reflect on what we’ve achieved, we look to the future with excitement. Demand for events has returned with full force. It's great to see the venue alive with activity again. And we have been working hard to get our workforce back up to speed.

We're looking forward to a year full of stellar events ahead for 2023 as we welcome our new CEO, Natalie O'Brien AM. And we're thrilled to be taking bookings for 2024 and beyond.

Plus, MCEC is the operator for the new Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre opening in 2026. It's a monumental endeavour. The project will be a major driver of jobs and growth for the City of Greater Geelong and surrounding areas. It will support 600 jobs during construction and 270 through operation.

We can't wait to see what’s to come for events at MCEC, and indeed Nyaal Banyul. We hope you'll join us for the journey.

A group of ladies with their backs to the camera look into a claw machine. One woman can be seen from the side smiling at the machine.