Voted 2019’s the second most livable city in the world, Melbourne is home to more than 4.9 million people, and is recognized as a leader in technology, innovation, education, and more. With an extensive public transportation system, 24/7 international airport, hundreds of unique restaurants, bars, accommodations, and venue spaces, Melbourne is a city that connects people, which is why it is consistently ranked a top global meeting and event destination.
To help meeting and event planners find the best venues, places to stay, and things to do in Melbourne, we’ve created this guide. Check out our planner’s guide to Melbourne for meeting and event professionals.
Top 10 Venues Planners Should Consider
If you’re looking for a venue that can accommodate and attract large numbers, then the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Center (MCEC) is the place for you. Designed specifically for meetings and events, the MCEC prides itself on partnering with planners to deliver imaginative and customizable events. The Centre is comprised of two main spaces--the Convention Centre and the Exhibition Centre—which features 57 rooms, the largest (the entire Plenary) accommodating 5,564 guests. The MCEC is also the only Centre in Australia to offer guests direct access to two hotels, the five-star Pan Pacific Melbourne, and the four-star Novotel Melbourne South Wharf via a connected walkway. With so much venue space, guest accommodations, and being walking distance from Melbourne’s top attractions, the MCEC is an easy choice for planners.
Photo Credit: Plenary Group
Interested in hosting a green event? Then the Glasshaus is the venue for you! The Glasshaus offers planners two unique spaces: the Glasshaus Inside and the Glassahaus Outside. Both venues are decorated with beautiful foliage and can be equipped with furniture, customizable styling, and catering. Give your next meeting or event a botanical flair by choosing the Glasshaus.
Photo Credit: Glasshaus
Located in the center of the city of Melbourne and the restaurant district, Hotel Windsor is a sought-after and convenient and place to host your next meeting or event. This 1883, 5-star hotel offers planners five venue spaces: the Grand Ballroom (350 guests), the Bourke room (400 guests), the Canberra room (80 guests), the Winston room (50 guests), and the Wallis & Ed function room (10-300 guests). In addition to meeting and event space, Hotel Windsor also offers visitors 180 guest rooms, afternoon tea, a restaurant, bar, and is steps away from some of the city’s best shops, restaurants, bars, and attractions.
Photo Credit: The Hotel Windsor
If you’re looking to host your event in the most “historic” place in Melbourne, then the State Library is the place for you. Comprised of 23 buildings and located on two acres of land since 1856, the State Library Victoria is more than just a library, it is also a sought-after event space. The State Library Victoria offers planners ten unique venue spaces such as the glass-paneled La Trobe Reading Room (520 guests) and the library’s original reading room, the Ian Potter Queen’s Hall (500 guests). To ensure planner’s events are truly unforgettable, the Library also offers services such as catering, onsite event staff, security, personalized tours, exclusive exhibitions viewings, video projection, and more. Make history with your event by hosting it at the State Library of Victoria.
Photo Credit: SLV
“Branch” out of the normal meeting and event spaces by hosting your next at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. Dedicated to their core values—creative, open, brave, remarkable—the Royal Botanic Garden offers planners a multitude of indoor and outdoor venue space that will leave a lasting impression on attendees. In the Melbourne Gardens, planners can choose from four indoor spaces in addition to outdoor lawns and pavilions. One of the most sought-after venue spaces onsite is the 1854 Garden House, which features seven rooms that can accommodate 8 to 300 guests. Whichever venue space you choose at the Royal Botanic Gardens, your guests are sure to be wowed by all the natural beauty.
Photo Credit: Gardens House Facebook
6. The Langham
Located in the city’s Arts and Leisure district, the Langham hotel is renowned for its views of the Yarra River, Melbourne skyline, and five-star hospitality. With 388-guestrooms, each with views of the River or skyline, the Langham offers visitors an award-winning restaurant, a bar, and lounge known for its Chocolate Bar High Tea, a spa and fitness center, and more. For planners, the Langham features 17 venue spaces that can accommodate 12 to 400 guests. To help planners enhance their events, the Langham offers several packages, like the themed Festive Celebration Package, the sustainable meeting package, CONNECT Conferences, and more. Whether you choose to host your event in the timber paneled Clarendon Ballroom or an intimate 14-person meeting in the Little Collins boardroom, the Langham will ensure your event is a success.
Photo Credit: Langham Hotel
Boasting a 217-foot-long chandelier, 30-foot-high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a neutral color design, the Peninsula is an ideal venue for planners looking for customizable venue space. Located at Central Pier in Sydney, this waterfront venue offers planners enough room to seat 240-2,500 guests. The Peninsula also provides planners with a modern Australian catering menu, which features exotic creations and BBQ. With so much flexible space, the possibilities of your meeting or event at the Peninsula are endless.
Photo Credit: Atlantic Group
Make your attendees “roar” with excitement by hosting your next meeting or event at Melbourne’s Zoo. The Zoo prides itself on working closely with clients to deliver unique events in one of their four venue spaces: the Rainforest room (22-130 guests), Bong Su (30-200 guests), Lakeside room (30-120 guests), and the Leopard Lodge (54-500 guests). In addition, planners can host their event on one of the gardens or pavilions located across the Melbourne Zoo, which can accommodate 50 to 100 guests. If the unique venue space wasn’t enticing enough, planners can also choose to from multiple add ons like delicious catering packages, team building activities, live entertainment, and of course, animal experiences. For a customizable, engaging, and “wild” event space, look no further than the Melbourne Zoo.
Photo Credit: Zoo
Hold your next meeting or event at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia’s oldest and most-visited museum. The Victoria offers planners four unique on-site spaces: the Great Hall (1,100 guests), the Federation Court (2,200 guests), the Garden Restaurant, and the Clemenger Auditorium (250 guests). Perhaps the most sought-after event spaces in the Victoria are the Great Hall, featuring a stained-glass ceiling designed by Leonard French and the Federation Court, which has a glass ceiling and is decorated with contemporary artwork. No matter what space you choose, the Victoria will ensure your guests’ experience is unique and mesmerizing.
Photo Credit: National Gallery of Victoria Facebook Page
Built-in 1891, this historic InterContinental hotel features 253 guestrooms, an award-winning restaurant, and bars. In addition, the InterContinental hotel offers planners 11 meeting spaces, which range from meeting rooms, like the Wheat Room (24-80 guests), to boardrooms like the Patrick McCaughan Boardroom (12 guests), to the Laneway Rooms (300 guests). To help make your meeting or event truly memorable, the Hotel staff speak over 15 different languages and offer planners Insider Collection local add ons, like inspiration local speakers and cultural experts. By hosting your next event at the InterContinental, you can ensure that your guests’ experience is unique, authentic, and memorable.
Photo Credit: InterContinental
Top 3 Things to Do in Melbourne
Opened in 1878, the Queen Victoria Market is home to over 600 small businesses. Tourists will find everything from local fruits and vegetables, to souvenirs, to local clothing, and more. The Victoria Market is open Tuesday, and Thursday to Sunday.
Photo Credit: Visit Victoria
Must-do for first-time visitors, the City Circle Tram is an ideal way to see some of Melbourne’s top attractions, like the State Library Victoria and the Melbourne Museum. The Tram is free and leaves every 12 minutes from the Flinders Street Station.
Photo Credit: Visit Melbourne
Known for its Twelve Apostles and wave-like sculpted rock formation, Port Campbell National Park is a popular tourist and local destination. You can explore the park by taking one of the short walking paths, driving along the Great Ocean Road, or by helicopter. To get to Melbourne’s National Park, you can rent a car or join a one-day bus tour, which ranges from AU $85-130.
Photo Credit: ParkWeb.VIC
Have you ever hosted an event in one of these Melbourne venues? How did it go? What was your favorite thing to do inside and outside of Melbourne? Let us know by commenting below!
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