C2 Mel wharf-side venue

Melbourne has again shown its talent for planning out-of-the-ordinary events, announcing it will use the historic Berth No. 5 North Wharf on the Yarra River as the venue for November’s C2 Melbourne innovation conference. Announced by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), it will be the first time the North Wharf precinct has been used as a pop-up business events space, and will involve the neglected car park area being transformed into a setting designed to resemble “an outdoor summer festival”. The theme for C2 Melbourne is ‘Ecosystems’ and will focus on aspects of technology, art and design, marketing and media, impact and leadership. C2 has chosen Melbourne as its host city for the first time after being held for six years in Montreal.

Mona hotel to target events

Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) is again making headlines with news it plans to build a $300 million hotel overlooking the Derwent River on the edge of Hobart. The museum’s founder David Walsh has revealed striking designs for a 172-room five-star hotel called HOMO (HOtel Mona) and says it would be aimed at the business events market. A dedicated function centre inside the HOMO will have capacity for 800 in a banquet layout and 1,000 cocktail style, while an indoor 1,075-seat theatre will cater to music, plays, cinema, conferences and business launches.

“We expect HOMO to be attractive to large segments of the national and international business and conference markets that previously haven’t turned to Tasmania due to a lack of appropriate infrastructure,” Walsh said. Once approved, construction is expected to take three years, with opening slated for 2022.

Cairns Centre to expand

The Queensland Government has revealed details of a $176 million overhaul of the Cairns Convention Centre, which will include a new 3,000m2 exhibition hall. Plans released by the state’s Treasurer Curtis Pitt show that delegates will be welcomed via a sweeping floor-to-ceiling glass atrium that will be constructed in front of the existing structure. The atrium will create an arc extending out to Wharf St, where the preferred site of the new exhibition hall is located. Once completed in 2019, the expanded centre expects to attract an extra 25 large conventions per year. Construction will begin after the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

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