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May 17, 2016

Medical Melbourne: Why Intellectual Capital Matters

Skift editor Greg Oates last week issued an industry rallying call for the business events sector to pursue a three-pillared "Manifesto for a New Generation of Meetings and Conventions," with a focus on the business and professional outcomes rather than the tourism impacts that result from business events. Claiming that “there is really no big game plan in business events today from an industry-wide perspective,” Oates' manifesto pillars of Community, Collaboration and Content [or intellectual capital] are cited as emerging trends demonstrated by innovative cities, including Melbourne (Australia) and Glasgow (Scotland), which are leveraging their knowledge and research capabilities in medical fields, for example, in order to secure major events in their cities and to realise the knowledge, investment, employment, and healthcare legacies that can result from them.

With the convention bureau at the epicentre of its marketing, Melbourne is collaborating across public and private sectors, with government and educational institutions, as well as with industry ambassadors to create what bureau chief Karen Bolinger describes as The Melbourne Effect – a brand which embodies a whole of city or collaborative approach to developing a knowledge and creative society and which supports the desired outcomes and legacies of the convention owner as well as the host destination.

This is something of a perfect storm.

Whilst co-ordination of city efforts to be competitive in key knowledge-based sectors is essential to the growth plan, it is increasingly a city's intellectual capital which is the determining factor when event owners are selecting the host destination according to a recent poll by Convene, confirms Oates. These are sentiments echoed by James Latham's report (below) from AIME as Melbourne prepares to welcome the 16th International Congress of Immunology and reflects on the outcomes of the 20th International AIDS Congress held in the city in 2014.

Medical Melbourne – why intellectual capital matters from Fred Productions Ltd. on Vimeo.

Fisher: “Everyone is supporting innovation now”

But success has a price. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre chief executive Peter King is overseeing a 25 percent expansion of the facility to provide 80,000 square metres of meeting and exhibition space in order to meet demand. But the strategic nature of convention center investments means that even Victoria's Minister of Tourism and Major Events, Hon. John Eren MP, sees such investments in  business event infrastructure - beyond his own tourism department - as investments across nine priority sectors of science, medicine and innovation.

And King agrees. “We're a business development entity now. We don't just sell space. We are involved in setting up inaugural events with our Club Melbourne ambassadors – pre-eminent people from around the world [and] experts in their particular space – coming to us with ideas about how to create a meeting or a network,” he said.  

Medical Melbourne – the importance of collaboration from Fred Productions Ltd. on Vimeo.

Minister Erens: “Economic development portfolio holders are all in one room”

Club Melbourne ambassadors Prof. Jose Villadangos of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Melbourne (and president of the forthcoming International Immunology Congress) and Andrea Fisher, executive director at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection & Immunology, joined Latham to emphasise why Oates is on the intellectual money.


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About the Author: James Latham

James Latham





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