Peter King, the CEO of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), is
stepping down after more than a decade in charge of the waterfront meetings
During his tenure he oversaw the venue’s $205m expansion, delivered record sales,
drove sustainability in business events, and transformed the organisation
during the pandemic.
He was also instrumental in bringing Victoria’s annual charity event - The
Good Friday Appeal –which has raised millions for the Royal Children’s Hospital
- to the venue.
King will remain with MCEC until a replacement is found.
In 2018 King led the expansion of MCEC, which increased event space by 25
per cent and grew MCEC’s total size to 70,000 square metres, the largest centre
of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
I have had a fantastic innnings
In recent years he has pushed MCEC to become an international l leader in
sustainability in business events. In 2018 MCEC became a partner in the
Melbourne Renewable Energy Project which means the 20,000 square metre
expansion space at MCEC, is powered with renewable energy. In 2019 the business
recovered more than 68 tonnes of food waste and donated 74,000 meals to
During his time at MCEC, King was focused on maximising MCEC’s impact for
Melbourne and Victoria, and in 2019 MCEC had a record economic impact to the
state, exceeding $1.1bn.
When the pandemic hit in 2020 – he embraced the challenges this presented to
the business by managing the transformation and diversification of the
business. This included supporting the Victorian State Government’s vaccination
rollout and adapting the space to attract partners such as The LUME Melbourne,
Australia’s first permanent digital art gallery.
While competitors paused during
lockdowns, King oversaw a comprehensive business transformation to an Agile
operating model, to better position MCEC to serve customers in the wake of the
pandemic. The organisation will see the benefits of this legacy for years to
King said: “My feelings are mixed, because whilst I have loved every minute
of working with all of you in an extraordinary industry, I also feel the time
is right for a changing of the guard. I have had a fantastic innings with the
MCEC and feel optimistic about its future.
“I do want to call out the incredible achievements we have made as a team,
most recently amongst them the opening of our major expansion in 2018, a record
economic contribution of $1.1 billion to the state in 2019 and incredible
displays of resilience over a difficult last two years.
“Beyond that, over many years, we have bought together people from all over
the world to be educated, exchange knowledge, be entertained and importantly –
to enjoy our wonderful town of Melbourne. What a privilege it has been. My most
prevailing memory will be the long line of great people I’ve had the honour of
working with at MCEC.”
Minister for Tourism, Sport, and Major Events, Martin Pakula, said: “Peter
has been instrumental in building Victoria’s profile through conferences and
businesses events over many years. I thank Peter for his work as chief executive
– his dedication has been crucial to the state’s success in this sector.”
AMI editor James
Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international
association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation
for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk,
read, listen to music, and drink beer.