By Colum Coomey
Global leader in venue and event management, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust, has been confirmed as the operator for the new Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCEC) that will open in 2026.
As the existing Government operator of convention and exhibition services in the state of Victoria, the Trust already manages the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and will manage both GCEC and MCEC to leverage expertise and opportunities to collaborate.
GCEC will be developed on the Geelong Waterfront precinct as part of the Geelong City Deal – a partnership between the Australian and Victorian Governments, together with the City of Greater Geelong.
The $294 million project includes the construction of a purpose-built Convention and Exhibition Centre, incorporating a 1,000-seat plenary venue and at least 3,700 square metres of flexible event space to allow large and small events to run concurrently.
The centre will be a major driver of jobs and economic growth for the City of Greater Geelong and surrounding areas, supporting 600 jobs during construction and an additional 270 ongoing jobs through operation.
Every event at GCEC will benefit a local ecosystem of hoteliers, event organisers, food providers, chefs and casual wait staff, cleaners, technicians, logistics, transport operators, and more.
The Trust will work closely with the local community, businesses, and key stakeholders in Geelong and the wider Bellarine region to secure as many local jobs, produce, and supply chains as possible in the centre’s ongoing operation.
“We have more than 25 years’ experience hosting and delivering world class business events and we’re excited to start operating in Geelong and the Bellarine,” said Peter King, Chief Executive of MCEC. “We look forward to engaging the local community, businesses, and event organisers as the Centre is developed.
“The new facility will expand Geelong’s annual events offering and provide extraordinary experiences to the community and wider region.”
Colum Coomey is Corporate Communications Manager for the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
M: 0435 659 082