Bridging the gap between physical and digital locations

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is a leader in staging local and international trade shows, conferences, and exhibitions. It typically hosted over 1,000 events per year pre-pandemic.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has played a significant role in virtual events becoming increasingly common. And in the post-pandemic landscape the industry is seeing an accelerated shift toward hybrid events.


How might we leverage MCEC’s team and assets to help their customers create personalised, interactive experiences which bridge physical and digital locations?

IE was engaged to create a Case for Change that focused on moving MCEC into the hybrid event space.

MCEC previously lacked sufficient context to make evidence-based funding decisions and required a smooth path to market through strategic and executive alignment.

The case for change was to include a deep analysis into:

  • Business Viability: Will it make money?
  • Customer Desirability: Do customers want it?
  • Technology Feasibility: Can we build it?
Thank you SO much for this presentation. It has been incredibly useful and has really told the full story of where we are headed, why, and how - and what we need to do to set ourselves up for success. Well done to all involved.

The engagement culminated in a joint presentation from the IE and PEC to the MCEC executive team. Throughout the engagement, we worked to foster understanding, feedback, and alignment between the agile team and executives.


IE brought in a strategic perspective with digital product development expertise to develop clear evidence that supported making the change and the risks of not changing.

Over an 8 week engagement, IE partnered with MCEC to develop and validate an approach to market for a hybrid events product. To achieve this we focused on three key tasks:

  • Overlay a holistic customer desirability / technical feasibility / business viability lens on the inflight work of the MCEC agile team.
  • Define and articulate the links between MCEC’s digital strategy and the hybrid event product to ensure alignment up, down, and across the organisation.
  • Assess the feasibility of various 3rd party platforms using specific assessment criteria that were established from internal knowledge and customer feedback.


An endorsed case for change

The business was clear on the costs, risks, and opportunities of the hybrid event product.


Strategic, Executive, Execution, Where previously the MCEC leadership team lacked sufficient context to make a confident funding decision, the case for change ensured that the hybrid event execution plan was aligned with the MCEC digital strategy

Implementation recommendations

IE’s engagement also highlighted a number of focus areas for MCEC as it moved forward with a new digital product offering. We made a series of recommendations on how best to proceed.

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