Going! Going! Global!

A First in PCMA Citywide Auction History

PCMA’s Citywide Auction is an annual favorite, and this year it comes with a new twist. Melbourne, Australia, is the featured city for bid — the auction’s first destination outside North America.

The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) has created an attractive package for bid, giving meeting professionals a well-priced deal on hosting a citywide convention for a fraction of the usual cost. PCMA’s Citywide Auction is designed to raise money for the association’s high-level meetings industry education efforts.

According to Michelle Crowley, PCMA’s director of global development, Melbourne presents exciting new opportunities and savings for planners who are specifically targeting destinations where more of their member and customer constituents are based. “Melbourne is a city you need to explore,” Crowley said. “They have cuisine from all over the world, as well as high-quality local Australian specialties. It is truly a global destination with a local feel.”

The meetings community in Melbourne is extremely tight and interconnected, Crowley said, with a strong ambassador program and research support from well-known Melbourne universities and business professionals that allow meeting professionals from many different industries to tap into the local economic knowledge.

Indeed, MCB is calling its new marketing campaign “The Melbourne Effect” because of its multifaceted appeal, according to MCB CEO Karen Bolinger. “MCB is the leading business-events destination in the Asia Pacific region, while PCMA is the authority in education and business networking,” Bolinger said, “so it made good sense to come together with our partner, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre [MCEC], to deliver the first-ever international auction of a convention center.”

World-changing events frequently choose Melbourne, including the World Diabetes Congress in 2013 and the International AIDS Conference in 2014. “We are renowned for collaborating with partners and bringing Melbourne together to deliver world-class conferences,” Bolinger said, “and now, with our partnership with PCMA, we have been able to extend this collaborative approach globally, enabling us to showcase all Melbourne has to offer as a conference and meetings destination.”

Throughout 2016, PCMA will highlight a number of unique features of this year’s auction in Melbourne, including the Melbourne Smart Podium and Rent-a-Bays, which include staging and furniture. Bidding for the 2016 Citywide Auction package opens today at Convening Leaders and ends on Nov. 30, 2016. Opening bids start at $125,000. If a bidder chooses the “buy now” option, the cost is $150,000 and the auction will close immediately.

“This is a win-win-win for the global event professional, the destination, and PCMA,” Crowley said, “since funds from this auction are reinvested in education.”

2016 Citywide Auction Details

Melbourne’s auction package (valued at $350,000) includes:

• Use of MCEC meeting rooms and exhibition bays for up to seven days.
• Dedicated event and audiovisual project managers.
• Award-winning catering services.
• One standard room setup (theater or classroom style).
• Use of digital signage to promote an event.
• Promotion on the MCEC website.
• Amenities such as water stations and a speaker prep room.
• Use of all pre-installed technology, including access to state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment such as an HD data projector Projection Design F85, widescreen motorized projection screen, room control system (AMX), intelligent lectern with a 22-inch LCD preview monitor, high-quality ceiling and stereo speakers for multimedia.
• Complimentary public transport for all delegates.
• Complimentary Wi-Fi for all delegates, with the ability to handle 1,500 simultaneous connections and coverage throughout the entire venue.
• Convention servicing support from MCB.
• A City of Melbourne visitor information desk located in the MCEC, providing access to local activities such as theater shows, galleries, and day trips.