Melbourne has won its international bid to host 2,000 international eye health professionals at the World Congress of Optometry 2021 (WCO 2021).
To be held in September 2021, the three-day Congress will also see leading manufacturers and equipment suppliers converge at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) to share in the latest technological and patient care advances.
The bid, secured by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) in partnership with Optometry Victoria South Australia and the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association with support from the Victorian State Government and Tourism Australia’s Business Events Bid Fund Programme, is anticipated to generate almost A$12m (US$8.12m) in economic impact for the state of Victoria.
Melbourne recently hosted the Southern Regional Congress (SRC), which merged for the first time with the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association (ODMA) to create the new biennial event, already one of the largest education, eye care and eyewear event in the Southern Hemisphere, O=MEGA19. The move created a readily engaged audience in the optometry industry providing a successful platform for WCO 2021 to be hosted in the city alongside O=MEGA21.
Melbourne claims the largest concentration of eye and vision researchers in Australia.
MCB Acting Chief Executive Officer, Julia Swanson said the most recent win was a result of Melbourne’s reputation as a knowledge capital and innovation centre combined with the ‘Team Melbourne’ approach.
“Melbourne is recognised as a premium destination in hosting global events in the medical field and the city provides the platform for further research and development while contributing to the economy,” said Ms Swanson.
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said the average business events visitor spending at least twice as much as a leisure visitor in Australia. “These two events alone are expected to inject around A$10m into the economy,” he said, adding: “As a country, we have a distinguished track record of hosting large-scale international business events, and I am pleased that the Morrison Government’s Bid Fund Program is continuing to assist in the conversion of new business for Australia which provides a boost to our economy.”