Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre unveils post-COVID brand reset

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has unveiled its new brand positioning, off the back of a year in which, CEO Peter King admits, COVID sent the business back “to zero”.

The rebrand centres around a new positioning statement that sees the MCEC become ‘home of the unconventional’, with the brand transformation created with partner FutureBrand Australia.

The MCEC’s new logo

Speaking with Mumbrella, King revealed that during time spent reflecting when the pandemic forced the MCEC to close doors, future planning, not just getting back to normal as quickly as possible, was on the agenda.

“The business was flying, hitting peak operating performance when COVID hit. So we literally went to zero, we had to shut the doors.

“After a couple of months, of sort, of dealing with the critical elements of it, we took the opportunity to focus on the future, meanwhile a lot of our competitors were focused on returning to business as usual.

“Instead, we decided the world would be different when we came back, so when the industry returned we wanted to position ourselves differently, to do things differently, to be innovative and to be creative and to create a platform for future success based on the new world.”

The rebrand keeps that in mind, King said, and is also in keeping with MCEC’s new 2021-2024 business strategy and key priority areas: people, financial sustainability, community pride and new markets and products.

“It’s about reinventing the way our business is going to be operating and importantly doing a reset the culture and the mindset of our people around innovation and around doing things in an unconventional manner,” King added.

MCEC CEO Peter King

For a rebrand based around forward-thinking, Richard Curtis’ brand transformation agency FutureBrand Australia was a perfect fit, according to King.

“We’ve had an exceptional relationship with them,” King said. “We had a remit of wanting to do things differently, and they fit the brief really well because that’s the way they like to operate and consider options outside the norm.”

In launching the new brand positioning, CEO Curtis said FutureBrand didn’t want to completely reinvent the MCEC brand, which “is an experience that extends far beyond the four walls of a traditional event space”.

As a result, he focused on how to position and design the brand in ways that don’t reinvent it, “but strengthen it to surface their unconventional approach, showing what makes MCEC and their people special”.

“With the impact of COVID and how it has helped realise MCEC’s strengths in creativity and innovation, we created an identity that is meaningful, useful and beautiful both in physical and digital arenas,” he added.

“Ultimately, our work with MCEC embodies FutureBrand’s fundamental belief that while brands are created with purpose, they are defined through experience.”

The effects of the pandemic continue to linger for the MCEC, and the events industry at large. As a result, the rollout of the brand won’t exactly be through a traditional launch campaign, King told Mumbrella.

Instead, introducing the new-look MCEC is “going to be a bit more of an evolution”.

“We’ve done a lot of our collateral and basic branding. So we’re ready to go with the visual aspects of it. But in the current circumstances, with rebuilding the business, we haven’t got a huge marketing budget,” he said.

“You’ll see that the brand is a really confident, modern, stronger representation of our business.

“So it won’t be sort of a big splash. It’s going to be more of an incremental positioning.”


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