Karen Bolinger celebrates Melbourne winning C2 bidKaren Bolinger

Melbourne’s claim to be the ‘ideas capital of Australia’ was given extra ballast when meeting industry leaders secured a pioneering business conference for the city.

C2 Melbourne promises two days of ‘immersive experiences’, bringing together commerce and creativity to explore trends, opportunities, and disruptive shifts on the horizon.

It will be the first large-scale ‘C2’ event outside Canada. Founded by Cirque du Soleil, C2 Montreal has been held every year since 2011, attracting 6,000 executives from 50 countries.

The intoxicating mix of art, creativity, and business has been hailed as ‘pioneering’ and ‘ground-breaking’ by publications such as The Harvard Business Review and The Economist.

The event seeks to help innovators find creative solutions to commercial and social challenges, in a surprising and imaginative environment, not reminiscent of a traditional conference.

It is claimed one in four delegates makes a deal at the event.

A partnership between Victorian State Government, professional congress organiser MCI, and Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) secured the inaugural event for Melbourne.

Bureau CEO, Karen Bolinger, said: “Melbourne is a city that cultivates and throws its support towards creativity in innovation. This is what enabled us to be so determined in our pursuit of securing this event. As an event grounded in innovation, creativity and collaboration, Melbourne is the ideal city to embrace a progressive approach to conferencing.

“The ‘Future of Business Meetings Industry Report’ commissioned by Melbourne Convention Bureau this year identified that engaging conference content is less information focussed and more interaction focussed, where attendees will get to know each other.”

Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis, said: “Melbourne is the ideas capital of Australia and the perfect host city for an event that is all about how creativity and new ideas can drive new business opportunities. The Victorian Government is investing heavily in innovation because we know it is the key to the business ideas that will drive our economy in the future.”

The location for C2 Melbourne will be announced in July.

President of C2, Richard St-Pierre said Melbourne said:  “As the team at C2 was imagining where we may go for the first ever large scale C2 outside of Canada, we sought cities with a rich culture, an intoxicating energy and a readiness to work together to set the stage that will reset imagination and unleash new ideas for business leaders, innovators and creatives from around the world.”

Melbourne hosts numerous events to encourage starts up and creative entrepreneurs. Creative Industries are among the city’s fastest growing industries – growing at almost double the rate of the broader economy – and they employ more than 220,000 people.