A Big Year Ahead – The State Library in 2019

What to expect in 2019 at the State Library Victoria

When we at Showtime Event Group looked to expand our business, we were keen to secure new innovative spaces that were unique and complimented our exiting venues. In February of this year we added the Old Melbourne Gaol to our portfolio, along with the Former City Watch House and Old Magistrates Court. By mid year, we were keen to secure more spaces to handle the enquiry demand across our business events market, and ever expanding wedding market.

In July we were successful in our tender for the State Library, and excited to be part of the evolution of the venue.  The ambitious Vision 2020 project has invested over $88m in rejuvenating the Library event spaces, and on completion there will be over 11 spaces to choose from.

So what does that look like? We are looking forward just shy of 11 months away, where we envisage a Library that is the events hub of the CBD. The spaces have been specifically designed to cater for a range of events, and a vast span of clientele.

Business events will be the big winner, with the Library creating a central space to connect the seminar rooms and theatretteThe Conversation Quarter (previously known as the courtyard) will have capacity for up to 250 guests set cabaret. The room will be fitted with impressive audio visual facilities that will be designed around the room’s key features. This space now connects Hansen Hall and the conference centre, allowing meetings to take place with a plenary, catering area, and up to 8 break out spaces. The AV has also been factored in to all venue hire rates to reduce unnecessary overheads outside the day delegate packages which start from just $65 pp. These space will become a game changer for medium size multi-day conferencing, that are looking for an inner city option outside of a hotel.

The Galleries in the library will also be accessible as event spaces once finalised. The Cowen Gallery, Victoria Gallery, North Rotunda and Keith Murdoch Gallery will all have ongoing installations to complement events. Each of these spaces will provide an experience, and an option for seated and standing events.

Recently the library has been the venue of choice for the government and education sector, and supports a strong community base. However the weddings market was often left underwhelmed. The opening of the Isabella Fraser Room will create a stunning option for receptions and ceremonies, with access direct to the room off La Trobe Street. There is even an old world horse drinking trough that has been left at the street entrance for those couples who are looking to arrive in style. The room can seat up to 200 guests with a dance floor and its impressive features are highlighted with the rooms in house audio visual and lighting design.

The Rotunda has been transformed from its striking red painted walls, to a more modern colour, which will allow weddings to transform the space a little easier for those intimate wedding ceremonies and receptions. The space can seat up to 60 guests with a dance floor, or for those really intimate events, a large round table to seat 20 people can be organised. Our range of degustation menus are launching soon, specifically designed for these intimate events.

The final space to open in Spring of 2019 will be the Ian Potter Queen’s Hall. This space has not been accessible to the public for almost ten years, and has been the most impressive restoration in the Vision 2020 project. Ian Potter Queen’s Hall will become one of Melbourne grandest spaces when it re-opens. The project has included opening up the sky light scale features in the ceiling to let in the natural light. The paint work has been taken back to reveal the original pattern from the 19th century. And the colour scheme has been lightened to its initial design.  The room will be able to cater for up to 300 people in a seated reception, and is adjacent to the impressive La Trobe Reading Room that can be used for pre-dining.

We’re looking forward to introducing the State Library event spaces to the market.