A business that doesn’t grow is by definition, one that moves backward.
Showtime has applied an ongoing 5 – 10 year strategy to align with the industry’s growth plan, and source demand from the international Business Events market.
2010: In Tourism Australia’s Tourism 2020 initiative, there was a focus on building overnight stay revenue from $70b to $140b. This included a focus on Business Events, specifically from Asia.
Showtime Event Centre identified in 2011 that the biggest growth opportunity, was in the Business Events market. 37 million people attend 412,000 business events in Australia annually, with Melbourne and Sydney attracting over 60% of that market.
In 2013 Showtime Events Centre successfully won the tender to host the AIME Welcome Party for 2,500+ guests, made up of International hosted buyers, media, local market and industry. It was this event that put Showtime Events Centre on the map, as a formidable player in the Melbourne events scene. At the time, the event was recognised as one of the best AIME Welcome Receptions.
To accommodate the number of business event enquires in and around Showtime’s successful wedding market, in 2014 Showtime acquired an additional event space in South Wharf, and branded it, Cargo Hall.
From that point, successful collaborations and relationship building with key stakeholders, including Pan Pacific (formally Hilton) and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the demand kept growing for business events in the area. In 2015 ‘South Wharf Events’ was established as a catering arm to answer the demand for large events in excess of 1,500 people, looking to utilise the South Wharf promenade. South Wharf Events created tailored events such as ‘Melbourne Laneways’, ‘Charm of the Yarra’ and ‘Dinner under the Stars’ experiences that were received favourably with the international incentive market. Showtime also aligned very closely with South Wharf Restaurants, a collection of 6 restaurants in South Wharf that include; Bangpop, Akachochin, Plus 5, Common Man, Meat Market and Bohemian, with the premise to be able to cater for any size group, from 5 to 5,000+.
Following the most successful year to date, in 2016 Showtime was approached by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) to become one of just 5 key Strategic Partners, and assist in selling Melbourne as the destination for Business Events. As part of this early partnership, Showtime joined MCB on trips to Hong Kong and focused heavily on the incentive based market in Asia, bringing a collection of unique experiences, and creative collaborations to market. The opportunity to work with MCB was made even more appealing with the announcement they were joining forces with Destination Melbourne and Visit Victoria, to ensure that Melbourne would be highly represented internationally as a Business Events destination. This partnership also opened up opportunities to exhibit with Tourism Australia in China, and most recently as part of Dreamtime 2017 in Brisbane.
In 2018 the growth phase hits its most exciting, with the launch of Showtime Event Group (SEG) and the vision to become a major player in the event catering landscape. Showtime Event Group was recently appointed by the National Trust Australia (Victoria) as exclusive caterer to the Old Melbourne Gaol, Former City Watch house, and Old Magistrates Court. In addition SEG is aligning with several unique spaces in and around Melbourne, including art galleries, distilleries, and yacht clubs, to build a portfolio of venues to cater within. Over 2018 SEG will continue exhibiting with Tourism Australia as we represent Melbourne in overseas tradeshows.
In 2019, the show goes on, as Showtime Event Group will undergo renovations to Showtime Event Centre, turning the space from one room, to a three level venue with the capacity for 1,200 people.
By recognising early what our industry bodies were doing locally, and internationally, we have managed to develop a strategy that has seen the growth of our business from a one room function centre, to a promising and formidable player in the Melbourne events market.