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December 18, 2020
In this issue
What are the big things that resonated in 2020?
MCEC re-purposes exhibition bays into drive-in cinema
Auckland ambassador program ticks off 50-member milestone
How events have changed at The Ritz-Carlton, Perth
Final grin and tonic for 2020

What are the big things that resonated in 2020?
By Joyce DiMascio
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” That’s been the often-repeated sentiment of 2020.
We’ve heard it over and over from all CEOs and staffers around the industry – in Australia and overseas.
So what stood out in 2020? Despite all the bad stuff, there were also many positives.
What will we remember other than the trauma of being brought to our knees by the pandemic?
As optimism returns and smiles and laughter light up the faces of our friends and colleagues – we asked a few key people: What stood out? What surprised and delighted them about 2020?
There are recurrent themes about the resilience of staff, the speed with which we adapted to new technology, collaboration, the emergence of new leaders and importantly, the power of reopening and operating safely.
Read the full story and what a cross-section of industry told micenet here. 
MCEC re-purposes exhibition bays into drive-in cinema
As part of its business re-launch, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is developing Australia’s first drive-in, indoor cinema concept.
The Drive In(Door) Cinema, which will be located in the venue’s exhibition bays, is being delivered in partnership with Village Cinemas. It will be completely weatherproof and daytime-friendly, giving audiences more opportunities to enjoy child-friendly matinee sessions.
Commenting on the initiative, MCEC chief executive Peter King said: “Like many in the events sector, we have found ourselves not being able to perform our core business for much of this year, and the immediate loss of revenue has proved challenging.
“That’s why we’re exploring new ideas and ways of working, to secure MCEC’s future and to ensure the business can continue to be a driver in the State’s economic recovery.
“Cinemas and live events really suffered this year, and I can’t think of a better way to support our industry than to partner to create something truly special for all families and friends to enjoy.”
The venue’s exhibition bays, which are currently not in use for events, have space for 174 cars, and the cinema will operate under MCEC’s VenueSafe plan, with industry-leading health and safety measures in place.
Auckland ambassador program ticks off 50-member milestone
Auckland’s business events ambassador program - the Auckland Advocate Alliance (AAA) – has recently welcomed its 50th member. The program, which started with just 14 members in 2015, was launched in New Zealand by the Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) to support local academics and sector experts to bring high-profile conferences and events to the city.
So far, it has helped secure more than 34 international conferences, which have injected $40 million into Auckland’s economy.
The 50 advocates represent a broad range of knowledge, from cancer drug research to pediatric medicine, technology, engineering, internet security and infrastructure.
Continue reading here. 
How events have changed at The Ritz-Carlton, Perth
The global pandemic has caused a significant change in most sectors. Arguably most of all in the hotel sector. Not only have they operated as quarantine centres and makeshift hospitals, but hotels across the world have had to re-think their offerings when it comes to attracting guests and corporate events.
The Ritz-Carlton, Perth has shifted its focus when it comes to MICE by observing patterns and adapting its processes in order to stay competitive.
We chatted with director of sales and marketing for the hotel Li Ann Loo about what event planners are now looking for, the opportunities that have arisen from Covid, what the future of event food will look like and the Covid-safe assurances in place at The Ritz Carlton, Perth that set it apart.
Read her responses here. 
Final grin and tonic for 2020
We’ve made it to the end of our final e-newsletter of the year, and our final grin and tonic video from Darren Isenberg (final for 2020, that is. He’ll be back in 2021, rest assured).
Unsurprisingly, this video has a Christmas theme. Specifically, it’s about how the Christmas spirit manifests in many different ways.
We hope you enjoy it with a gin and tonic in hand. Yes, it’s 10:30 am, but… it’s Christmas time. Watch the video here. 
Thank you for supporting micenet this year by subscribing to and reading our daily e-newsletter. We hope we’ve brought a bit of joy and entertainment to what has been a tough year on everyone.
Merry Christmas and see you in 2021!
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