Coda 2022

Case Study

In 2022, the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) hosted the carbon-neutral certified Coda convention - a non-profit healthcare association that disrupted traditional medical conferences with sustainable event planning.

Across four days, over 800 delegates from around the globe convened in Melbourne.

Originally confirmed for 2020, the path to success was not straightforward. Coda faced some challenges in their planning with rescheduled dates, before eventually taking place in Melbourne in 2022. MCB played a pivotal role in supporting Coda22 through this uncertain period.

With financial support facilitated by MCB, along with marketing, promotional and logistical support, this non-profit delivered a highly innovative, sustainable and successful business event at a time when the business events industry and international travel were still in the early stages of recovery from the pandemic.

Watch this video to explore Coda's exciting innovation in medical conference planning and delivery.

Why Melbourne was chosen

The successful bid to bring Coda22 to Melbourne was led by MCB and supported by the Victorian State Government, competing on a national basis with Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane.

Multiple factors contributed to Melbourne being chosen as the host city, including the city’s reputation as a leader in the medical and technology sectors as well as outstanding sustainable business event infrastructure including:

  • The ability to offer incredibly short walking distances between preferred hotels and the MCEC, eliminating the need for delegates to use transport between venues
  • Access to a six green star-rated convention and exhibition centre to hold their event
  • Significant access to carbon-friendly business event suppliers across all touchpoints of their event.
  • Readily accessible solar-powered trams, e-bike and e-scooter options to explore the city further

Further to the sustainable business events infrastructure, Melbourne consistently ranks as a global sustainability leader, ranking number one in Australia in the 2023 Global Destination Sustainability Index and top five in the APAC region.

The venue played a big part in Coda's sustainability goals

Coda22 immediately benefited by hosting its main plenary and exhibition at the six green-star rated Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).

MCEC has been EarthCheck certified since 2009 and was the first convention centre in the world awarded a 6-Star Green Star environment rating in 2016.

MCEC’s 100-mile food menu also supported Coda’s initiative to reduce miles in their event supply chain. Delegates were fed a delicious menu using ingredients sourced locally, featuring dishes sourced from local Victorian farms and markets which are all within 100 miles of their venue.

Food rescue organisation OzHarvest was also engaged by MCEC to rescue leftover food from the event.

MCB partners with industry leaders in sustainability to meet event planners’ goals across all touchpoints of their business event

MCB further supported Coda’s sustainability goals, introducing them to local sustainability champions such as MCB strategic partner Harry the hirer.

As Coda’s exhibition build partner, Harry the hirer significantly contributed to Coda22’s sustainability goals, wrapping all of Coda22’s exhibition supplies (eg. rugs, lighting, furniture) in biodegradable plastic and paper alternatives to reduce landfill.

They also set up an Eco Café for coffee fixes, providing Coda with ‘closed-loop’ furniture made from 100% recycled materials, to be re-used by Coda once the conference was finished. The café itself served coffee in an edible, made in Melbourne, ‘Good-Edi’ cup to reduce landfill. Each cup was made of 100% edible oats and grains and was 100 per cent vegan-friendly.

To further assist event planners with delivering a sustainable convention, MCEC’s Positive Impacts Guide enables business event planners to infuse sustainability into every aspect of their event - food, setup, transportation, energy use or waste management.

Getting around sustainably

All of Coda’s accommodations, sessions and social functions were purposely chosen to be within walking distance of each other – which is very easy to do with venues and accommodation in Melbourne.

There is an abundance of hotels to suit any budget within walking distance of MCEC, which is in the heart of Melbourne’s dining and entertainment district.

Even better, MCB’s partner Accor recently entered into a strategic partnership with EcoTourism Australia to certify all Accor hotels, apartments and resorts across Australia as Sustainable Tourism certified businesses, so the options for event planners to reserve room blocks in sustainably recognised hotels are second-to none. For example, Accor’s Novotel South Wharf Melbourne hotel is located a hop, skip and jump from MCEC.

If delegates chose not to walk to the venue, they had a sustainable public transport option. Melbourne’s renowned tram network is also 100 per cent offset by renewable energy thanks to Victorian solar farms, with over 400 trams carbon neutral.

Include Melbourne in your next bid opportunity

MCB regularly provides business event planners with tools to achieve successful, creative programs like Coda22, offering free assistance to bring programs to life; access to the best local talent; connection to engaging and influential speakers; and introductions to MCB Knowledge Partners in everything from medical and technology to the engineering and entrepreneurial sectors.

Learn more about Why Melbourne and reach out to the MCB team for further information for free business event support.