One of the Most Creative Conferences Is Taking Over a Parking Lot

Author: David McMillin       

Joni Mitchell lamented paving paradise to put up a parking lot in “Big Yellow Taxi,” but the singer-songwriter will be happy to learn that the events industry is turning that parking lot back into a creative paradise — for the first-ever C2 Melbourne on Nov. 30–Dec. 1. While a parking area may sound like a surprising venue, North Wharf Goods Shed No. 5 offers an ideal setting for C2’s unique celebration of creativity and commerce. “The site that has been selected lends itself to have the same look and feel of C2 Montréal, just on a smaller scale for the first year,” Karen Bolinger, CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau, told PCMA. “The No. 5 Goods Shed set on the Yarra River is reminiscent of the C2 Montréal site in Griffintown district, which also featured an industrial heritage building located on the Lachine Canal.”

More than a dozen sites in and around Melbourne’s central business district were considered before organizers agreed to use the North Wharf as a popup event space for the first time. The setting will be “reminiscent of an outdoor summer festival, yet with creative business outcomes at the core of the event,” said Bolinger, who attended the sixth edition of C2 Montréal in late May to announce the conference’s export to Australia. She left Quebec with a deep appreciation for the environment at Arsenal, the converted shipyard complex that welcomed C2 Montréal’s 6,000 attendees this year.

“The conference setup and footprint puts participants in an environment that enables them to think and view the world differently,” Bolinger said. “By driving participants outside of their comfort zone, the event brings together business leaders in a manner that creates an instant bond. The various indoor and outdoor environments were constantly reinvigorating.”

SEE ALSO: 7 Images From C2 Montréal That Will Inspire Every Event Organizer

Play Hard, Work Hard

While the “playground” element of C2 is designed to help participants channel their creative energies, the experience is rooted in creating new connections and fueling new business opportunities. Bolinger highlighted the importance of C2’s ability to “grow Victoria’s $23-billion creative and cultural economy, turbocharge local creative enterprises, create new jobs and employment opportunities, and bring social and cultural benefits to Victorians.”

“At C2 Montréal, one in four attendees came away from the event having done a business deal, and we are hoping for similar outcomes,” Bolinger said. “This is the event that was missing from Melbourne’s event calendar.”

Want to be part of the inaugural event? Click here to learn more and register.

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