Melbourne's innovation in the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) sector was on show to the world as the 23rd Intelligent Transport System World Congress (ITS 2016) moved into Melbourne last month.
Held at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), ITS 2016 was the largest international association conference held in Australia this year, and the second largest international association conference ever held in Melbourne.
The event held from 10 - 14 October attracted 11,496 visitors, made up of over 4,200 international delegates from 73 countries.
Secured for the city by Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) and ITS Australia, lead by Club Melbourne Ambassador, Professor Dean Zabrieszach, with support from the State Government of Victoria, this was the first time the congress had been held in Melbourne.
MCB Chief Executive Officer, Karen Bolinger, said this was a remarkable result for the city, business events sector and ITS industry.
"MCB works hard to not only secure events for the city, but to also ensure they are well attended. This event is proof that our approach to attracting the world's best and brightest minds has paid off in spades, Ms Bolinger said.
"The business events sector in Melbourne is thriving. We have the capability, capacity and innovative approach to winning and delivering international conferences and meetings, which sets us apart nationally and globally."
"To exceed the overall visitor target is testament to the collaborative effort of our city. These results are only possible thanks to the support of the Victorian State Government, City of Melbourne, MCEC and our partners across the travel sector. It is a real example of the power of Team Melbourne," Ms Bolinger said.
ITS 2016 generated in excess of $25 million in economic contribution for Victoria, but the impact of this event extends beyond dollars.
"It is the legacy outcomes of conferences that have a lasting impact on the local and global community," Ms Bolinger said.
"World break throughs and collaborations in connected cars, an MoU signed between ITS Korea and VicRoads, new traffic control and smart mobility software on show for the first time, driverless car trials around Albert Park Lake - this is the true value of conferences."
Melbourne, and Australia is recognised globally as a leader in the ITS sector, with technology developed here exported across the world. Transport equipment is Victoria's second largest manufacturing industry, employing 29,000 people and contributing $3.8 billion to Victoria's economy.
MCEC Chief Executive, Peter King said after almost 11 years in the making, the venue successfully delivered the landmark event.
"The world's best minds in ITS took over more than 80 per cent of our venue, with our employees working over 600 shifts to deliver the entirely customised event.
"The technology requirements for this event in particular were immense. Delegates had access to our dedicated platinum Wi-Fi service, while 80GB per hour of recorded video content was transferred each day across the course of the event," Mr King said.