What are the most popular venues around Melbourne for corporate functions & events?
As busy corporate function and event photographers, we get to experience many of Melbourne’s best venues. We get to see what goes on behind the scenes as well as what happens front of house so have a great idea of which venues are consistently good and will help you to impress your clients at your next function.
Listed in no particular order, the following venues always put on a great service and we’d be pleased to provide event photography services there again.
The Capitol theatre on Swanston Street is one of Melbourne’s newest oldest event venues!
Originally opened in 1924 to show movies with a live soundtrack and often accompanied by an illuminated ceiling, this cinema is still showing movies but is also available for hire as an event venue.
Purchased by RMIT in 1999, the cinema has undergone extensive refurbishment to restore the building to it’s original splendour.
With seating for 580, this cinema is perfect for screenings or corporate presentations in comfortable and acoustically brilliant surroundings.
The ceiling of the cinema is still illuminated and is the venues most memorable aspect.
A large foyer and bar area on the first floor are both available for entertaining guests, and last time we were there with our event photography service, the catering was excellent with plentiful food by professional and friendly staff.
Popular with organisers of corporate functions due to it’s proximity to Collins Street and central Melbourne offices, you can expect to see this venue cropping up more often as people rediscover this forgotten gem.
Melbourne Museum is a great option for event organisers who would like to create a lasting impression with their choice of venue. This venue is always popular with event photographers too, as visually, it offers much more to work with than just the usual corporate dining room or functional event space.
A contemporary icon of the Melbourne architecture scene, the museum is surrounded by 64 acres of English oaks, Moreton Bay Figs and Conifers.
Since the surroundings are so interesting, and at night, the space very atmospheric, guests remember the event far more than they would at A.N.Other restaurant!
The Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens, which the museum looks out onto is often illuminated at night to coincide with your event.
With 15 bespoke spaces on offer, from the expansive foyer to drinks at the rainforest, the museum has an event space to suit groups of 10 to 2000 guests.
Founded in 1861, Melbourne’s NGV is the oldest and most visited art museum in Australia.
Offering unique function spaces for all types of function, the NGV’s ever changing program of major exhibitions offer unique private viewing opportunities which are ideal for entertaining guests. Guests love having an exhibition to themselves with a private viewing – it’s always enjoyable to wander one of the NGV’s international shows without having to battle the crowds!
With exclusive catering by the highly regarded Restaurant Associates, your guests are guaranteed an impressive dining experience in some of Melbourne’s most iconic spaces, including the NGV’s Great Hall with it’s stained glass ceiling and the Garden Restaurant which overlooks the Grollo Equiset Garden.
Vue de Monde, Rialto
Perched atop the Rialto tower on Collins Street, Vue de monde is an impressive restaurant and entertaining space, with views across the city, Port Phillip Bay and out towards the Dandenongs.
Designed to encapsulate the feeling of the Australian outdoors, the restaurant features kangaroo fur chairs, basalt rock bar and corrugated iron wall coverings.
With celebrity chef Shannon Bennett at the helm, Vue de Monde focusses on the theatrical dining experience, wowing diners with unique and unusual creations that often look unlike food and sometimes too good to eat!
Hotel Chadstone Melbourne, MGallery by Sofitel
Although we haven’t yet shot an event at the newly opened Hotel Chadstone, it’s only a matter of time before we do, as this luxury hotel has eight versatile event spaces with a capacity for up to 650 guests.
The 5 star hotel‘s ballroom is likely to be a popular alternative to the Ballroom at Crown for those event organisers who want to move away from the CBD or host their event closer to the eastern suburbs.
Altus is the hotel’s rooftop venue which can also host private dining experiences, offering great views across to the city of Melbourne, Dandenongs and out towards the bay.
Melbourne Cricket Ground
The MCG has a surprising number of event spaces available for hire, and is a venue that doesn’t immediately spring to mind for corporate entertaining or functions.
From conferences for 500 to small private dining experiences, the MCG has something for everyone. Even if your guests are not major sports fan, they’re still likely to be impressed by the size and scale of the venue, perhaps previously only seeing it on television or in photographs.
With catering by the award winning team at Epicure, your guests won’t go hungry at the MCG, and no, we’re not talking meat pies and beer – think along the lines of modern Australian cuisine and wines from the best vineyards that Australia has to offer.
Food and service is always excellent and there are numerous opportunities to hammer home your brand name or push your message through the use of the scoreboard, digital screens and the boundary fence.
On several of the corporate functions we have photographed at the MCG, guests have enjoyed a guided tour of the most recognisable and popular locations, as well as player change rooms, The Long Room and onto the field boundary for selfies and photo opportunities.
Located on the riverfront edge of Federation Square, ZINC is a slickly run and adaptable event space which is perfect for corporate entertaining.
With a view out to the river, MCG and Southbank, the venue is just a stones throw from Flinders Street Station so is very convenient as a city based venue.
Although located in the heart of the city, the venue somehow always feels more relaxed than being in the city with it’s views of the river and adjacent parkland.
This is also one of the reasons it’s works well for corporate events during the day as there is plenty of natural light available as well as an outside deck which is great for breaks, lunches or networking.
Large enough to entertain up to 1000 guests, the venue can also be scaled down into separate and more intimate spaces that don’t hint at it’s potential for larger events and conferences.
The food is always excellent and the service from the friendly staff is consistently good.
White Lane, Flinders Lane
Owned and operated by Melbourne based caterers food&desire, White Lane on Flinders Lane is also popular as a city wedding venue (without the pomp!).
White Lane is increasingly popular for corporate functions with companies that want to have a cool city vibe without being too edgy and scaring their clients off! White washed brick walls and a studio or art gallery feel it offers something of a blank canvas for your event.
Located at the top end of town, the venue has a subterranean feel, located just below street level, but with views of pedestrians legs visible as they wander by, usually totally unaware that an event is happening below them.
The catering is usually the most memorable aspect of this venue, with food&desire outdoing themselves at each event we attend!
QT Melbourne is a boutique hotel located on Russell Street in Melbourne CBD, which is probably best known by event photographers for it’s rooftop space for events during the summer months as it’s very popular with clients entertaining groups of up to 185 guests.
With great views across the immediate Melbourne CBD area, the rooftop has a really relaxed feel, with it’s comfortable furniture and sophisticated design.
Although the rooftop event space is most well known, the hotel has several event and functions space available, ranging from the King which is similar in style to the Pascale Bar & Grill for small private dining events or board meetings through to the Barclay Room which can welcome up to 60 guests for a cocktail function.
The floor to ceiling windows of the Barclay Room offer great views and make for an interesting meeting room as well as a larger private dining space.
Looking for something a little different? How about your own private bar for the night, in which to entertain your guests? Hot Sauce can host up to 60 guests in a private cocktail style event.
Do you need to impress just a handful of guests and maybe add a green or sustainable edge to the evening?
The Secret Garden may be just the event space you’re looking for.
Cultivated by executive chef Andy Harmer, the Secret Garden is relatively unknown to many, high above the busy city below.
Featuring string lights, wandering vines, herb and vegetable planters, this is a working garden used by the resident chefs on a daily basis and allows your guests to explore the rooftop garden while enjoying canapes, drinks and socialising or networking.
A unique chef’s table and camp fire experience is also available for up to 25 guests.
Royal Exhibition Building
With more than 11,000m2 of space, the Royal Exhibition Building, located in Carlton Gardens is a World Heritage listed site.
A large and versatile building, it has the ability to host both large and small events, ranging from expos and trade shows through to fashion shows, consumer events, awards nights and gala dinners.
It is the oldest surviving from the Great Exhibition era that is still operating as an exhibition hall which is a pretty good claim to fame!
Although the venue is large, smaller events work well in the space too, with areas that aren’t being utilised sectioned off with drapes so the space still feels intimate rather than cavernous.
For event photographers it’s a great building to work in, as the historic and grand building has some fantastic angles and shapes with which to frame a photo. The balcony level is useful for wide shots from above which are great for conveying a sense of scale when the event is large and always look impressive on social media feeds.
Catering is often provided by the excellent Peter Rowland for large scale dinner events and fashion shows.
Located at 191 Collins Street, beneath the Regent Theatre, Melbourne’s Plaza Ballroom is an impressive function space with space for up to 1200 guests.
It’s small gated entrance on Collins Street doesn’t hit at the large faux-grand space below street level, with it’s imitation balconies, towering columns and giant chandeliers.
Well suited to large corporate dinners and awards nights, the catering from the hatted executive chef is always on point.
Like most Melbourne event photographers, the Plaza Ballroom doesn’t top our list of favourite venues as it can be quite a challenging space to photography with it’s dark, high ceilings and low light levels but we know several corporate event videographers who absolutely love working there as it offers them some texture and atmosphere which they don’t always get on corporate events.
Myer Mural Hall
Myer Mural Hall is another impressive venue suited to large (and swanky!) corporate functions.
If you’re on the hunt for a contemporary venue with a roof garden or deck to enjoy cocktails on summer or autumn evening while watching the sun disappear behind the Westgate Bridge; Luminare could be of interest.
Located in South Melbourne, the rooftop venue offers an alternative skyline view of Melbourne and the decked outdoor area works really well for summer and autumn evening events. Perfect for pre-dinner cocktails and canapes!
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