Connecting Up Conference 2019

The Connecting Up Conference is a three-day interactive event that has continued to grow in size and quality since it was first established in 2004. It is targeted at not-for-profit organisations who are interested in innovation, change and finding solutions to enhance engagement and impact within their communities and achieve outcomes through technology, training and improved operational and organisational efficiencies.

As technology and the digital landscape continue to evolve rapidly and the competition becomes stronger, not-for-profit organisations need to continue to innovate to keep up with the changes. This is where we help.

2019 Theme
The 2019 Conference encompasses the theme of ‘’Transform” and will inspire and empower NFPs and charities to transform their organisations through technology and 21st century best-practice to fulfil their missions.

By coming together to learn from sector leaders, technology providers and peers, NFP organisations across Australia can be educated and inspired to have a powerful impact into the future.
The conference is an excellent opportunity for not-for-profit organisations to learn from inspiring international and local speakers, engage and share with other delegates and walk away with new insights to help their organisation drive greater social change.

Program includes
Main Conference plenaries, streams, exhibition, mentoring and other activities – Thursday and Friday 9-10 May
Masterclasses - Wednesday 8 May (optional program at additional cost)
Not-for-profit Leadership Breakfast - Thursday 9 May (optional program at additional cost)
Connecting Up Awards Dinner - Thursday 9 May (optional program at additional cost)

Who will attend
The 2018 Connecting Up Conference in Brisbane was attended by more than 450 delegates from not-for-profit organisations across Australia.
The event attracts everyone from CEOs, to Board members, directors and managers, project coordinators and staff and volunteers working in areas ranging from IT, to digital media, community engagement, marketing, communications, fundraising and more.
In 2019, we are expecting around 500 delegates to attend the conference across all programs.

The sector
The Australian not-for-profit sector is diverse and consists of organisations of varying sizes. Connecting Up wants to ensure that as many organisations as possible are represented. The various categories of not-for-profit organisations listed in the Connecting Up Directory illustrates the breadth of the sector, and we encourage broad participation at our annual conference.

Connecting Up is pleased to provide live captioning at all of our plenary sessions on Thursday and Friday. Please contact the Conference team at if you have any questions about live captioning. 

Join us and be a part of this highly anticipated annual event in the not-for-profit sector and expand your network in the not-for-profit community


  • Wednesday 08 May 2019 10:00 AM - 04:30 PM
  • Thursday 09 May 2019 07:30 AM - 11:00 PM
  • Friday 10 May 2019 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • 3-Day Pass $880
  • 2-Day Pass $560
  • Day Pass (May 9) $300
  • Day Pass (May 10) $300
  • Masterclass (May 8) $240
  • Breakfast (May 9) $80
  • Awards Dinner (May 9) $120
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Getting here

BY TRAM: Tram routes 96, 109 and 12 (Stop 124A Casino/MCEC) will all take you to our Clarendon Street entrance. Otherwise, tram routes 70, 75 and the City Circle (Stop D5) take you to Flinders Street. From there, it’s just a short walk up Clarendon Street until you reach us. For tram timetables or further trip planning, use Public Transport Victoria’s Journey Planner.

BY TRAIN: Our closest station is Southern Cross. Once you exit the station, you can catch the 96, 109 or 12 tram routes and arrive at MCEC in just a few stops. For train timetables or further trip planning, use Public Transport Victoria’s Journey Planner.

BY CAR: If you’re being dropped off at the Exhibition Centre, our Clarendon Street entrance is the closest entrance. If you’re getting a lift to the Convention Centre, the entrance near DFO is the closest drop off point. If you’re driving in, our Exhibition Centre car park can be accessed via Normanby Road. You can view more parking options below.

BY BUS: From Monday to Friday, bus route 237 goes via Southern Cross Station to Lorimer Street, which is roughly a five-minute walk to MCEC. For bus timetables or further trip planning, use Public Transport Victoria’s Journey Planner.

BY TAXI OR UBER: If you’re heading to the Exhibition Centre, ask your taxi or Uber driver to drop you off at MCEC’s Clarendon Street entrance. If you’re going to the Convention Centre, ask your driver to drop you off at Convention Centre Place, next to Pan Pacific Melbourne and DFO South Warf. We have two nearby taxi ranks – Crown, Clarendon Street and DFO, Convention Centre Place.

When you arrive from Melbourne Airport (also known as Tullamarine Airport), you have three options. You can catch a taxi from outside your terminal or request an Uber by following the signs outside your terminal to the pick up zones. You can also get the Skybus, which has a service called the Southbank Docklands Express that stops at the Clarendon Street entrance of MCEC. Receive 5% discount on purchasing tickets online by entering the promotional code ‘MCEC’.


Company: Wilson Parking Opening hours: 24/7 hours Enter/Exit: Normanby Road Clearance Height: 2.2 metres Please note that our car park can reach capacity early in the day during busy events.

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Company: Care Park Opening hours: 24/7 hours Enter/Exit: Corner of Siddeley Street and Flinders Street, Docklands Clearance Height: 1.9 metres

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Company: Wilson Parking Opening hours: 24/7 hours Enter/Exit: Normanby Road and Munro Street. Collect a validation ticket when making a purchase from DFO and receive a 50 per cent discount on your parking rate.

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Company: Wilson Parking Opening hours: 24/7 hours Enter/Exit: Convention Centre Place or Munro Street Clearance Height: 2.1 metres

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Company: Care Park Opening hours: 24/7 hours Enter/Exit: Munro Street

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Eating there

Shed Café - Exhibition Centre

The ideal spot for coffee on the go. Treat yourself to delicious house-made cakes and pastries while overlooking the Yarra River and South Wharf boardwalk. For lunch, choose from a selection of fresh, seasonal salads and sandwiches made using Victoria’s finest produce.

Plenary Café - Convention Centre

The perfect place to relax. If you’re waiting for an event or simply a bit peckish between meetings, stop by Plenary Café for home-made jaffles, toasties, salads and wraps. Plenary Café has all your cravings covered.

Goldfields Café + Bar - Exhibition Centre

The newest Café and Bar on the block. With its vibrant dining atmosphere, it's the ideal place for breakfast made to order, share plates and best of Victorian wines to keep discussing the day's event or just relax. A must visit!


Wheelchair access

There are accessible toilets, ramps and lifts throughout our venue, including lift access from the car parks. If you’d like to hire a wheelchair from us, call our Customer Service team on +61 3 9235 8000 or email us at

Vision impairment

Braille is provided on all room door signage and fixed directional signage throughout the venue. MCEC is guide dog friendly and welcomes any registered assistance dogs into all areas of the building.

Assisted hearing

Most meeting rooms within the Convention Centre are equipped with TTA Hearing Assisted telephones, and we have other hearing assisted devices available to hire. To book, call our Customer Service team on +61 3 9235 8000 or email


Parent Rooms

Our Parent Rooms offer a comfortable and private space for parents and children. Located in both the Convention and Exhibition Centres, these feature everything you need to change or feed in privacy and comfort.

Cloak room

Looking for somewhere to store your coat, pram or luggage? Visit our Customer Service desk at either the Convention Centre Place or Clarendon Street entrances and our friendly staff will happily lighten your load.

Charging Stations

Power on with work or finish off that assignment at one of our many conveniently located charging stations throughout the building.

What’s coming up at MCEC