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C2 Melbourne cancelled as creator suddenly steps down

The C2 business event model slated to come to Melbourne in October has been pulled following the sudden departure from C2 on 16 August of the event creator and C2’s CEO Asia-Pacific Martin Enault. It has been reported he has cited health reasons for his decision.

Enault had relocated from Canada to set up C2 Melbourne.

A terse announcement on the C2 Melbourne website simply states: ‘Sorry to break it to you: EVENT CANCELLED.’

Enault had, however, tweeted a few days ago: ‘C2 Melbourne. Excited to introduce 10 new die-hard disrupters to our @C2Melbourne 17-19 Oct program!’

Venue MCEC had invested a lot of marketing capital into the event (and Victoria had put in significant state funding) which had been expected to attract 2,500 participants. It had been backed heavily by the Melbourne CVB which had secured the rights to hold the event in Melbourne.

The C2 Melbourne event was the focus of the Melbourne messaging at recent international trade shows, including at IMEX Frankfurt.

Karen Bolinger, chief executive of MCB, said she was “surprised” and “disappointed”  to have received the news of the cancellation, but reportedly noted that the bureau had been advised that the move was in the best interests of the destination and its stakeholders.

A statement from C2 International said the decision to cancel had been made “after careful consideration and extensive exploration of options to make the event viable”.

“While we demonstrated our deep commitment to bringing C2 Melbourne to life, a series of circumstances outside of our control made it impossible for us to execute on the creation of the event,” said Richard St-Pierre, president and CEO of C2 International.

Bolinger said: “The decision to enter into a relationship with C2 was all about being brave, innovative and trying new things…We will continue to take risks and seek out opportunities for innovation and disruption in the conference market.”

C2 is also an integral part of IMEX and CN contacted Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, to ask whether the news from Melbourne would effect plans for her shows: 

“C2 remains committed to the industry and to our partnership. There is no change to C2’s exciting activities planned for IMEX America and we are going forward positively, delivering new and creative experiences and education at our show this October.”