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ICC Sydney beats its target in first year of operation

February 21, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

ICC Sydney chose AIME in Melbourne yesterday to deliver an annual performance review of its first year of operation – and the news was superlative.

According to a Deloitte Access Economics study, delegates attending events at International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) generated AUD 785 million in direct expenditure for NSW during the period.

ICC Sydney chief executive, Geoff Donaghy, said the venue set a new standard in the events industry while helping to stimulate the local economy.

“ICC Sydney is proud to have welcomed 1.3 million visitors across 755 different events, a significant number of which have seen boosted success and attendance figures alongside a delegate satisfaction rating of 95% and client satisfaction rating of 93%,” he said.

Donaghy said ICC Sydney was set to continue its stellar performance in 2018 and beyond, having already secured 1300 leading major national and international events across sectors to 2026.

Geoff Donaghy at AIME in Melbourne yesterday

Asked to project growth over the next year, Donaghy it would continue but probably not at the same very high rate, as the opening of ICC Sydney had benefitted from pent-up demand, the “taking the cork out of the bottle” effect.

Donaghy was quite frank about audio-visual problems that had bugged the new venture during the first two months of operation, saying these teething problems reflected unfamiliarity with new equipment, and training staff. About 15 events had reported issues and ICC Sydney had made immediate refunds. This totally honest approach had generated goodwill and repeat business.

As for the glitches, “we believe that we are totally on top of that now”, Donaghy said.

ICC Sydney had proved highly popular and while it hadn’t turned away any events because of ability, it had turned one or two away because of capacity.

ICC Sydney’s results are impressive by any measure. Its inaugural annual performance review shows that almost AUD 560 million (71%) of the generated expenditure derived from international and interstate visitors, resulting in over 1.5 million overnight stays in Sydney accommodation and the creation of 3700 jobs.

The AUD 1.5 billion development, which comprises the convention centre, exhibition centre and a world-class theatre, is a key component of the NSW Government’s recent suite of infrastructure projects.

NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Victor Dominello, applauded the venue for outperforming the State’s target of AUD 200 million in economic benefits for New South Wales.

“The venue has enriched Darling Harbour and become a new icon in our city, underpinning Sydney’s reputation as one of the most desirable events destinations in the world.

ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre Theatre

“Like the Hong Kong Convention Centre and London Excel, ICC Sydney has cemented itself as a leading venue and helped shine the spotlight on Sydney,” Dominello said.

In 2017, ICC Sydney garnered 25 awards and accolades recognising excellence across all facets of the business from its design to human resources and culinary services.

Donaghy said ICC Sydney’s innovative approach to driving meaningful social and environmental outcomes for clients and the wider community had played a key role in its strong performance.

“From day one, we have been committed to operating in a socially responsible and environmentally sound manner, creating a ripple effect of positive outcomes that reach well beyond the city.

“Our unique Feeding Your Performance culinary philosophy alone has generated more than AUD 4.3 million in direct expenditure for a network of more than 85 New South Wales producers while supporting job creation, business growth and stability.

“According to a University of Technology Sydney report, ICC Sydney’s expenditure with local producers generated a total AUD 8.3 million in economic benefit for New South Wales.

“We are also extremely proud that our consortium achieved LEED Gold status for our all-encompassing approach to sustainability, and we supported 25 charity and not-for-profit events, resulting in more than A$6 million being raised on site,” Donaghy said.

Further achievements outlined in ICC Sydney’s 2017 Annual Performance Review include:

  • Hosting 36 major international events attracting 41,800 delegates, 151 national conventions attracting 141,100 delegates and 71 exhibitions events held across the precinct.
  • Welcoming 56 concerts including two back-to-back sell out Jerry Seinfeld concerts, international stars Ariana Grande, KD Lang, Nick Cave and PJ Harvey.
  • Partnering with Sydney Water to save 775,000 plastic bottles from use, indirectly reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 400 tonnes.
  • Introducing the first virtual reality video experience for an Australian conference venue.
  • Being the first venue of its kind to pilot a remote airline check-in and baggage drop service for delegates.
  • Launching a unique multi-streamed Legacy Program, designed to connect the world’s brightest minds, industry leaders and delegates across a diverse cross-section of Sydney’s vibrant community.

Major national and international events up to 2026 include the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and its 4000 delegates in May, Sibos 2018 in October, COSPAR 2020 – dubbed the space Olympics – and the 18th World Congress on Medical and Health (MedInfo 2021).

“As an organisation, we are committed to cultivating impactful end-to-end experiences for our clients, partners and visitors which are felt long after events take place, while continuing to elevate Sydney’s position on the global stage. We have achieved great things in 2017, and we have only just begun,” Donaghy said.

Written by Peter Needham

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