Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island (SEC@GI), the interim home of Sydney’s major trade and consumer shows, closes its doors today September 30 after three years of operations.SEC@GI was charged with ensuring Sydney’s shows continued to thrive while International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) was being developed with world-class facilities. A pavilion-style, fully serviced exhibition space of 20,000 square metres was purpose-built on Glebe Island in Sydney’s Inner West, transforming the last industrial site on the harbour into the city’s exhibitions hub.
“We mapped out a course of action for three years and followed it to the end with unwavering commitment, seeing many changes and challenges along the way,” said Malu Barrios, General Manager of SEC@GI. “To finish with success is a pleasure.”
The venue team faced unprecedented complexities such as a location within a working port, public access restrictions and misconceptions as a limited facility.
“I would like to personally thank Malu’s management team and the exhibition industry for such great support in firstly delivering and then successfully operating SEC@GI over the last three years. One of the great outcomes of the project was the respect and friendships generated in overcoming challenging circumstances,” said David Riches, Executive Director – Project NSW, at Infrastructure NSW.
Part of Glebe Island’s mandate was to maintain Sydney’s position as Australia’s premier events destination.
“Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island was critical to keeping Sydney open for business during the construction of ICC Sydney,” said Joyce DiMascio, Chief Executive of Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia (EEAA).
Exhibitions are vitally important to the state’s economy – in New South Wales (NSW) the industry generates $100 million annually in economic benefit. SEC@GI’s value added contributions including activities and employment is a significant input to this. $18 million in revenue was brought about for local businesses that supplied goods and services to the venue.
“The lasting legacy of Glebe Island is putting the exhibition industry on the radar of the government. The power of exhibitions is now acknowledged for its contributions to business, tourism, and the economy,” DiMascio added.
Glebe Island delivered a fresh event alternative to 535,918 visitors, transforming Sydney’s exhibitions into a great harbour experience. Basking in the abundant natural light that the venue became known for, major shows thrived with unprecedented registrations, visitors and deals made on the floor.
A seamless transition has been set for Sydney’s trade and consumer shows as they move to their permanent home in Darling Harbour. All events hosted at Glebe Island are returning to ICC Sydney with Barrios and her team looking forward to continuing collaborative relationships with clients.
“It is my pleasure to thank our clients, suppliers, industry and government partners, and AEG Ogden, who supported us with their resilience, business and friendship, and the team that operated the venue for its success,” said Barrios.
“Thank you for being part of our amazing story. This not just the end of a successful project, but the beginning of great things we are yet to do together.”