Annual Performance Review: Making a positive difference through communication, innovation and sustainability

13 Sep 2022

The last financial year delivered opportunities and challenges of almost equal measure, the desire from our clients and delegates to meet face-to-face never wavered. With the support of the NSW Government and the Darling Harbour Live consortium, ICC Sydney, which is proudly managed by ASM Global, kept in close communication with clients and stakeholders overcoming each challenge as it was presented. Focused on delivering world class events of all types, ICC Sydney continued to make a positive impact for our people, environment and community.

Our ability to stay open during lockdowns, upskill the team and deliver ever enhanced products and services are underpinned by three core leadership pillars: clear and constant communication, supporting innovation and a focus on sustainability.

ASM Global’s approach to venue management, human resourcing and development and learning opportunities ensured the venue was adhering to best practice business management methodologies, which was fundamental to successful operations.

The role of convention centres in activating and revitalising their host cities by bringing local, national and international visitors to the CBD is essential to the success of both local and regional economies. ICC Sydney’s team members have been dedicated to the industry’s recovery over the last year in their diligent efforts to upskill, participate on key industry forums, share their expertise and identify innovative solutions. While the future looks bright for ICC Sydney, it is not ‘business as usual’. To secure international events and international visitation, we must keep focus on the increased investment in our city, national marketing bureaus and maintain current operating conditions.

During FY 2021/22, ICC Sydney hosted 300 events, and welcomed over 470,000 visitors that contributed A$190m to the local economy. Signaling greater client confidence and resurging demand, 87% of events were held in person compared to 56% the previous year.

Despite the year’s challenges, the team continued to put its best foot forward and maintained both client and delegate satisfaction ratings of 99% for the year.

With the return to unrestricted operating conditions and the reopening of borders in February, the majority of business occurred in the final four months of the year. Visitor attendance and expenditure more than doubled on the previous financial year and domestic event attendance reached pre-pandemic levels.

The first international events were held during the end of the financial year, ahead of expectations and despite continued disruption to the international entertainment events program, ICC Sydney maintained a strong partnership with Aware Super through Aware Super Theatre and hosted its longest running, highest selling show – Guy Sebastian’s T.R.U.T.H Tour, that attracted 25,000 patrons over five performances.

Safety was always top of mind and with the support and direction of ASM Global, the venue continued to implement its VenueShield environmental protection program informing its EventSafe Operating Protocols as it adapted to the evolving public health requirements.

Today, ICC Sydney continues to adhere to the public health orders of the NSW Government and will continue to implement the necessary changes to keep clients, visitors and communities safe.

With the resurgence of face to face meetings, ICC Sydney’s team continued to upskill and evolve its services to meet the changing needs of clients. The shift in focus from virtual events to hybrid back to in person events meant the team simultaneously prepared three scenarios for each event. Their commitment to innovation was clearly demonstrated through the development of Connect Hub – a one stop destination for speaker preparation and digital event solutions.

The team also launched a new outdoor catered networking service – Connect Outdoors – to take advantage of the venue’s outdoor spaces and uninterrupted views across Darling Harbour and the iconic Sydney CBD skyline.

CSR – making a difference for our people, our planet and our communities
In alignment with the ASM Global Acts worldwide sustainability and equity framework, ICC Sydney continues to make strong investments in its people, venue and community and is focused on making a positive difference through the events it delivers. Through our industry leading Legacy Program, event organisers can create positive social impacts or lighten their environmental footprint through their events across five streams: First Nations, Environmental Sustainability, Creative Industries, Innovators and Entrepreneurs, and Generation Next streams.

We are proud to promote its ‘employer of choice’ position as it achieved an 83% employee engagement score. The team’s ranks were enriched through 47 internal promotions and the recruitment of 14 new trainees. Diversity & Inclusion programs through the year focussed on cultural and linguistic diversity, gender equity, supporting disability in the workplace and our team-led working groups for First Nations, LGBTI and parents and carers.

As an iconic destination, which stands and operates on the traditional lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation – on Tumbalong, the land, and Gomora, the water, what is known today as Darling Harbour – ICC Sydney has a unique opportunity to foster and promote reconciliation.

We strengthened our commitment to respect, celebrate and acknowledge Australia’s First Nations community through the launch of our second Reconciliation Action Plan in March 2022. The team is committed to connecting, learning and sharing with its First Nations community. It continued to collaborate with Reconciliation Australia, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, KARI Foundation, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative, Aunty Margret Campbell of Dreamtime Southern X, Supply Nation and others on its reconciliation journey.

In unison with ASM Global, the team is set to deliver increasingly stronger results in the new financial year and will welcome a range of iconic and important events including the Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference in March. Pent up demand for domestic events has returned at pace and the team is focused on welcoming an increasing number of international events and returning to pre-pandemic levels of economic and societal benefits.

Importantly, the team is on track to delivering A$1 billion a year in economic contribution to our city and regional communities within the next three years.

We look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.