In my role as CEO of ICC Sydney, every week is different. I was delighted to have recently joined my global peers, policy makers and leading city academics at the IMEX Policy Forum in Frankfurt for a collaborative leadership panel to discuss the business of placemaking.
Today, well planned business events and major venues play a significant role as the makers of a place and a catalyst for destination development. Here, connections play a powerful role from the physical to economic, cultural and social.
The physical environment
The physical set up of a venue is the first consideration of place making. As the nation’s premier events venue, ICC Sydney is a purpose-built, contemporary venue that provides all the flexibility, diversity of choice and premium quality demanded of an international convention centre.
Importantly, our venue seamlessly blends with the precinct around it. Laneways between the “big boxes” allow for easy pedestrian access and thoroughfare. Public art connects us to the cultural story outside, and ICC Sydney is also home to one of the nation’s most significant art collections.
A series of digital screens run along the pedestrian boulevard and act as integrators between us and the community by telling stories, sharing event details and providing community information.
ICC Sydney also acknowledges its place on Tumbalong, the land of the Gadigal clan of Eora nation, and celebrates First Nations art and culture across the precinct. A great example of this was when we commissioned an artwork by Jeffrey Samuels, renowned Aboriginal artist and Boomalli Aboriginal Artist’s Cooperative, and had it etched into the doors of ICC Sydney to welcome visitors.
Connecting with community
At ICC Sydney, we have also worked to inspire an improved sense of place in our harbour location by engaging, listening and connecting with the community around us.
We do this through our Legacy Program which creates enriching experiences for both clients and delegates – from facilitating university student engagement through to forging connections with Sydney’s creative industries ecosystem, providing opportunities for Aboriginal owned businesses, to donating recycled event items to charity partners, and more.
Through this same program we work with clients to minimise our environmental impact and ensure we operate as sustainably as possible.
This principle extends to our Feeding Your Performance philosophy which has been designed to not only reduce our carbon footprint, but celebrate our incredible local produce. Our culinary team source ingredients through a unique supply chain of farmers and producers, driving positive impact beyond the city borders and into regional New South Wales communities supporting job creation and economic development.