CEO Update – April 2021

23 Apr 2021

We’re beginning to pick up pace, along our road to recovery. Recent outbreaks in northern NSW and Brisbane have been successfully and quickly controlled, the national vaccine rollout is underway, restrictions continue to ease in NSW, and a completely quarantine-free travel bubble with New Zealand opened on 19 April. It’s pleasing to see positive momentum towards recovery.

In another step towards recovery, it is terrific to see that Business Events Sydney is administering the NSW Government’s Kickstart 2021 Sydney Business Events Fund in support of our industry which was so severely impacted by COVID-19.

Over the month, ICC Sydney has welcomed the further easing of restrictions in NSW. Entertainment venues including theatres have now returned to 100% seated capacity and all venues are operating with the 2sqm rule. It has been heartening to see events returning and brilliant to see the team doing an exemplary job delivering these successful events within a COVID-safe framework.

We recently hosted a number of larger scale events, and it was wonderful to welcome major exhibitions into the Exhibition Centre, such as the Australian Healthcare Week exhibition which attracted over 4,500 visitors to the trade exhibition and a further 400 medical and healthcare professionals safely attending the conference sessions. Similarly, Reed Gift Fairs, occupying three halls of our Exhibition Centre, was held for the first time since February 2020.

The Committee for Sydney’s inaugural Sydney Summit brought together diverse leaders to discuss the future of Sydney. The in-person event highlighted the collaboration and discussions which are uniquely only possible when in the same room. From the pre-arrival preparations, through to the onsite delivery of the event, our team implemented contact tracing, logistic arrangements, COVID-safe morning tea and lunch service, and hygiene measures to ensure attendees could meet with peace of mind knowing that safety measures were rigorously planned and in place.

On behalf of the whole team, I’d like to acknowledge our wonderful clients that have weathered this storm with us. Your agility, collaborative approach and partnership has been greatly appreciated by the whole team here and will continue to be highly valued as we move through the recovery period together. We look forward to this continued partnership and many more successful events in the future.

We always strive to improve and expand our product and service offerings for clients, so I’m very pleased to share that we have launched our own dedicated Media Studio. The permanent studio space offers broadcast recording services, live streaming, and digital and hybrid event solutions. We are pleased to provide this permanent solution in response to the strong uptake of our temporary studio set up and the growing demand for broadcast quality recording services, even as live events return.

Lastly, our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility remains unwavering and our clients continue to embed our Legacy Program into their events.  We celebrated Earth Day on 22 April. This year’s theme is Restore Our Earth, calling for a shift from preventative measures to proactive positive action. It is interesting to note the parallels between the theme and the recovery of our own industry, where survival mode will simply not be sufficient, and stronger proactive evolution has been necessary to ensure that we continue on our journey to emerge at the other side, stronger than before.

We look forward to collaborating with you to reach your event objectives soon.

Geoff Donaghy, CEO, ICC Sydney