Delegates participating in a Yarning Circle at RESPECT: An ICC Sydney Experience, in a calming green filled room.

CEO Update – March 2024

28 Mar 2024

Bujari Gamarruwa, 

This month, we delve into a pivotal trend highlighted in ICC Sydney’s RESPECT Shaping Events for Success report: Curated Event Experiences.  

An evolving creative, technological, and cultural landscape is reshaping the expectations of event attendees. Today’s attendees expect experiences that are engaging, inclusive and informative. 

This shift mirrors broader societal changes. Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed a transition to customised experiences. Consumers, including event attendees, now prioritise products, services, and experiences that offer seamless engagement and can be tailored to their specific preferences. 

Immersive event experiences are in demand and are unmatched by any other channel, such as food and beverage focused events, E-sports or gaming events, creative industries experiences such as SXSW Sydney, or the inclusion of First Nations cultural ceremonies and content, such as the International Council of Monuments and Sites 21st General Assembly and Scientific Symposium featuring its Indigenous Heritage Program held at ICC Sydney. 

At ICC Sydney’s recent RESPECT experience, we demonstrated curated events with the inclusion of First Nations cultural experiences, creative performances and through our culinary service. From the playful invitation of First Nations ballerina Reneigh Scott, our flowing water guide and the dramatic call of Bruce Shillingsworth (Mukadda) on the Yidaki (didgeridoo) to the Jannawi Whale Dance and inclusion of Jeffrey Samuels’ artwork of Barani the whale, who once frequented these waters, guests were invited to a place steeped in RESPECT for the natural and cultural history. A Welcome to Country was delivered by Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council representative Councillor Yvonne Weldon followed by an emotive rendition of John Farnham’s ‘You’re the Voice’ sung in Wiradjuri language by the KARI Singers and a Yarning Circle, hosted by KARI Foundation’s Anna Gannon, introduced guests to traditional First Nations weaving techniques. 

Through the event we unveiled decadent desserts celebrating local ingredients, a testament to our commitment to New South Wales producers. Our enhanced 2024 Menu Collection features these indulgent treats as well as other sustainably sourced, carbon friendly dishes that showcase the unique flavours of our region. 

Talent from longstanding Legacy Program partners KARI, Bankstown Poetry Slam and Talent Development Project came together at the RESPECT experience to showcase the power of the First Nations and Creative Industries streams united to fuel the fire of innovation and creativity – including a grand finale from proud First Nations woman and emerging talent Mi-Kaisha Masella, blending the traditional with the contemporary, paying RESPECT to our past and building to our future.  

Another key trend outlined in the event trends report highlighted delegates’ (particularly Gen Y and Gen Z) expectation for human centric technology at events and we’re proud to continue investing in the next generation of audio visual technicians through our 2024 Audio Visual Graduate Program. These graduates play a crucial role in delivering innovative events that resonate with today’s audiences while shaping the events of tomorrow. 

To look deeper into the six key trends shaping events, I encourage you to explore the RESPECT report through Samantha Glass’ latest blog. Samantha, our Director of Corporate Affairs, Communication, and Sustainability, provides invaluable insights into the evolving landscape of event delivery and the role that ICC Sydney’s Legacy Program plays in supporting socially impactful, sustainable, accessible, inclusive and innovative events. 

As we navigate these evolving times, let’s continue to collaborate and craft extraordinary event experiences that leave a lasting positive legacy.  

Together, we can raise the bar in event excellence. 


Yours respectfully,