CEO Update – May 2021

31 May 2021

In times of change, resilience has proven paramount in remaining open throughout this pandemic. In an uncertain landscape, ICC Sydney has successfully taken an agile approach and continuously adapted to the current health regulations. Despite not knowing how long the road to recovery is, our successes in the venue give us confidence in what lies ahead.

Over the past week, ICC Sydney welcomed more than 60,000 people across a diversity of events including conferences, exhibitions, concerts and gala balls. We felt match-fit and ready to host events safely under our EventSafe Operating Guide, which integrates parent group ASM Global’s Venue Shield program. However, this past week’s Victorian outbreak and subsequent lockdown serves as a reminder that there will continue to be distractions and detours on our road to recovery.

It is nonetheless reassuring to continue to see key recovery milestones met, most significantly the resurgence of Sydney businesses and the state economy. It is imperative that we retain our resilience as we aim for full confidence in national travel, the next step in recovery.  We’ll continue to work with closely with our industry representative bodies in their advocacy work with state and federal governments.

This week marked National Reconciliation Week, an important occasion for not only the team at ICC Sydney but Australia as a whole. This year’s theme “More than a word. Reconciliation takes action,” is a reminder of the work that must be done to strengthen relationships and bridge the gap between Australia’s First Nations people and the broader Australian community.

Since opening, ICC Sydney has made it a priority to work with the local community to create positive change. In November 2018, ICC Sydney became the first convention centre in Australia to formalise a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The milestone was achieved following a two-year journey during which recognition of First Nations’ heritage and culture was embedded across the business, employment opportunities for First Nations people were increased and an inclusive space to work and visit was created.
The team is proud of the partnerships forged in recent years and is committed to continuing to strengthen these important relationships for years to come.

As the old adage goes, and we firmly believe this at ICC Sydney, knowledge is indeed power and education can bring about progress. At ICC Sydney, we’re committed to reducing the environmental impact of our operations, working with our partners and clients to facilitate sustainable events. We also recognise our responsibility to demonstrate leadership and make a positive contribution towards the waste crisis in Australia and the business events industry. Key waste management systems and processes are critical to the achievement of this objective.

Through a very thorough review process across all Departments, ICC Sydney’s CSR team has developed an educational waste signage program to identify additional waste streams and communicate to our clients, team members, suppliers and event attendees where to place their waste materials.

The new waste signage is placed throughout ICC Sydney at various touch points, and features eye-catching colours and detailed messaging to help us all understand where to place waste at a glance, as we strive to reduce waste and divert it from landfill. I invite all our clients, suppliers and attendees to take a moment to view the new signage and consider how you dispose of your waste next time you visit us – I am confident that together we can make a positive impact on our environment.

With this progress and these achievements in mind, although there may be diversions through our journeys, with our ever-agile team working hand-in-hand with you to plan and deliver world class events, even in the face of COVID-19, it’s a path we’re confident we can walk together.

Geoff Donaghy, CEO, ICC Sydney