CEO Update – November 2020

01 Dec 2020

Continuous steps towards recovery

While we are still far from a return to business as usual, we welcome each of these progressive updates as continuous, critical steps forward on our path to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. In light of the three updates, we have continued to refine and update ICC Sydney’s EventSafe Operating Guide.

All events that we host at ICC Sydney, whether they be conferences, exhibitions, AGMs, awards ceremonies, banquets or live events, will continue to be delivered in line with our EventSafe Operating Guide which integrates parent group ASM Global’s rigorous Venue Shield program, while meeting NSW Government regulations.

Indeed we are looking forward to staging major exhibitions early in the new year including the Pregnancy Babies & Children’s Expo as well as the Reed Gift Fair and Life InStyle exhibitions. We are also set to welcome 1,500 in-person delegates to the 43rd COSPAR Scientific Assembly hybrid event in late January and we have been buoyed by the response by you, our valued clients.
In welcoming news, the border between New South Wales and Victoria opened last week, Adelaide has stepped out of its brief lock down and Queensland will open up to Sydney residents and Victorians from 1 December. Collectively these changes will allow for much greater movement of people between the states for domestic event attendance in 2021, which I hope gives you increased confidence to proceed with your national event plans.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently described NSW’s COVID-19 health response strategy as the “gold standard” in COVID-19 suppression and I wholeheartedly agree. Our state’s united response and collective effort has resulted in national and international recognition as we continue to head in the right direction towards recovery. From our state’s robust digital contract tracing infrastructure to Transport for NSW’s efforts to keep people safe on public transport with a number of data innovations, Sydney has taken many steps to be COVID-Safe and bring us to this point.

In other news, the Federal Governments’ $50 million Business Events Grants Program announced in September has commenced. This is the positive outcome of the Business Events Council of Australia’s commendable lobbying efforts. The call for EOIs will close today ahead of phase two of the grants program opening in mid-December.

We are approaching the end of an arduous year and ICC Sydney will be taking a short break over the festive season from Monday, 21 December and reopening on Monday, 4 January. All indicators suggest that we will return to face the New Year with more confidence as we continue our positive trajectory of progress towards relaxed restrictions and local management of COVID-19.

We are grateful for the strength of our partnership with you and for our collective achievements under the most challenging of circumstances. We still have a long way to go but we’re going to get there together.

I look forward to seeing you in the New Year at ICC Sydney.

Geoff Donaghy, CEO, ICC Sydney