Hybrid is not a dirty word – ICC Sydney’s approach to innovation in a world transformed by the pandemic

08 Apr 2022

The need to gather at events never stopped — even throughout the last two years, the demand was there, and the drive to navigate gathering restrictions prompted our team to creatively develop the venue’s hybrid event solutions, leading our industry to provide an end to end, high quality solution, and swiftly bring it to market.

Remaining open to deliver events throughout the pandemic, ICC Sydney successfully delivered a total of 352 events with 200,000 attendees, plus to an additional online audience of at least 200,000 (via 200 in person events, 80 virtual events and 72 hybrid events) during the 2021 financial year.

Fast forward to April 2022, we now have thousands of visitors passing through ICC Sydney’s doors daily again, and a new era has begun. Rather than halting the services that evolved during the pandemic, we enhanced them, giving event organisers the benefit of even more flexibility and increased, integrated services through ICC Sydney’s Connect Hub.

One thing that hasn’t changed over recent years is the world class service delivered for our clients. ICC Sydney’s core team has been upskilled and scaled up, but our exceptionally high service standards remain. Our expert audio visual team takes pride in their work because they are passionate about creating extraordinary events for our valued clients who are embracing the new technology as they get back to meeting face to face.

I am pleased to update you on the full spectrum of Connect Hub services that support clients in today’s operating environment, elevating our industry-leading virtual and hybrid event services.

What is the Connect Hub?
‘Connect Hub’ is a new one stop destination for speakers preparation and digital event solutions.  The integrated service encompasses complex program delivery support via:

  • Hybrid events solutions
  • Onsite speaker preparation,
  • Digital concierge to support remote presenters
  • ICC Sydney Connect event platform
  • A dedicated broadcast studio
  • Edit suite
  • Digital signage management.

Connect Hub is a true end-to-end solution for managing all events, be it face to face, virtual or a hybrid of the two.

Commitment to innovation and anticipating needs
We have continued to evolve our services for clients not only in response to event needs, but anticipating needs as things change and progress.  ICC Sydney’s approach to make constant small improvements is ingrained in our corporate DNA, and the emergence of Connect Hub is a direct result of our commitment to this philosophy.

This approach to innovation saw ICC Sydney open in December 2016 with a stand-alone purpose built face to face speakers preparation centre, which then evolved to include many other event enhancement services, such as the digital signage service to help our clients signpost and promote their events on internal and outdoor signage.

The installation of two large LED screens in the Convention Centre foyers, on the Ground Floor and outside The Gallery on Level Two, gave us the ability to enhance the creative content and apply it to a much larger, more impactful digital canvas — delivering more than the functional, directional signage requirements.

From here, the video edit suite was installed. This service helped our clients with content creation, filming events and creating highlight reels that can be used in pre and post event promotion.

The development of Connect Hub
As Winston Churchill famously said, ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’. Over the last two years, ICC Sydney developed our hybrid event solutions by upskilling our team, fitting out our permanent broadcast studio, developing our virtual event platform ICC Sydney Connect, and expanding our permanent team to manage these elements.

Even with all COVID-19 restrictions completely eased in New South Wales at the time of writing, we know from listening to our clients that hybrid events continue to play a role in the modern event. With this adaption to our clients’ event needs, the Digital Concierge concept came to the fore. This service manages all remote speakers and online presentations — seamlessly. Combining both face to face speakers’ preparation with supporting those as they present at the event remotely, the team has a dual focus to ensure the smooth running of hybrid events, that take into consideration the experience of an in person audience and online viewers joining from elsewhere.

With all these services existing under one roof, managed by our extraordinary team of passionate, experienced and agile staff, Connect Hub was born.  It is, as the name suggests, a hive of activity; designed to enhance the overall event experience, be it in person or hybrid.

Hybrid events provide the best of both worlds and play an important role in event delivery today.  Hybrid events continue to be on the horizon and we invite our customers to continue to connect with us to understand the best practice solutions we provide. Our experienced AV Sales and Project Management teams are here to guide clients to deliver exemplary events of any format.

In the true spirit of innovation, ICC Sydney will continue to keep one eye on the future and we have plans to further invest in new equipment that will take conferencing and events to even greater heights. I look forward to keeping our valued clients and stakeholders updated on these developments.

CASE STUDY: ICC Sydney’s Connect Hub supports Pathology Update 2022
A recent hybrid event, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia’s Pathology Update 2022, is the subject of an in-depth case study highlighting the way ICC Sydney’s Connect Hub supported the enhancement of this important event.

ICC Sydney’s team delivered unwavering support and expertise to plan both in person and online event experiences and deliver a seamless presentation of the 2022 event.

Delegates reconnected and networked face to face at ICC Sydney while those joining online were engaged to feel connected and part of Pathology Update 2022 via the ICC Sydney Connect platform.  ICC Sydney’s unique Digital Concierge service, overseen by a Hybrid Events Coordinator, included the provision of online speaker advice, counsel and technical support.

This service arranges both pre-event and on the day event presenter logistics, supported by the customisable ICC Sydney Connect platform — optimising both the speaker and online delegate experience.
ICC Sydney’s Connect platform supported exhibitors to have an online presence in addition to their physical one in The Gallery.

To read the full Pathology Update 2022 case study, see: iccsydney_2022_pathologyupdate-casestudy.pdf

Brian Nash

Director of Audio Visual Services