International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) is making impressive gains in the exhibition sector according to new figures unveiled during an event to welcome the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) last night.
ICC Sydney hosted a key reception for the international peak body, which returned to Sydney for the first time in seven years in a visit organised by the Exhibition and Event Association Australasia (EEAA). Here, UFI’s CEO and Managing Director, Kai Hattendorf delivered a State of the Industry Address and spearheaded discussions on global trends, opportunities and challenges with a panel of business event leaders and EEAA members.
Speaking at the event, ICC Sydney’s CEO, Geoff Donaghy, said the new venue underpins Sydney’s position as a leading and competitive events destination, attracting major new exhibitions and bringing others back to the heart of the city.
“We have already secured 66 trade and consumer exhibitions in this calendar year alone, with almost half (42 per cent) of them new to market and new to Darling Harbour. The remaining 58 per cent of exhibitions make up returning shows, spanning industries including Healthcare, Retail, Food and Beverage, and Tourism and Travel, among others.
“ICC Sydney is hosting major business events and exhibitions at a larger scale than ever before, and delivering on our promise to generate at least A$5 billion in economic benefit to the NSW economy over the next 25 years,” he said.
Donaghy noted that exhibitions hosted at ICC Sydney have also experienced boosted attendance numbers. For example, the Australasian Gaming Expo, the nation’s largest gaming machine technology industry event, saw visitor numbers rise by 19 per cent year on year to 8,100 attendees while the recent Sydney International Boat Show attracted 3,000 more visitors than originally anticipated and facilitated A$250 million worth of business on site.
Other key events that saw an increased visitation from moving to Australia’s premier convention, exhibition and entertainment venue include Australian Healthcare Week 2017, Australian Tattoo Expo 2017, Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience 2017, 2017 Sydney Property Expo, Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition 2017, Good Food and Wine 2017 and Online Retailer Conference & e-Commerce Expo 2017.
Chief Executive of EEAA, Joyce DiMascio, said the venue had made a significant impact on the business events industry since its launch in 2016 and was building an international reputation for excellence.
“Australia’s competitiveness in business events is utterly dependant on our investment in infrastructure. I am delighted that the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia was able to create an opportunity to showcase ICC Sydney to the leaders of the global exhibition industry and build awareness of Australia’s capability in the sector.
“This state-of-the-art facility in the city’s centre is already kicking major goals in its first year of operation and is positioned to continue to deliver a world-class experience for the business event industry for many years to come,” she said.
As Australia competes to bring global organisations and events to its shores, Mr Donaghy said it is vital for the venue to consistently challenge the status quo and create new ways to engage with clients, conference and event organisers and delegates.
“ICC Sydney delivers the ultimate in quality, choice and flexibility for the world’s leaders and thinkers, to meet, collaborate and innovate. In service to the knowledge economy, we’re pushing the envelope as a venue to make Sydney a destination of choice for business events globally.
“From our unique Feeding Your Performance culinary philosophy designed to drive delegates’ physical and mental performance, to our new virtual reality experience to support event planners and delegates, ICC Sydney is committed to delivering industry-leading experiences and becoming a beacon of innovation,” he said.