Australian Healthcare Week’s recent exhibition and conference has provided a “beacon of hope” for the industry, with 4,500 attendees gathering in Sydney for the annual event.
Held on the 17-18 March 2021, International Quality & Productivity Centre’s (IQPC) Australian Healthcare Week marked the first major business exhibition to run in a COVID-safe environment at International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) since the pandemic began.
The event attracted 4,500 in-person attendees, who engaged with more than 150 exhibitors, while 400 delegates registered to attend the conference sessions across the two days.
More than 75 conference sessions were presented in a range of panel discussions, keynote presentations and fireside discussions.
It’s the fourth time ICC Sydney has held the event, which brings together local and interstate healthcare and medical professionals for learning and networking.
At the time of the event, ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy said the exhibition was a great boost of confidence for the business events sector.
“Successful and safe events such as this recent Healthcare Week Expo at International Convention Centre Sydney [are] an important and welcome step in our venue’s recovery journey and a great boost of confidence for organizers, exhibitors and attendees in proceeding with events and regenerating the highly valuable exhibition business,” he said via LinkedIn.
COVID-safe event protocols in focus
ICC Sydney’s event planning and operational teams worked with IQPC for the 12 months leading up to the event to focus on its strict, COVID-safe protocols.
As outlined in its venue-specific COVID-19 Safety Plan, ICC Sydney was able to meet IQPC’s preferred capacity formula of one person per four square metres, spreading the event out across three exhibition halls.
Safety remained top of mind throughout the planning and delivery of the event, which also included staged bump in and out times, for both contractors and exhibitors.
Critical to the success of the event was an exemption granted by the NSW Government Department of Health to allow ICC Sydney to deliver exhibitions.
The food and beverage catering was adapted for a COVID-safe setting, with buffet-style lunches served by the catering team, as well as individual boxed meals.
Positive impact extends to wider industry
With over 220 speakers and contributors to the program and 150 exhibitors, the event delivered an educational and richly engaging experience for attendees.
But the impacts of the event go beyond the exhibitors and delegates.
More than 765 shifts were provided to both front and back of house team members at ICC Sydney, while some 649 contractors were inducted to deliver works on site for the event.
It shows the return of exhibitions and business events has a positive and far-reaching impact across many industries and the broader community.