Wondering how it’s going to work? Here’s the lowdown on the new SCEC@GI which is nearly ready for action.
Malu Barrios, General Manager SEC@GI; Debbie Evans,
Managing Director Reed Exhibitions Australia; Geoff Donaghy,
Group Director, Convention Centres, AEG Ogden;
Chief Executive Officer, ICC Sydney
What is it?: A hard-walled, fully air-conditioned, naturally lit 25,000 square metre structure featuring five exhibition halls. The majority of the structure was used during the London Olympics and was brought out to Australia for this project.
Where is it?: Glebe Island in Sydney’s inner west. The site is still a working port and is very close to both the ANZAC Bridge (aka Glebe Island Bridge) and the Rozelle Marina. Closest suburbs are Glebe, Balmain and Pyrmont. The site has views over the harbour, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the ANZAC Bridge. Road access to the site is via City Westlink, The Crescent and then onto Maritime Circuit.
Transport to the site: This has been a point of contention as there is no pedestrian access to the site. The reason for this is for the safety of patrons; the site is still in use for shipping. On event days, free specially marked buses will run from Eddy Avenue adjacent to Central Station and free ferries will run from Circular Quay. There is also parking onsite for 1000 cars and there will be a demarcated taxi rank on-site.
Who is managing the venue?: AEG Ogden is managing the site, including the construction and maintenance, Dockside Group is doing the catering and Captain Cook Cruises are providing the ferry access. A lot of former Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre staff have been employed by the new venue, ensuring a high level of expertise.
How long will it be there?: Until 2016 when all events will be moved back to the new facility at Darling Harbour. The Reed Gift Fair will be the first event to be held there, kicking off on February 15.
SPICE verdict?: The new venue offers a view over the city from a totally different perspective, has a permanent sea breeze and feels light and airy. The opportunity to host very private or ‘secret’ events here is immense because access to the venue easy to control. SCEC@GI is a breath of fresh air and I think both patrons and planners will enjoy the novelty and functionality of the new site.