ICC Sydney’s annual results reveal $600m economic impact

Strong sustainability leadership, a culture of innovation and focus on community impact has seen the venue double its economic contribution and footfall in a year.

The International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), has demonstrated its dual mandate of bolstering economic growth and fostering social engagement through a surge in event attendance and community spending, as revealed in its recently released 2022/23 Annual Performance Review.

ICC Sydney played host to over one million visitors, generating a remarkable $600 million in visitor expenditures across a staggering 500 events. This achievement marks a significant upturn from the 470,000 visitors and A$190 million economic impact achieved in the previous fiscal year of 2021/22.

New South Wales Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, The Hon. Paul Scully, commended ICC Sydney for its pivotal role in invigorating the city’s economic and social fabric.

“ICC Sydney’s global reputation for service excellence, innovation, sustainability and social impact is at the core of its success. The events that the venue team hosts have great benefits to our broader economy and society as they are on their way to delivering A$1 billion in economic contribution within the next five years,” Minister Scully said.

Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney and ASM Global (APAC) Group Director of Convention Centres, hailed the dedicated efforts of the team in expanding their ranks, collaborating with event organisers to deliver successful gatherings, and emphasising social impacts.

“At ICC Sydney we are committed to ensuring the success of our clients, as we believe this is a true measure of our success. At the heart of our operations is our mission to make a difference for all our stakeholders – the venue’s owners and partners, visitors to events and the community at large,” Donaghy said.

“Despite the headwinds we faced to scale and train our delivery teams to match business demand, we are proud to have reported 99 percent client satisfaction, 96 percent delegate satisfaction and 83 percent team member engagement during the period.”

Throughout the year, ICC Sydney played host to a diverse range of events, spanning domestic and consumer-centric gatherings, along with a growing number of international affairs. These included 18 international conventions, 106 national conventions, 54 exhibitions, and a record-breaking 84 live entertainment events. The culmination of these efforts saw ICC Sydney surpass its revenue and profit targets for FY2023, all while extending support to various social causes and community programs.

Consumer-oriented events, particularly entertainment shows, experienced a remarkable rebound, outperforming pre-COVID levels with a remarkable 96 percent patron satisfaction rate. Notable performances by renowned artists such as Lorde, The Script, OneRepublic, and more contributed to an audience of 360,000 patrons attending sold-out concerts and entertainment spectacles. The venue anticipates an array of cultural events in the pipeline, including the historic debut of SXSW in the Southern Hemisphere in October.

Donaghy said that much like the recovery trajectory of international leisure tourism, international event bookings and delegate attendance were still on the path to full restoration, a process expected to take another two to three years for complete stabilisation.

“In spite of the broader geo-political and economic conditions throughout the financial year, in alignment with the ASM Global ACTS worldwide sustainability and equity program, ICC Sydney remained steadfast in delivering more sustainable outcomes and positive social impact. This winning focus drove strong results for the venue and city alike and built on our ‘employer of choice’ position through an active diversity, accessibility and inclusion program across the workforce,” Donaghy said.

“During the year, and off the back of a highly successful Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference, we sought to be the most inclusive venue possible, and this meant building on our Accessibility and Inclusion Guide for visitors to create a client tool kit to ensure all events delivered at ICC Sydney are as inclusive as they can possibly be.

“We are also on track to deliver all of the objectives of our second Reconciliation Action Plan and our Legacy Program, which aims to build opportunities for local First Nations, creative industries, entrepreneurial businesses as well as students – and reduce and report on the carbon footprint of our clients’ events at ICC Sydney.”

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