International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) has released its 2020/21 financial year results, revealing it is well positioned to return to pre-pandemic levels within five years and drive the economic recovery of the CBD.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, ICC Sydney hosted more than 352 events in 2020/21, 200 of which were in-person, 80 were virtual, and 72 were hybrid. While this was significantly down compared to the previous year, where 671 in-person events and 1.4 million visitors were hosted in 2018/19, the results have laid the groundwork for long-term recovery.
With the centre leading the way in adaptability and innovation while working closely with NSW Health, ICC Sydney chief executive officer Geoff Donaghy commended his team for continuing its service to clients and the community safely throughout the year.
“Despite the challenges, our extraordinary team worked hand-in-glove with our customers,” Donaghy said.
“During the month of May, almost 90,000 people joined 60 events. This return to near-normal domestic activity confirmed the team’s success in maintaining client and stakeholder confidence throughout the pandemic.
“Managing the present has allowed us to build our future. We expect to be back to delivering spend across the New South Wales community of $1 billion annually within the next five years.”
Throughout the year, the centre upgraded its technology, broadcast services and team skills to run hybrid and virtual events completely in-house through its ICC Sydney Connect platform. This allowed the team to provide essential services and advice to clients, allowing events to continue under its COVID-Safe operating framework. This increased event attendance with a further online audience of at least 200,000. It also rebuilt its casual workforce from zero back up to over 400 team members, in addition to its permanent staff.
Furthermore, through continuous communication and Donaghy’s leadership in advocating for industry issues to support business events, ICC Sydney has played an important role in building confidence amongst both clients and industry to book future events.
“Thanks to the support of the NSW Government and Darling Harbour Live, despite the challenges we have faced together, our experience and agility has seen the team continue to deliver success for our clients, our community and our supply chain and the strength in event enquiries leaves us optimistic for an accelerated road to recovery as soon as the operating conditions allow,” Donaghy said.