International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) has released its Annual Performance Review revealing delegates attending events at the venue generated A$510m (US$364.14m) in direct expenditure for New South Wales (NSW), despite the economic fallout from Covid-19 on the 2019/20 financial operating year.
The report shows a year in two parts, with ICC Sydney initially on track for another strong year in 2019/20. This was cut short by the outbreak of the pandemic, with resultant gathering and travel restrictions shutting down all in person events at the venue from mid-March onward.
In the first eight months of 2019/20, ICC Sydney generated A$510m in delegate expenditure for the State and created 2,806 local jobs, demonstrating the ongoing value of the $1.5bn development to the local economy and jobs. That figure was, however, down by A$386m from FY2018/19 due to four months of lost operations.
Of the A$510m in expenditure generated in 2019/20, 73% (A$375m) came from 70,593 international visitors, who also contributed to 981,445 overnight stays in Sydney. This in turn drove continued investment in local hotel refurbishment and development, but was significantly down on 1.77m overnight stays in the previous year due to the Covid effect.
The Hon. Rob Stokes, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, said: “With our State and national travel, tourism and events sectors hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, ICC Sydney has contributed positively to the NSW economy by continuing to create jobs and give back to our community. Its reputation as Australia’s undisputed number one hub for conferences, entertainment and exhibitions remains intact.”
ICC Sydney also continued to deliver on its social, environmental and economic commitments to the local community in 2019/20. The venue committed to purchasing 100% NSW wines, supported 135 regional or NSW suppliers, won the global exhibition industry Sustainable Development Award and was named the KARI Foundation Partner of the Year. It also launched initiatives with clients through a legacy and CSR programme.
ICC Sydney responded promptly to the Covid challenge, developing an industry leading set of protocols – ICC Sydney’s EventSafe Operating Framework – to enable and expedite the safe operating and return of events.
Between March and 30 June 2020, the venue delivered 55 virtual events, including pro bono events for government agencies, industry associations and charities. ICC Sydney also provided its facilities to NSW emergency services for parking and the military utilised the venue’s expansive space for training.
Minister Stokes continued: “As we look towards recovery from a devastating year, I am confident that ICC Sydney will play a pivotal role.”
Bringing in a dynamic mix of events and visitors to Sydney and Australia, in 2019/20 ICC Sydney delivered 487 core events, including 18 major international events, 96 national conventions and 41 exhibition events, prior to the pandemic. This included 70,593 international and 195,273 interstate visitors attending globally acclaimed events, such as the inaugural Million Dollar Round Table Global Conference, PACIFIC 2019 Maritime International ExpositionandRobocup2019.
Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney, said: “In just over three years of operation, ICC Sydney has generated over A$2bn in delegate expenditure for the State economy. We have hosted around 3.5m visitors, who have created 4movernight stays in Sydney… We also continue to build Sydney’s reputation as a smart, world class city.
“While the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on our operations and output in what was set to be another extraordinarily strong year, our Annual Performance Review is an important reminder of the enormous cultural, social and economic value of ICC Sydney. I am confident that both ICC Sydney and the wider business events industry will play an important role in Sydney’s and Australia’s recovery from this crisis”.
ICC Sydney is open and currently running virtual and hybrid events, as well as a range of in person events at the venue, in line with current regulations.
Photo courtesy of ICC Sydney