“Hotel room demand is already at an all-time high in Sydney, and with ICC Sydney’s opening, it is likely to accelerate rate increases. This is sure to benefit hotels across the city and encourage much needed investment and re-investment," Simon McGrath, Chief Operating Officer Pacific, Accor Hotels.
Major convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct a game changer for Sydney.
Sydney’s new convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct at Darling Harbour is poised to become one of the best in the world.
Opened in December 2016, it is home to Australia’s largest convention and exhibition facilities.
International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), is a $1.5 billion project that sits at the heart of a broader $3.4 billion revitalisation of Darling Harbour that will also include a new 590-room hotel, a new urban neighbourhood with offices, residential, student housing, public car parking, cafes and shops.
ICC Sydney replaces the original Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, which opened in 1988 and closed for redevelopment in 2013.
“This project will create a new events and exhibition hub for Sydney,” said Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney and President of AIPC (International Congress of Convention Centres).
“Beyond attracting convention and exhibition organisers from around the world, the NSW Government’s bold decision to invest in the city’s future is proving to be a catalyst for further investment in new hotels, public spaces and other supporting infrastructure. Much of this is already underway.”
Two examples are the new Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour and the nearby ‘Ribbon’ development on the IMAX Theatre site.
The 35-storey Sofitel (due for completion in 2017) is the first new luxury hotel built in Sydney in more than 15 years. Designed by Sydney architect Richard Francis-Jones, it will feature 590 rooms, a rooftop lounge, ballroom and outdoor pool deck with views over the CBD skyline and harbour.
The Ribbon development – named for its undulating form that rises through two elevated roadways – will house a 25-storey hotel, serviced apartments and a retail and entertainment complex with an upgrade to the IMAX theatre.
“ICC Sydney and Darling Harbour’s redevelopment, including the new Sofitel luxury hotel, is a milestone achievement for Sydney,” said Chief Operating Officer Pacific for Accor Hotels (managers of the Sofitel), Simon McGrath.
“Hotel room demand is already at an all-time high in Sydney, and with ICC Sydney’s opening, it is likely to accelerate rate increases. This is sure to benefit hotels across the city and encourage much needed investment and re-investment.”
Business events are a major economic driver for the economy and ICC Sydney is expected to play a pivotal role in boosting returns for Sydney and NSW, including at least $5 billion dollars in economic benefit over the next 25 years. It will also directly employ at least 1800 people.
“From attendee and event expenditure to venue utilisation and the generation of jobs, the direct benefits are compelling, and the opportunities are growing,” said Mr Donaghy. “In Australia alone, business events expenditure has increased by around $10 billion since 2002-2013 to $28 billion today (2016).”
World-class convention and exhibition facilities
ICC Sydney is Australia’s first fullyintegrated convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct.
Featuring a striking contemporary design, leading technology and world-class meeting and exhibition spaces, the facility has been designed to respond to future demands of the meetings industry.
The venue is fully integrated and futureproofed, with the ability to support the rapidly changing audio visual and technical requirements of meetings and presentations.
Key features include:
- The ability to hold three concurrent conventions
- Three tiered theatres of 8,000, 2,500 or 1,000 seats
- 35,000 sqm of internal exhibition space
- Ballroom for 2,000 people (Australia’s largest)
- 70 meeting rooms
- 5,000 sqm of open air rooftop space
“Beyond attracting convention and exhibition organisers from around the world, the NSW Government’s bold decision to invest in the city’s future is proving to be a catalyst for further investment in new hotels, public spaces and other supporting infrastructure. Much of this is already underway," Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney.
Sought after venue
Even before ICC Sydney opened on time and on budget in December 2016, AEG Ogden – the venue’s operating company – had secured more than 500 events for the spectacular new venue.
Working in collaboration with Business Events Sydney (BE Sydney), more than 50 of these are major international conventions. These international events alone are expected to generate more than $340 million in direct expenditure for the state’s economy.
Attracting close to 80,000 delegates, one of these events include the 2018 SIBOS – the world’s largest financial services event (expected to generate $37.8 million alone).
According to BESydney CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith, international conferences deliver ongoing legacies to both the global and local community.
“That’s why we lobbied for the redevelopment and expansion of the convention centre – to ensure the world’s largest, most influential events could be hosted in the heart of Australia’s number one city at ICC Sydney, a venue designed for the future,” she said.
Mr Donaghy agreed, adding that ICC Sydney is a premium venue for a wide range of events.
“ICC Sydney will be the Asia-Pacific’s premier integrated convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct, reinforcing Sydney’s reputation as one of the world’s most desirable meeting and event destinations and providing an ideal venue to collaborate and innovate,” he said.
“ICC Sydney will be the Asia-Pacific’s premier integrated convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct, reinforcing Sydney’s reputation as one of the world’s most desirable meeting and event destinations.” Geoff Donaghy, CEO ICC Sydney.