January 13, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio

ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy says all but one of the events impacted by the Omicron COVID-19 wave have rebooked or postponed.

He told micenet that clients are wanting their events to go ahead in person and they have elected to push back dates in order to proceed once the wave subsides.

He emphasised that the current environment is fundamentally different to the Delta shutdown which ran from late June to October last year.

“Our clients are watching what is happening overseas and they know this wave will end and events will resume,” he said.

“It will peak in the relatively short term and our clients expect to be able to proceed with their events.”

The NSW Government’s official Australia Day lunch was the only event to be cancelled as it was directly related to a specific celebration date. The event attracts over 1,000 business and community leaders and is a signature celebration of Australia’s identity. A who’s who of business and politics attends this event which is hosted by the NSW Australia Day Council.

Donaghy was also confident in the safe event management protocols which the venue has in place.

ICC Sydney celebrated its fifth anniversary in December and reported on the success of its first five years of operations contributing $2.53 billion in attendee expenditure. It announced that 250 events had already secured for the first half of 2022 and that there were events in the pipeline through to 2031.

Donaghy said the current COVID-19 wave had taken everyone by surprise “from where we were” in December and it was fortunate it happened in January, a traditionally quieter period. The centre was closed over the Christmas and New Year period and the offices officially reopened this week.

He said ICC Sydney was still receiving event enquiries as people see the current COVID wave finishing.

Some staff and supply shortages were being experienced but he was confident these challenges could be met.

“It’s affecting supply chains obviously – including meat, fish, protein – but it is not insurmountable,” he said.

ICC Sydney has a strong Legacy Program which contributes to the intellectual, social and cultural capital of Sydney.

Director of Corporate Affairs and Communication, Samantha Glass said it was business as usual for its work in these areas.

She said ICC Sydney was working on a reconciliation action plan with First Nations people and this would be part of its activities for the year ahead.