October 21, 2021 | By Geoff Donaghy, ICC Sydney CEO

Rebuilding confidence in the near term

Emerging from the Delta lockdown in Sydney, ICC Sydney’s team is ready to recommence in-person events in line with the NSW Government’s Roadmap to Reopening key milestones and health regulations. With the most challenging days of the pandemic seemingly behind us, the future is once again looking bright as we take a cautious, yet decidedly optimistic view on our recovery.

Together with the Committee for Sydney and Business Sydney, the Sydney Business Events Coalition (SBEC), which ICC Sydney convenes, comprises Sydney based members of the key association bodies and organisations representing business events.

The advocacy of the members of the SBEC has not gone unheard as the group recently welcomed the NSW Government announcement of $530 million to turbocharge the local visitor economy. The specific mention of business events in order to boost activity in the city underpins the importance of the sector in revitalising the Sydney CBD.

Coupled with such high vaccination rates in the community now, we are expecting that confidence to return to face-to-face event settings will continue to grow.

Client enquiries for local events have been strongest to the end of this year but we’re happy to see a large experiential event, Neighbourhood Earth, open in November and the early months of 2022 are very strong. However, uncertainty around interstate borders continues to effect some markets.

We are also seeing more live entertainment events come on board from December this year and our team is looking forward to welcoming patrons back into the theatres as we know people are craving sophisticated, life-enriching in-person experiences. Other notable artists and events to be held at Aware Super Theatre in the new year include London Grammar, Professor Brian Cox and Guy Sebastian.

The outlook from 1 December

The team has been refining its safety processes for months and has commenced the welcome of in-person events. From 1 December, ICC Sydney anticipates welcoming events into the venue subject to the one person per two square metre rule and without mask wearing requirements in place. To continue to support the delivery of events during this time, ICC Sydney’s established EventSafe Operating Protocols have consistently been adapted to reflect best practice safety measures.

Considering our schedule of events, and the internal communications and incentive campaigns underway over recent months, we have adequate team members who are fully vaccinated and available to be able to comfortably deliver event requirements until the end of the year. Our exceptional culture has seen our team members rush to share their vaccination certificates in an effort to protect one another and get back to doing what they love.

From the early months of 2022, we will be looking to grow our team once more to meet the needs of our increasing calendar of events. Given the challenges of the tight labour market, we are investigating additional sources for our casual talent pool but are confident that we will get where we need to be in time.

ICC Sydney has long aimed to be an employer of choice and we continue to strive to provide careers not just jobs within this exciting and dynamic industry.

Opening up to international business events

As we have heard from the Federal Government, the international border will reopen next month for states that have reached 80 per cent vaccination rates for fully vaccinated Australian travellers, starting with New South Wales.

While we don’t expect any significant return to normal levels for international business events until the second half of 2022, we continue to work with this important market to keep our brand front and centre of decisions makers around the world.

A win for the knowledge and experience economies

We are excited to be able to get back to what we do best, running extraordinary events for our clients and community. We’re also keen to restart our significant contribution to the community, not just the economic benefits of attracting audiences back to the city but the knowledge and experience economy benefits generated when the top minds of industries gather to share information.

Of course, the benefits of delivering events will also run through to our deep supply chain and legacy impacts will reach out into regional New South Wales through our food and wine producers as well as our First Nations communities, young people and emerging artists and entrepreneurs and the many charities and communities we support.

We are ready to welcome events back to ICC Sydney, and we are looking forward to seeing the broader industry get back together.

ICC Sydney | Credit: Guy Wilkin