By Brad Foster

News that Sydney has dropped five places in the ICCA rankings – from 20th place in 2013 to 25th in 2014, and hosted 11 less international meetings, has put the spotlight on whether full closure of the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre was a good idea.

Business Events Sydney says 78 events secured by the organisation in 2014 equates to an economic impact of $225 million.  That being the case, the economic impact of international meetings that fit the ICCA criteria in 2014 is approximately $28 million lower than it was in comparison to 2013 (taking as an average economic impact of $2.8 million per meeting).

With the new International Convention Centre Sydney not opening until the end of next year, additional losses will be incurred in 2015 and 2016. And that equates to a whole lot of money.

Business Events Sydney CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith said during construction of the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) many high profile events have been held in other venues.

“Large scale events included the 105th Rotary International Convention and the IUCN World Parks Congress,” Ms Lewis-Smith said.

These events were both held at Sydney Olympic Park.

It is also worth noting that the ICCA rankings only measure a slice of the business events market – specifically, association events that have been held in three countries and attract 50 delegates and over.  They don’t measure corporate incentive business or the legacies generated from events, which are also important markers of success.

It could therefore be assumed that many more millions have been lost due to the complete closure of Sydney’s convention centre.