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ICC Sydney quantifies buoyant recovery in first post-lockdown year

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ICC Sydney quantifies buoyant recovery in first post-lockdown year
Sydney’s major convention and exhibition centre, ICC Sydney saw a strong recovery in the last financial year, but the international events market is yet to return to full force.

The venue hosted 1 million visitors across 500 events in the 2022-2023 financial year, which delivered a delegate spend of $600 million.

This is well up on the 470,000 visitors and $190 million in delegate expenditure in the 2021-2022 financial year, which included both a months-long lockdown and a roar back of in-person events.

The most recent financial results reflect an attendee spend just above two thirds of ICC Sydney’s last pre-pandemic year in 2018-2019, with the number of events just under 75 per cent of pre-pandemic and attendees just above 71 per cent of pre-COVID performance.

In 2022-2023 ICC Sydney’s mix of business included 18 international conventions, 106 national conventions, 54 exhibitions, and 84 live entertainment events – a record for the venue.

 “ICC Sydney’s global reputation for service excellence, innovation, sustainability and social impact is at the core of its success. The events that the venue team hosts have great benefits to our broader economy and society as they are on their way to delivering A$1 billion in economic contribution within the next five years,” said the NSW minister for planning and public spaces, Paul Scully.

Client satisfaction remained as high as ever, at 99 per cent, while delegate satisfaction was also high, at 96 per cent, a touch below the 99 per cent of 2018-2019.

“At ICC Sydney we are committed to ensuring the success of our clients, as we believe this is a true measure of our success,” said ICC Sydney’s CEO, Geoff Donaghy.

“At the heart of our operations is our mission to make a difference for all our stakeholders – the venue’s owners and partners, visitors to events and the community at large. 

“Despite the headwinds we faced to scale and train our delivery teams to match business demand, we are proud to have reported 99 per cent client satisfaction, 96 per cent delegate satisfaction and 83 per cent team member engagement during the period,” Mr Donaghy said. 

Donaghy also noted that the full recovery of the international business events market – including event bookings and attendance by international delegates to events held in Sydney – was two or three years away from its full recovery.

The venue team were also focussed on continuing to expand the centre’s social contribution throughout the year.

“In spite of the broader geo-political and economic conditions throughout the financial year, in alignment with the ASM Global ACTS worldwide sustainability and equity program, ICC Sydney remained steadfast in delivering more sustainable outcomes and positive social impact. This winning focus drove strong results for the venue and city alike and built on our ‘employer of choice’ position through an active diversity, accessibility and inclusion program across the workforce,” said Donaghy.   

“During the year, and off the back of a highly successful Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference, we sought to be the most inclusive venue possible, and this meant building on our Accessibility and Inclusion Guide for visitors to create a client tool kit to ensure all events delivered at ICC Sydney are as inclusive as they can possibly be.  

“We are also on track to deliver all of the objectives of our second Reconciliation Action Plan and our Legacy Program, which aims to build opportunities for local First Nations, creative industries, entrepreneurial businesses as well as students – and reduce and report on the carbon footprint of our clients’ events at ICC Sydney.”

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