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Business events must adopt Olympic standard when it comes to safety

Angelos Restanis - 13 November 2017, 00:08

It is the tale of two cities. The city that changed the way the world hosts Olympic events, Sydney; and the city that changed the way the world hosts Olympic events in a new world order, where security has podium position, London.

Amidst heightened global security conversations the former Director-General of the British Security Service MI5 and Chief Security Officer for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, Lord Jonathan Evans, addressed a high-calibre audience at Australia House in London overnight, which included the Australian High Commissioner to the UK, The Hon. Alexander Downer AC, and more than 20 Association leaders.

Hosted by Business Events Sydney (BESydney) and the new International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), Lord Evans provided valuable insights on how international business events organisers should look to the learnings of previous Olympic events when it comes to issues of security and cyber security in today's changing global environment.

"Collaborative activity between the venue, the event organisers, law enforcement and security authorities is critical. Being able to access the best intelligence, the best law enforcement capabilities is a very important underpinning to the security for major events. During the London Olympics, success meant tremendous support from all of our colleagues, and in particular from Australian intelligence."

BESydney CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith, said that there are significant gains for modern day business events organisers in working more closely with their convention bureau partners to harness their connections within a city.

"As the world changes, globalisation is forever present. With the digitisation of our economy standard practice, it is more important now than ever before that association leaders work closely with destination leaders to assure integrity of their event and the safety and security of attendees," said Ms Lewis-Smith.

"Sydney is a dynamic, modern global city and we are keenly aware of the safety and security needs of event organisers. As business leaders, to successfully partner with event organisers we work in close collaboration with a number of stakeholders across both the public and private sectors in bringing together our clients with the relevant policy, protocol and law enforcement agencies to ensure seamless and cohesive partnership regarding safety and security," added Ms Lewis-Smith.

The city's premier, new major business events venue, ICC Sydney, was designed with security in mind.

Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney, said the new world-class facility was built to host the world's most prominent speakers and events.

"Entry, egress and the ability to isolate areas across the venue are core to our operation but more important is our management experience in high profile events, our technology systems and the strength of our partnerships with law enforcement agencies.

"Within our first month of operation, ICC Sydney had already successfully hosted major events and their security requirements for guests such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Indonesian President Joko Widodo and regularly welcomes Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull," he said.

New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Tourism and Major Events, The Hon. Adam Marshall MP, confirmed the NSW Government's commitment to ensuring safety and security of events in the city and State.

"The NSW Government takes event security very seriously. We want our international and domestic guests to have the best experience they can while they are here. The Government has taken all precautions to ensure there are strong measures in place, actively work with our law enforcement agencies to assure our community there is a coordinated approach to safety and security in our harbour city," said Minister Marshall.


Photo caption: Geoff Donaghy, Alexander Downer AC, Lord Jonathan Evans and Lyn Lewis-Smith (from Lauren Minosora, ICC Communications)



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