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ICC Sydney powers inclusivity through new event toolkit

Model Suzy Wrong wears the Amsterdam Rainbow Dress in Darling Harbour Theatre at ICC Sydney (Photograph by Daniel Boud).

From an inventory of physical accessibility features at the venue, to advice on creating a welcoming experience for people of all abilities, the guide delivers on ICC Sydney’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and exemplifies its broader mission to provide accessible, equitable and inclusive events, delivered by its diverse and experienced workforce.

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), managed by ASM Global, has launched its Accessible and Inclusive Events Guide, providing guidance and resources for event planners to activate welcoming events that cater for everyone.

Critically, the new guide for event organisers complements the information and services provided to venue delegates and patrons via an accessible format on ICC Sydney’s website. The guide supports planners to create inclusive events while leveraging the venue’s excellent customer experience and sustainability services to ensure events are welcoming and supportive of all visitors, while leaving a positive social impact.

NSW Seniors Festival, Premier’s Gala Concerts & Seniors Expo.

CEO of ICC Sydney and Group Director – Convention Centres, ASM Global (APAC), Geoff Donaghy said the venue’s passionate team, new toolkit for clients and accessible environment supported Australia’s premier convention, exhibition and entertainment centre to be inclusive for all.

“At ICC Sydney, our ambition to be More Than A Venue carries through to our diversity, accessibility and inclusion approach. Attendees of every walk of life have the right to feel respected and valued, and we recognise the powerful role our customer service plays in this.

“Our aspiration to create the most accessible and inclusive environment for events means that every visitor feels welcome and can participate — and our new Accessible and Inclusive Events Guide, corporate culture and state of the art amenities support event organisers to deliver this,” Mr Donaghy said.

Australia’s largest disability related event – Sydney Disability Connection Expo, Founder River Night said the Expo was ready to resume its place as the best attended and most inclusive event in Australia.

“The support from the whole team at ICC Sydney has been exemplary. From event management services to logistics and exhibitor services, the venue team has been a real contributor in the successful planning of the most accessible and inclusive Sydney Disability Connection Expo. We look forward to providing an unparalleled platform for visitors to engage with disability service providers at this exceptional event,” Mr Night said.

ICC Sydney Director of Human Resources, Luke Fleming said: “ICC Sydney’s ability to deliver extraordinary event experiences is grounded in our diverse and inclusive workplace. Our diversity strategy is aligned with the ASM Global ACTS framework and spans five key focus areas: Able @ Work, First Nations, Generation Success, LGBTQIA+, New Australians and Parents and Carers.

“As an employer of choice, we strive for visibility across these areas in our workforce and this in turn has ensured the successful delivery of events including the recent Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference, Premier’s Gala Concerts for Seniors and the Source Kids Disability Expo,” Mr Fleming said.

With 1.3 billion people worldwide experiencing disability today, and one in five Australians, ICC Sydney is committed to driving accessibility. On par with the broader Australian population according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021 census data, approximately 5.5% of all visitors to ICC Sydney’s live entertainment events require increased accessibility provisions.

Across ICC Sydney venues, physical amenities include:

  • Low gradient, step free access across all three interconnected venues: Convention Centre, Exhibition Centre and Aware Super Theatre
  • Sensory-friendly rooms
  • Accessible toilets
  • A fully fitted changing place
  • Wheelchair accessible parenting rooms
  • Prayer rooms
  • Induction loop hearing augmentation syste
  • Braille on room door signage
  • Fixed directional signage throughout
  • Accessible parking.
  • Beyond this, it is the commitment of ICC Sydney team members in providing a welcoming environment that is reflected in the venue’s consistently positive patron feedback. “As a disabled patron, the care and attention provided by ICC Sydney’s customer service team exceed what I have experienced elsewhere,” commented Daniel Keyzer after attending a concert at the venue’s
  • Aware Super Theatre.

Underpinning ICC Sydney’s accessible events service excellence is its diversity, equity and inclusion strategy streams including Able @ Work, First Nations, Generation Success, LGBTQIA+, New Australians and Parents and Carers, which have ensured representation across its workforce consisting of 42 per cent female, 57.7 per cent male and 0.3 per cent non-binary members who are led by 50 per cent female and 50 per cent male directors. Collectively, the ICC Sydney team speaks 82 different languages ranging from Arabic to Yoruba and many in between.

ICC Sydney’s team has undergone extensive training pride in diversity training highlighting the correct use of pronouns to best support gender-diverse people with the aim of elevating respectful communications with every interaction at the venue.

As part of its Reconciliation Action Plan, ICC Sydney is committed to acknowledging the traditional custodians of Gadigal Country, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, reawakening the Aboriginal language of Sydney, ensuring the venue is a welcoming space for First Nations people, while creating equal employment opportunities and leveraging its platform to support First Nations owned and managed businesses. The venue’s team has undergone cultural awareness training to gain a deeper understanding of First Nations culture, history and practices.

Create an accessible, inclusive and sustainable event:
ICC Sydney provides a range of services and tools to support equitable, inclusive and accessible events that are sustainable:

  • Accessible and Inclusive Events Guide
  • Legacy Program Guide
  • Sustainable Event Guide
  • Plastic Free Event Check list
  • Reconciliation Action Plan
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021 census data
  • World Health Organisation Disability Fact Sheet
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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.