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On the road to A$1 billion: ICC Sydney doubles economic contribution and footfall in a year

Strong sustainability leadership, a culture of innovation and focus on community impact sees ICC Sydney contribute 1M+ visitors and $600M in delegate spend to the NSW economy in FY2023.

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), managed by ASM Global, has reported that it has fulfilled its dual purpose of driving economic and social contributions through an increase in event visitor attendance and spend in the community since the previous financial year following the release of its 2022/23 Annual Performance Review today.

Australia’s premier convention, exhibition and entertainment venue attracted over one million visitors that delivered A$600 million in visitor expenditure across 500 events — up from 470,000 visitors and an economic contribution of A$190 million in FY2021/22.

New South Wales Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, The Hon. Paul Scully said ICC Sydney was contributing to an energised city where economic and social benefits were made possible through the team’s ability to draw business and talent to Australia’s leading global city.

“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,” Mr Scully said.

ICC Sydney CEO and ASM Global (APAC) Group Director of Convention Centres, Geoff Donaghy said the efforts of the team to build its ranks, partner with organisers on successful events and prioritise social impacts were recognised by event planners, the business events industry and community alike.

“At ICC Sydney we are committed to ensuring the success of our clients, as we believe this is a true measure of our success. 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% client satisfaction, 96% delegate satisfaction and 83% team member engagement during the period,” Mr Donaghy said.

Over the year, ICC Sydney hosted a healthy calendar of domestic and consumer events and a rising number of international events including 18 international conventions, 106 national conventions, 54 exhibitions, and a record breaking number of 84 live entertainment events helping the venue team to exceed its revenue and profit targets for FY2023 – all while supporting a range of social causes and community programs.

Events for consumers, including entertainment shows, have celebrated particular bounce-back – performing stronger than in pre-COVID years with patrons rating their satisfaction highly at 96%. ICC Sydney welcomed audiences of 360,000 patrons to sold out concerts and entertainment events including Lorde, The Script, OneRepublic, The 1975, Sting, Mike White and Jennifer Coolidge in Conversation, and looks forward to a host of cultural events in the pipeline including SXSW’s first ever event in the Southern Hemisphere in October.

Mr Donaghy advised that similar to the international leisure tourist, international event bookings and international delegate attendance were yet to recover, and it is expected to take another two to three years for all markets to fully stabilise.

“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,” he said.

Mr Donaghy continued, “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,” Mr Donaghy said.

FY2023 Key Results  
  • 500 events including 18 international conventions, 106 national conventions, 54 exhibitions, and 84 Live Entertainment Events.
  • 1 million+ visitors, up from 470,000 in FY2022.
  • A$600 million in delegate spending up from A$190 million in the previous year.
  • 880,000+ delegate overnight stays.
  • 99% client satisfaction.
  • 96% delegate satisfaction.
  • 83% employee engagement score.
  • 17 award wins for the team during the year, including the International Association of Convention Centres 2022 Innovation Award, TTG (Asia) Travel Awards 2022, Best Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Exhibitions and Events Association of Australasia Awards for Excellence 2022, Sustainability Initiative Award (Legacy program), 2023 NSW Sommelier’s Wine List award for a caterer / function centre, and the Spice News Hot 100: Hotels and Venues 2023 Most Sustainable Hotel or Venue and Best Mega Venue in Australia.
  • New Accessible and Inclusive Events Guide for event organisers to complement its Accessibility and Inclusion visitor information.
  • Expanded Legacy Program with new partnerships and experiences, including additional First Nations cultural service suppliers, giving event organisers more avenues to reach their corporate social responsibility objectives through their events.
  • An environmentally sustainable event is easier than ever with ICC Sydney’s carbon friendly menu collection, waste monitoring and reduction program and carbon calculation and reporting tool.
  • The progression of its second Reconciliation Action Plan reinforces a commitment to reconciliation with Australia’s First Nations Peoples.
  • Building on the venue’s ‘employer of choice’ position, ICC Sydney’s diversity, equity and inclusion policy actively aims to employ LGBTQIA+ and gender diverse people, culturally and linguistically diverse people, parents and carers, youth and mature aged workers, Australia’s First Nations Peoples and support those with disability in the workplace.

The new financial year will see iconic events hosted at ICC Sydney including international events FDI World Dental Congress in September, World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) conference in October and the 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in November.

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