$50m in events secured for Sydney’s new facility at Darling HarbourThe impact of the events world on the outside world as a whole is most visible when a big conference comes to town. Cities talk in terms of millions of pounds or dollars benefit to the local economy.
However, there is even more to it than that. The additional benefits have been nicely summed up by Lyn Lewis-Smith, the CEO of Business Events Sydney.
With the news that the ICC Sydney, which is now under construction at Darling Harbour, has already got bookings worth nearly $50m to the city’s economy, Lyn says: ‘Of the seven international events already secured, at least six are directly linked to the state’s priority sectors and strengthen the Government’s approach to economic development.
‘Our beautiful city is of course a drawcard for international events and their participants. It’s also essential that we showcase our city’s smarts – we are a creative and innovative modern global city with some of the world’s leading thinkers. The bid leaders and ambassadors that BESydney work with are a small but representative sample of this.
‘The events that they have secured for ICC Sydney will have far-reaching benefits, building real connections, networks and fostering learning that could result in innovations and advances that benefit communities across the world.’
Acting Premier Andrew Stoner has also been lyrical about the early good news: ‘The success we have had so far in securing events for ICC Sydney, three years from its opening in late 2016, is phenomenal’, is how he puts it.
’Securing these events, in addition to the ones already booked for the interim exhibition centre Glebe Island, is a vote of confidence in the NSW Government’s plans for the state’s conventions and exhibitions industry.
’It shows that there is a lot of faith in Sydney as Australia’s leading business events destination and that we are living up to our reputation by delivering world-class infrastructure.
’ICC Sydney is part of the NSW Government’s $2.5bn transformation of Darling Harbour. In just three years’ time, Darling Harbour will have undergone its biggest change in 25 years with a new hotel, new convention, exhibition and entertainment facilities. Work has started on a new neighbourhood in the Haymarket that is humming with activity from cafes, shops, apartments and offices.
’This development is as much about creating an even better place for Sydneysiders as it is about reinforcing the city’s place as a leading global destination for convention and exhibition business,’ he emphasises.
Big events, therefore, bring valuable business and they simultaneously raise the stature of the host city on the international scene. It is little wonder that so many cities worldwide are in the process of building new convention and exhibition centres.
We just have to hope that they do not go over the top with a resultant over-capacity undermining the good that has been done.
What are the contracts that have stimulated such excitement? Click on AUS