Leaders from International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) have fuelled discussion and debate at the AIPC Asia Summit in Singapore this week, providing insights into the key challenges shaping the future of the conventions industry and strategies for success.
Recognised for excellence in convention centre management, ICC Sydney’s CEO, Geoff Donaghy, and Director of Business Development, Beverley Parker, featured as expert panellists and were invited to showcase ICC Sydney as a benchmark for convention centres in the region.
Speaking at the opening session, Mr Donaghy explored different ways to enhance business prospects for the future, including via the provision of superior facilities and services, plus targeted marketing.
“The major challenges we face include increasing competition, human capital and future-proofing both digital and design assets. For example, traditionally, a world class venue simply had to have luxury formal spaces and quality plenary halls with excellent technology and services support.
“Today, it needs to have informal spaces to facilitate networking, collaboration and innovation. It also needs to have a strong digital backbone that will connect guests and adapt to the rapid changes in technology we are seeing, whilst also delivering an organic connection to its physical environment and city,” he said.
Donaghy noted that ICC Sydney, which is set to open in December 2016, delivers on all these fronts, featuring an integrated precinct design which allows visitors to rub shoulders with locals and easily connect with the thriving cultural, business and innovation scenes within the heart of the city.
Ms Parker said that while distance poses a challenge for Australia in particular, effective marketing and collaboration with government, business and social stakeholders is helping overcome this.
“Awareness of the benefits that major business events bring, and the role of a convention centre in the life of a city, is crucial to success. We believe Sydney is now very well placed to attract business events, as we offer a truly world class venue, in the heart of the city and in close proximity to local knowledge hubs, and have both industry and government support,” she said.
“Bringing to life our not-yet-complete venue with compelling marketing tools and materials, such as interactive maps, animations, advance modelling and renders, has also been a linchpin for success; providing clients with the experience of visiting the centre before it has even been built.”