The International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) has received an exemption to hold corporate events and conferences for up to 1,500 people, following approval from the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Health.
Corporate events, including conferences, meetings, AGMs, awards and banquets, will be subject to one person per four square metres and allocated to groups no larger than 300 people in separate areas within ICC Sydney.
In addition, the Aware Super Theatre is now permitted to hold seated events of up to 2,400 patrons.
ICC Sydney CEO, Geoff Donaghy, said the increased capacity limit for corporate events is a vital next step in recovering from the coronavirus crisis for ICC Sydney and the business events sector.
“Our industry has been hard hit since March. This exemption will significantly improve ICC Sydney’s ability to attract corporate events, which is essential for the wider recovery of Australia’s business events sector – worth over A$36 billion (US$26.4 billion) annually to our economy”.
Following the exemption, preparations are now underway to welcome back larger conferences. The first of these events to be staged at ICC Sydney will be the 43rd COSPAR Scientific Assembly, in a hybrid format. In conjunction with a Space STEM Park, the Assembly will attract up to 1,500 local participants. A virtual platform will stream to an audience that is anticipated to exceed 3,000 attendees.
This comes as the border between Victoria and NSW has reopened, allowing greater movement of people between the two states for domestic event attendance.
ICC Sydney has made operational changes including limiting the 1,500 people in groups of 300; separate entrances and exits for each group of 300; check-in and contact tracing information collection; regular cleaning of high-traffic and high-touch areas with hospital-grade disinfectant; hand sanitiser stations; and providing Covid-19 safety training for all operational, frontline and contract staff, as well as on-site COVID-19 Safe Hygiene Marshals.
All events held at ICC Sydney will continue to be delivered in line with the venue’s EventSafe Operating Guide which integrates parent group ASM Global’s Venue Shield programme, while meeting NSW Government regulations.