At ICC Sydney, innovation is in our DNA: Geoff Donaghy


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ICC Sydney sits in the heart of our city’s business, education, research and knowledge communities.

Images: ICC Sydney

At ICC Sydney, we believe innovation is in our DNA.  We have the privilege of working on one of the most exciting projects underway across the business events industry, in a dynamic, global city that is the economic powerhouse of our nation. ICC Sydney sits in the heart of our city’s business, education, research and knowledge communities.

What a missed opportunity it would be for our city if we weren’t to place an innovation lens across every decision we make and every action we take.  As the new venue managers of Sydney’s international convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct, our mantra is to identify and deliver smart solutions that offer the best outcomes for our clients, our visitors and our city.

One of the biggest challenges in a pre-opening environment is to show the global events industry how we will deliver world class experiences before we open for business in December 2016. However, the team has taken to this challenge with gusto and has already delivered innovative solutions to showcase the venue during the building’s construction phase.

We received worldwide approval of these solutions following their recent launch at the Asia-Pacific Incentive Meetings Expo (AIME) in February.

Our first hit has been an animated short film that combines the latest in 3D modelling with live footage, taking the viewer on a journey of ICC Sydney and immersing them in the sights and surrounds of the AU$1.1 billion development.

The film reveals a conference in action at the convention centre, plenaries in full flight across the theatres, Australia’s largest ballroom dressed for a gala dinner, tradeshows underway in the exhibition centre and events being enjoyed on the open air event deck.

ICC Hotel

It shows the scale of the buildings, quality interior finishes and the ease of connectivity across the venue and how it links with the wider AU$3 billion 20-hectare transformation of Darling Harbour. We believe the content delivers a sensory, emotive yet realistic experience of ICC Sydney.

Not satisfied with our 1:350 scale model of the venue, we have developed a series of drawers which pull out of the model’s plinth to depict a horizontal ‘slice’ of the buildings, showing the location of each room and how they are related.

Already a success with clients, the solution allows people to interrogate the design, sketching out venue flows and marking up links to the desired rooms for booking their events.

ICC Sydney’s innovative marketing activations ensure clients and stakeholders can engage with the space and get a feel for what it is like to host an event at ICC Sydney without having to actually step inside. This thinking was rewarded when ICC Sydney’s exhibition stand at AIME was presented with the coveted Best Innovative Stand Award at the show.


In another innovation story, ICC Sydney will be home to the first community-funded solar energy project of its kind in Australia, allowing members of the public to buy shares in a social venture that will own the building’s solar array.

The smart design of ICC Sydney delivers a range of environmentally and socially sustainable solutions and we intend to magnify these best practice strategies through our management of the venue.

Over the coming months, we will have representatives in Shanghai, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Frankfurt, New York and Washington as well as a roadshow in Australia.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or my team to discuss holding your event at ICC Sydney or meeting with us while we are on tour.

ICC Portraits 071114

Geoff Donaghy, Chief Executive Officer


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