ICC Sydney - Leadership in Action

9th May, 2019

Now in its third year of operation, International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) is determined to keep growing its success story, all underpinned by its commitment to legacy. With 1,300 national and international events confirmed up until 2030, a delegate satisfaction rate of 99%, a client rate of 97% and a staff retention rate of 93%, there is certainly no slowing down for ICC Sydney.

Following on from our site inspection in February 2018, HQ's team Vivian and Jesús sat down (at AIME 2019) with Geoff Donaghy, CEO, and Samantha Glass, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications, about their achievements to date and plans for the future.

Jesús Guerrero Chacón interviews

ICC Sydney has proven to be a great win for the city of Sydney, can you share with us the venue’s journey so far?

Geoff Donaghy, CEO, and Samantha Glass, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications at Sydney ICC

When we opened the doors to ICC Sydney in December 2016, we set out with a vision of opening a world-class venue, in a world-class location with a world-class team. We had a remarkable first year and are proud that we did indeed make this vision a reality.

Looking back to last year, we improved on our (already very good) 2017 results, providing our visitors with world-class event experiences, boosting the city and the state of New South Wales’ economy, filled hotel rooms, created jobs and looked at new ways to connect our clients to the surrounding community. In terms of the numbers, we delivered more than 700 events and welcomed more than 1.3 million visitors through our doors which injected four per cent more than the previous year into the local State economy.

This year, we have really honed in our focus on our people and our community. This includes continuing to build our client Legacy Program which aims to enrich delegate experiences and provide clients with a platform to give back while fostering opportunities for the community through five dedicated streams. This includes Generation Next, Innovators & Entrepreneurs, Sustainable Events, First Australians and Creative Industries.


We celebrated many milestones through this program last year including the launch of our Reconciliation Action Plan which saw us become the first convention centre in Australia to take this formal pledge, significantly reducing the environmental impact of major events, engaging the next generation of talent from student performers to creating opportunities for university students to participate in conference programs and events.

We are also placing our own people first through our commitment to be an employer of choice as we create, nurture and retain talent. We believe in creating careers, not just jobs.

Our legacy philosophy ripples across our entire organisation as our people find meaning and passion in the work they do; whether it be our chefs working directly with farmers or introducing international organisers to authentic local performers, these connections enrich both the client and delegate experience while providing opportunities for our local community.

How does ICC Sydney connect delegates with local Sydneysiders?

Beyond our Legacy Program where we connect clients and delegates with the wider Sydney community in meaningful and measurable ways, ICC Sydney is also a venue of choice for live entertainment and consumer-focused events.

Sydneysiders have really embraced ICC Sydney and our location at the heart of the Darling Harbour precinct means our visitors are surrounded by an array of restaurants, cafes and hotels including the soon-to-open W and Ritz Carlton hotels. We’re proud to act as a connection point between the events we host and the local community across so many different touch points.

ICC Sydney has co-sponsored the very first edition of the Leader’s Forum at AIME 2019, can you tell us about this decision?

As part of our client Legacy Program, ICC Sydney is committed to delivering lasting impacts for the local community, beyond the venue’s financial goals and obligations. In this sense, this Leader’s Forum at AIME was a perfect platform to bring together leaders from across the Asia Pacific, to provide insights into ICC Sydney’s award-winning blue print for customer and community success as well as discuss some of the most pressing challenges in our industry in an open forum.

It was an opportunity for us to reiterate the important role of leaders taking responsibility for delivering on their company objectives but also, to look over the horizon and share industry challenges with the teams, cities and stakeholders that they represent, imparting knowledge on the next generation of leaders.

We heard you are announcing something big at IMEX Frankfurt? Can you give our readers a hint?

We can’t reveal too much at the stage, but do watch this space as it will be a very exciting press conference.

For more information, please visit iccsydney.com.au

Other Articles

About Us

Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.