ICC Sydney has the support of NSW Health to continue to operate at one-person per four square metres without a capacity limit in our Convention Centre and Exhibition Centre while running at 75 per cent capacity in our theatres.
With border restrictions easing and our EventSafe Operating Guide in place, the team remains ready to host your events safely. With an agile approach to all the pandemic has served up, ICC Sydney has remained open, ever adapting to the current health regulations. Match fit and resilient, the team has proven whether 100% in-person, virtual or in a hybrid format, they will seamlessly deliver your event.
Staying disciplined and effective, ICC Sydney delivered 44 events (a combination of 25 in person, 10 hybrid and 9 virtual conferences, meetings, banquets or live events) in December 2020 alone.
In these times of flux, we have taken the opportunity to further cement our rigorous safety measures as well as refresh and expand our products and services, which has included an expansion to film and photography shoots.
Looking forward to the year ahead, there are already 400 events in our pipeline.
Top 8 Tips to plan an event during a pandemic
Our team has compiled a range of event planning tips to help guide planners through the challenges of managing an event at our venue during COVID-19.
1. Select a safe, integrated and reliable destination
Sydney enjoys a reputation as one of the safest and most livable cities in the world. During the pandemic, Sydney has built upon its sound reputation as a safe destination with the New South Wales (NSW) Government continually monitoring the status of COVID-19 in the community and implementing safety regulations that have helped keep outbreaks largely at bay.
Safety measures have been advised and incorporated into every aspect of daily life including whilst travelling on public transport, visiting public spaces and private businesses, quarantine for returning travelers, contact tracing processes and increased hygiene methods for many common touchpoints.
In recognition of our own rigorous COVID safe measures, ICC Sydney was granted an exemption to hold corporate events, such as conferences, in addition to exhibitions and live events by the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Health.
2. Stay up-to-date with local regulations
To operate an event in 2021, it is best to start with a solid understanding of the latest regulations on gatherings.
The current NSW Health orders are Public Health (COVID-19 Mandatory Face Coverings) Order 2021 and
Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 7) 2020.
At ICC Sydney, our internal COVID Taskforce monitors the health orders and translates their key impacts into our internal processes to ensure that all event delivery protocols are compliant with the regulations.
Under public health orders some businesses and organisations are required to keep a record of all staff, patrons and contractors visiting their premises. ICC Sydney uses unique Service NSW QR codes for each building. An electronic recording system adhering to government regulations to record attendees who are unable to use the Service NSW code is also available.
The update released on 28 January determined that attendees to events at venues such as ICC Sydney are no longer required to wear a face mask as a condition of entry to the Convention Centre, Exhibition Centre or Aware Super Theatre.
Face masks are still mandatory for all staff who work in hospitality venues. In this regard, our team members will wear face masks to provide an additional layer of protection.
COVID-19 Safety Plans are still mandated by the NSW Government, to ensure the safety of all stakeholders, and are a requirement of your event.
In the frequently evolving landscape of COVID restrictions, our team is available to assist you with your queries as you prepare your COVID-19 Safety Plan.
3. Use the resources at your fingertips
As part of our ongoing commitment to protecting your health and safety whilst at ICC Sydney, in 2020 we introduced a range of enhanced measures across the venue to safeguard the wellbeing of our clients, delegates, contractors and team members – the EventSafe Operating Guide.
ICC Sydney’s EventSafe Guidelines
The EventSafe Operating Guide is continually updated to reflect the latest health and safety advice and regulations from the following international and national reference points:
- ASM Global’s globally developed VenueShield program.
- Advice and regulations set by the Australian Government Department of Health.
- Advice and regulations set by NSW Government Department of Health.
- Safe Work Australia’s Codes of Practice.
- Our organisation has earned multiple International Standards Organisation (ISO) Certifications including ISO 22000 Food Safety Management; ISO 14001 Environmental Management; ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety and ISO 9001 Quality Management, thus laying the foundation for quality service and the health and safety practices clients have come to expect when at ICC Sydney.
- Leading industry bodies including the Business Events Council of Australia, Meetings and Events Australia, Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia and through our memberships of AIPC, ICCA and UFI.
4. Tap into the experts’ digital knowledge
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought innovative event methodology to the fore. Our AV and event services teams have continued to build upon their event delivery portfolio during the pandemic. They have consistently adapted their knowledge to match the ever-evolving changes to health and safety regulations and they welcome your queries, big or small, as they walk the journey of planning your event with you.
Experience throughout the pandemic
Between March and December 2020, ICC Sydney set an industry benchmark in live, virtual and hybrid events, delivering 194 events such as MEALIVE Awards 2019, Stand Tall 2020, HealthCert Education conference, Online Retailer FUSION as well as the Australian Trucking Association Live event. Many of the events hosted were reimagined into a virtual format for the first time last year.
In-house recording and broadcast service
ICC Sydney also offers event organisers purpose-built Studios to create and broadcast content and the ICC Sydney Connect platform which seamlessly integrates and enhances the online event experience.
5. Plan for a smooth arrival
The best made plans will allow for a seamless arrival process. ICC Sydney’s team has set up COVID safe measures that will help facilitate a smooth arrival for your attendees even with the added step of contact tracing and ensuring physical distancing.
On site signage and conditions of entry
An external queue management system, including floor decals featuring 1.5 metre markers, as well as external signage to clearly indicate dedicated entry and exit locations all ensure COVID Safe Plans.
Signage informs of the terms and conditions of entry such as the requirement to scan a QR Code on arrival for contact tracing purposes. We recommend allowing extra time for your registration process to enable accurate contact tracing.
Hygiene measures and customer service support
ICC Sydney’s system supports people counting as they enter the building and hand sanitiser stations with hygiene advisory signage at the entry to and throughout the Convention and Exhibition Centres. Members of our customer service team continue to support guests, ensuring they reach their event safely and efficiently.
6. Scale event requirements to reflect regulations
Our team is here to support your event needs in respect to the latest capacity regulations. In practical terms, we will work with you to accommodate your event using the current one person to four square metre ruling to optimise your space, though we can scale your event capacity up or down.
7. Choose from diverse culinary options - all served safely
In developing our EventSafe operating protocols, our culinary team reviewed the following food service modes with additional COVID safe modifications: plated service, buffet service, coffee breaks and retail service.
ICC Sydney’s 2021 Menu Collection caters for all event requirements, all delivered with an additional food and beverage service safety overlay. With our Sydney Eats daily menu, attendees can experience a single sided buffet service which decreases unnecessary contact with food and equipment. Meals can also be presented in individually wrapped portions.
The FSANZ Food Standards Code requires food businesses to take all practicable steps to prevent contamination of food production and service areas. To minimise food safety risks, ICC Sydney’s food and beverage operations are managed under our HACCP based food safety framework.
8. Lean on our team for knowledge, flexibility and service excellence
The current climate has brought about a need to be flexible and adjust to the variables that the pandemic presents.
Our team’s top tip is to approach event planning during this period with a degree of adaptability. We take great pride in collaborating with clients to translate the latest regulations into event plans, helping to make adjustments to bookings or floorplans and taking into consideration the needs of in person and remote audiences.
As you progress along your planning journey, we welcome any queries you may have. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of ICC Sydney’s team and we will assist you in producing a successful event, no matter the format.
Director of Event Services