December is one of my favourite times of year – a time of not only celebration of the year that was and what was achieved, but a time to reflect and take stock.
2019 marked a year of exciting progress at ICC Sydney, our team delivered extraordinary service across the board for all 700 events hosted within our venue which attracted 1.4 million visitors.
Underpinning this has been a commitment by the passionate professionals within our business to consistently raise the bar, and to work collaboratively with clients through every stage of the event process.
As a result, we’ve enhanced the sophistication of our approach to client and delegate experiences. And in turn, we’ve created lasting advocates for ICC Sydney and a satisfaction rating beyond compare.
So, what are my top take-outs, where do I think we’ve found room to grow and guiding lights for 2020? Here are my key three:
1. Evolving the UX of Events
From the client side, 2019 was shaped by the increasingly important role of technology at all stages of the execution process, including building in bespoke technological requirements within forums at a higher level than ever before.
From custom communication tools used pre-event to feature our venue information, to interactive apps, e-badges and smart kiosks used to streamline the registration process for attendees, we have seen a continued evolution and enhancement of the UX of events.
In-house, our Culinary Services team has also enhanced event experiences by tailoring our signature dining options. This has seen the addition of interactive food trucks as well as both alcohol and alcohol-free pop-up bars, alongside the delivery of continuous food and beverage services throughout conferences – an option which is now popular with clients looking to improve visitor engagement across rolling programs via uninterrupted catering.
2. Championing Choice
Our team is always one step ahead of the latest culinary trends, which includes supporting all types of dietary preferences to provide an abundance of options that cater to all while maintaining our signature approach to fine dining options.
In 2019, we saw a shift within the broader community, who are desiring more plant-based options and low or non-alcoholic beverages. Embracing the changing needs and tastes of our clients, our new 2020 Menu Collection
has now been curated to include an extended range of plant-based options, native ingredients and superfoods, alongside the iconic and most loved ICC Sydney dishes featured in our menus since day one.
3. Inspiring Impact
Effectively supporting the delivery of impactful end-to-end experiences and giving back to our community has always been a big focus for us. And over the last 12 months, our team has delivered amazing results here while also driving an exciting evolution of our industry leading Legacy Program
, fuelled by demand from clients to meet ambitious CSR objectives.
For example, in the past year, with support from our clients, we’ve donated over 7,000 kilograms of items to eight community groups from events hosted at the venue.
We also launched our Edible Centrepieces
initiative – an innovative, community-focused service which allows both clients and our venue to deliver on sustainability goals and increase support for the Matthew Talbot Hostel, run by the St Vincent De Paul Society New South Wales.
With over 22,000 meals donated in the past year, we’ve not only increased our support for our regional suppliers, but also offered clients the chance to reduce event waste and deliver meaningful social impact.
And based on feedback, we’re now providing clients with even more options to incorporate CSR initiatives at their event, particularly focussed on waste reduction, repurposing and recycling, as seen in our refreshed Sustainable Events Guide
It’s been a privilege to see the headway made in 2019, and taking inspiration from the lessons learned, I’m truly looking forward to the year ahead – driving more innovation and impact with my team, our clients and community. Here’s to 2020!