Artists impressions of the temporary Sydney Exhibition Centre (SEC) at Glebe Island have been unveiled amidst a media push to encourage the events community to get behind the new location.
In what is being called a ‘blank canvas’, the site is co-located with a working wharf. The purpose-built, hard-walled facility will have 25,000 square metres of fully-enclosed halls that will house Sydney events during the redevelopment of the International Convention Centre (ICC) and ICC Exhibition at Darling Harbour.
The hotel industry is right behind the new centre and the first to welcome the move was Accor Hotels.
“We are very pleased work is soon to start at the Sydney Exhibition Centre at Glebe Island and our hotels in Darling Harbour, Sydney CBD, Circular Quay and Walsh Bay are in a fantastic position to meet the accommodation demands that will come as a result,” Accor Hotels CEO Simon McGrath told HM.
“There’s no doubt the closure of SCEC will have an impact on Sydney hotels, however we feel between the Exhibition Centre at Glebe Island and the revitalisation of the exhibition facilities at the Royal Showgrounds in Homebush, our hotels in Sydney and surrounding suburbs, particularly our four hotels in Olympic Park are well placed to accommodate large conferences.
“Not only this, considering we’re the largest provider of in-house hotel conferencing facilities in Sydney, our hotels are prepared for, and are already seeing an increase in residential conferences as a result of the temporary changes to Sydney’s conferencing landscape.
“What is also pleasing to see is the way in which Destination New South Wales, other businesses and tourism bodies are working together in a positive manner to see no business is lost to other states or international destinations.”
BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith said 80% of the events booked into the Convention Centre for 2014 have been rehomed to the new location and that the shortfall will be made up by inbound groups from Asia.
The new site will be managed by AEG Ogden from the end of 2013 and will open for business in February 2014, with a maximum tenure of three years. The progress of the site will be recorded through Instagram and YouTube.
Free special event transport will be available on exhibition show days with both scheduled ferries from Darling Harbour and shuttle buses from Central Station.
The Glebe Island site is one of the few places in Sydney where both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the ANZAC Bridge are fully visible and there will be a range of pop-up catering options available, including the possibility of food trucks.