17 Dec 2013

SCEC shut, welcome to Glebe Island!

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Now that the NSW Government has shut Sydney  Convention and Exhibition Centre, throwing events professionals out of work for three years, the transport plan for the temporary facility at Glebe Island has been revealed.

There is ‘limited’ paid onsite parking, by our estimates insufficient for a full cohort of exhibitors and staff, let alone visitors. There is no pedestrian access, as flagged on in July (see report HERE). Worst of all, there is a crazy bad ferry service for ‘show days’, and the map above details how half baked this entire project is.

You have to catch the ferry from the Convention Centre wharf at Darling Harbour. That’s near where you previously saw ENTECH, SMPTE, INTEGRATE or attended any of the hundreds of conventions and events that have now left Sydney. But wait – there is now very little parking at Darling Harbour, since the largest car park was UNDER the Convention Centre – which is now being demolished.


But the exhibition industry, driven by voracious firms that exist to sell concrete space, are pretending it is all new and exciting!

By way of example, The Exhibition and Events Association of Australasia (EEAA) which represents the major users of convention and exhibition facilities at Darling Harbour issued a missive which welcomed the announcement that construction is about to commence on the new centre.

“EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio congratulated the Darling Harbour Live consortia and the NSW Government on completing Financial Close” the blurb reads. “We are pleased another milestone has been reached and we urge Lend Lease, AEG Ogden and the other parties to continue to engage the major clients to ensure what is delivered on the site is fit for purpose.” she said.


But silent on the horrendous joke that is Glebe Island Expo, currently taking bookings from trade show promoters (core members of EEAA) at a bargain rate – $16,000 per 5,000 square metres per day. This is 20% less than the just closed Darling Harbour venue, so trade show exhibitors should expect a discount if they are somehow convinced to exhibit at a venue with ‘no pedestrian access’, ‘limited paid parking’ (none for visitors) and a ferry service from somewhere with virtually no parking either.



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