14 Dec 2012

Sydney’s International Convention Centre : Problems

13th December 2012

Sydney will have a new Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Centre, after a three year shutdown. Plans announced yesterday by the state government have failed to excite the exhibitions industry.

Right now, Sydney offers 25,000 metres of continuous space across five halls – with NO columns. An extra 2,500 meters in hall 6 hall columns. Columns are the black plague of tradeshow firms, who must try to plan around them and compensate exhibitors who encounter them.

Revelation: the NEW Sydney Centre will have – 20,000 square meters on the ground level, WITH columns. Up above, supported by the columns, 13,000 meters of uncolumned space. CX has spent much time over almost two decades drawing trade show plans, with – and without – columns when we operated ENTECH and now for our much, much smaller Roadshow. Every column costs many thousands of dollars, per larger event.

The layout of the exhibition space has drawn the ire of some operators. The peak industry body EEAA was more measured, saying ‘please be assured that this is the start of a discussion with the industry. There will be more opportunities to speak directly with Infrastructure NSW and the preferred bidder in the new year.’

Destination Sydney consortia is the winning tenderer to design, build and operate the Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct (SICEEP). Destination Sydney comprises Capella Capital, Lend Lease, AEG Ogden, Hassell and Spotless.

Other excitement surrounding the massive development: Sydney Entertainment Centre gets a stay of execution, and remains open until the end of 2014. That’s GOOD news.


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