Australia Opinions Updates

Coping with Covid-19

ICC Sydney’s Geoff Donaghy outlines steps the venue is taking to tackle current challenges and prepare for the recovery.

With the progressive announcements made by the Australian Federal Government on the measures to protect our national community, we now find ourselves in a situation where all events have been shut down and severe restrictions put in place on social gatherings.

In light of this, at ICC Sydney, we’ve taken the following measures to take care of our people, our industry and make sure we are ready as soon as this dark cloud passes.

Taking care of our extraordinary team

Our intention is to do all that we can to retain all of our full-time team members, unfortunately though this is not the case for our casual team. Rostering our casual team members requires events to be taking place at the venue, something which we are unsure at this stage when we’ll be able to resume. We’re doing what we can to ensure all of our team have access support, providing access to counselling services and communicating updates on the situation when we can.

For our full-time team members, we’ve implemented a number of measures to ensure we are practicing the health recommendations of social distancing such as working from home and setting up new desk spaces across the venue. We’re also having our team members undertake administrative tasks including cleaning, stocktaking and updating our databases.

A voice for the industry

We’re working closely with industry representative bodies, particularly our peak national body the Business Events Council of Australia. By providing input on lobbying and submissions to the Federal Government, we’re ensuring there is ongoing support for our industry and that there is the appropriate focus in place on the recovery period.

Going digital

In light of current restrictions on events and gatherings, we’ve set up a semi-permanent broadcast and telecast facilities in our venue for clients to utilise as a way to communicate with their networks — no matter where they are in the world. These tools have already been used by one of our key city associations, the Committee for Sydney, and we’ll continue to offer this to our industry and client base during this challenging global climate.

Not losing sight of the future

We can’t underestimate the impact that this most serious combination of a pandemic and economic downturn will have on our industry. But what is equally as serious during this time is ensuring we keep a strong focus on the future, undertaking planning and ensuring our readiness. Our industry, and ICC Sydney’s role within it, will be at the forefront of our local and national economic recovery — and we’ll ensure we are ready from the moment it begins.

Geoff Donaghy is the CEO of ICC Sydney.