The Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) has stressed the need to deliver a stellar first round of events at the Glebe Island Expo facility to secure repeat bookings for the future.
During an extensive interview with The Nibbler this week, EEAA general manager Joyce DiMascio said the industry had renewed confidence following the announcement that Sydney Harbour Expo@Glebe Island will oversee the development of the new Glebe Island interim facility.
Plans for staffing, transport, and food and beverage services are now being finalised, with marketing and booking processes also yet to be confirmed.
Describing the announcement as an “exciting win” for the industry, DiMascio said the plans are a big step up from the “bleak outcome” which faced the industry months before, when the SCEC closure was confirmed with no fallback plan.
However, she said the pressure was now on the industry to deliver a premium venue in order to secure the long term success of Sydney’s conference and exhibitions sector.
“We need to make sure the first events in 2014 are a success. Only then will events be rebooked in 2015 and beyond,” she said. “All eyes are on the government, developers and organisers to make sure we get it right.”
DiMascio was confident the industry would strike the right balance, but added there was still “a lot of work to do”.
“The next step is to refine details surrounding the site, but more importantly we have to ensure the interim site is marketed correctly,” she said. “The demand is out there, but we need to make sure we can pick up the bookings for 2014 and beyond.”
The EEAA will collaborate with the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Business Events Sydney and Infrastructure NSW to market the site and “bring the major players to the table”.
But DiMascio was optimistic of a promising outcome: “This is a win on many fronts, and with the good will and determination in the industry out there, we have all the right ingredients for a really good outcome for Sydney.”