Darling Harbour Live: Sydney’s new international convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct
The development of Sydney’s new international convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct signifies an exciting era of change and evolution for the city. The NSW Government is committed to creating cutting-edge, world-class meeting facilities that will greatly enhance Sydney’s international event offering from 2017.
On 11 December 2012, Destination Sydney, which comprises AEG Ogden, Lend Lease, Capella Capital and Spotless Facilities Services, was announced as the consortium that will design, build and operate the 20-hectare facility. View the proposed design and a fly-over.
Sydney is a city on the move!
To keep up to date with the development milestones visit www.siceep.com or www.darlingharbourlive.com.au
Frequently asked questions
Business Events Sydney (BESydney) has had quite a few enquiries about Sydney’s international convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct development. Below are some commonly asked questions and our answers! You can also contact us to discuss your individual event needs or queries.
- What is "Darling Harbour Live"?
- Why does Sydney need a new convention centre?
- What is the Darling Harbour Live development timeline?
- Will the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre (The Centre) remain open?
- When the new convention and exhibition facilities open in late 2016, what will they look like? What space will be available?
- How can I book my event at the new convention centre?
- I want to hold my event in Sydney during the development period (late 2013– late 2016). What other venue options are available? Can you help me find the best one for my needs?
- Who can I contact for more information?
What is "Darling Harbour Live"?
Darling Harbour Live (commonly referred to as the Sydney international convention and exhibition precinct – SICEEP) is a new development in the heart of Darling Harbour. This development includes the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) that will replace the existing Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre and a new 8,000 seat theatre that will replace the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
ICC Sydney will provide Australia’s global city with world-class facilities for a diverse range of conventions, exhibitions and entertainment events and allow the city to host multiple mega events consecutively – something the current facility is unable to do.
The precinct spans approximately 20-hectares, and is broadly bounded by Cockle Bay to the North, Harbour Street to the East, Hay Street to the South and Darling Drive to the West. It includes the existing Sydney Entertainment Centre and carpark and the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Tumbalong Park and the monorail corridor.
Why does Sydney need a new convention centre?
Sydney’s international convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct will cement Sydney’s position as Australia’s premier destination for conferences, conventions, exhibitions, incentives and corporate meetings.
The existing Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre (The Centre) opened more than 25 years ago. A key limitation of the current venue is its lack of versatile event spaces, which makes hosting simultaneous events difficult, and at times, impossible. It’s time for Sydney to be focused on the future and create flexible, state-of-the-art facilities that will cater for the meetings of tomorrow.
And, with international competition increasing, an updated venue has become an imperative to ensure that Sydney keeps pace with other destinations, particularly those in the neighbouring Asia-Pacific Region. These destinations are investing heavily in convention and exhibition precincts that are able to cater for multiple large events.
Business events deliver enormous benefits to our city, attracting visitors to our shores and fuelling our visitor economy. They also help to drive our knowledge economy, creating international networking opportunities, encouraging trade, investment and skilled migration, and enhancing our local education offerings. These benefits are long lasting and far reaching and not only touch our professional industries, our education sector and government policy makers, but also the wider community.
BESydney recently commissioned a study into the far-reaching legacies of business events. Read more about the results at Beyond Tourism Benefits: Measuring the social legacy of business events.
What is the Darling Harbour Live development timeline?
Closure of the existing Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre: late 2013
Commencement of construction commences: late 2013
Conclusion of construction: late 2016 (estimated)
For more details and updates visit www.siceep.com or www.darlingharbourlive.com.au
Will the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre (The Centre) remain open?
The Centre will be open for business as usual until December 2013.
The development will not impact events held at The Centre up until December 2013. The Centre’s team will continue to deliver your events in their seamless, expert manner.
A complete shutdown will take effect in December, when the development will begin. The New South Wales Government has chosen to fast-track the redevelopment over a shorter period of time, and that involves closing the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre completely from December 2013.
When the new convention and exhibition facilities open in late 2016, what will they look like? What space will be available?
The proposed design of the new facility was unveiled on Tuesday 11 December 2012! View the fly-over video. The design will ensure that the new precinct meets Sydney’s needs from late 2016, well into the future.
The new facilities will include:
- The largest exhibition space in Australia at 40,000 m2 - the equivalent of five football fields. It includes 35,000 m2 of dedicated space and a further 5,000 m2 of flexible space.
- The biggest total meeting room space in Australia at 8,000 m2 across more than 40 rooms, linked to both convention and exhibition areas.
- The biggest Australian convention hall capacity - known as plenary space - able to accommodate more than 12,000 people over four different areas, allowing multiple events to take place at the same time.
- Sydney's largest ballroom, for at least 2,000 people - almost double the current capacity
- A red carpet, premium entertainment facility with a capacity of at least 8,000 people, suitable for both entertainment events and 'mega' conferences.
- State-of-the-art technology throughout, such as free wireless connectivity across all facilities and 10 free Wi-Fi hot spots in the public open space.
- Up to 900 hotel rooms in a hotel complex at the northern end of the precinct
- Renewed and upgraded public domain that has been increased by a hectare, including an outdoor event space for up to 25,000 people at an expanded Tumbalong Park.
- A new neighbourhood at the southern end of the precinct, called The Haymarket, home to high-tech businesses, apartments, student accommodation, shops, cafes and restaurants.
- Improved pedestrian connections drawing people between Central, Chinatown and Cockle Bay Wharf as well as east-west between Ultimo/Pyrmont and the city.
How can I book my event at the new Sydney convention centre?
We’d love to host your event in Sydney!
Business Events Sydney (BESydney) is managing the enquiries for event bookings for the new Sydney international convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct for events taking place from 2017 onwards.
To express your interest in holding your event at the new centre please complete the online enquiry form, call 1300 141 583 or email email@example.com
I want to hold my event in Sydney during the development period (late 2013–late 2016). What other venue options are available? Can you help me find the best one for my needs?
Sydney has diverse options that can be used as standalone venues, or as part of a combined solution for large events.
If you consider the Annual Lions International Convention 2010, World Youth Day in 2008 or the 2000 Sydney Olympics, you’ll see it was not just one or two venues in the harbour city that made these events spectacular, but a raft of venues and a ‘whole-of-city’ approach.
From the broad range of venues at Sydney Olympic Park and the newly upgraded spaces at Royal Randwick racecourse, to the extensive renovations at The Star and numerous other quality conferences and event venues, our city is well-equipped to cater for events of all sizes, budgets and tastes.
Additionally, Glebe Island Expo, an interim facility, will be built to accommodate large trade shows and exhibitions during the development period.
Make a booking enquiry.
You can search for venue options using BESydney’s supplier search tool.
For a desktop reference download the Sydney and NSW Event Planner’s Guide.
Or, to make life even easier, contact our AccessNSW team and they’ll do the leg work for you – for free.
Sydney is Australia’s event capital. Let us show you why.
Who can I contact for more information?
Do you have an enquiry about the Darling Island Live development or Glebe Island Expo (i.e. process, timelines, tender, etc.)?
Contact the team at Infrastructure NSW or visit www.siceep.com
Could our Sydney experts help you bring an event to Sydney or NSW? Need information about Sydney’s dynamic suppliers (including venues)?
Talk to our team today. Our services are all provided free of charge.
Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
Do you have an event booked at the existing Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre (The Centre) between now and 30 November 2013? Your event will not be impacted on by the development.
Talk to The Centre to continue planning for your Sydney event experience!