ICC Sydney Wows with first international business event

INTERNATIONAL Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) staged its first international business event in January, catering for more than 8,000 international delegates in the showcase of the venue’s capability.

ICC showed its versatility in meeting the needs of incentive event the Amway China Leadership Seminar 2017, over a 13-day period.

Over 13 days, organisers utilised a range of ICC Sydney’s flexible spaces, including the extraordinary 2,500 capacity Darling Harbour Theatre, as well as the Convention Centre’s five star meeting rooms for breakout sessions. 

ICC Sydney CEO, Geoff Donaghy, said the Amway China Leadership Seminar 2017 was “a huge success for the world class venue” with client feedback praising ICC Sydney’s layout, capabilities and expert counsel.

“It’s showtime at ICC Sydney and Amway China has helped us kick off the year with style and substance,” Mr Donaghy said.

“We have had great feedback from the organisers who were thrilled with our ability to support a range of event types within the overall program. For instance, Darling Harbour Theatre, which is also a performance space, became the perfect setting for large-scale presentations, while our Grand Ballroom – within the Convention Centre itself – provided the ideal location for each 2,000-person banquet.

“We are delivering a paradigm shift in the way that business events are run by providing the ultimate in quality, choice and flexibility for the world’s leaders and thinkers to meet, collaborate and innovate.

“With 500 bookings already secured, it’s clear that our industry leading proposition is making an impact,” Mr Donaghy said.

He said according to post-event surveys, delegates loved the gourmet Chinese sharing banquet provided, which was designed in line with ICC Sydney’s industry-first Feeding Your Performance philosophy. Dishes featured fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, expertly combined to drive physical and mental performance. Guests were also impressed with the courtesy and efficiency of staff, and their friendly manner, which put first-time visitors at ease.

Associate director of AV and events production for Amway China, Bert Li, said ICC Sydney’s staff and facilities delivered on expectations across the board.

“Every event comes with its own opportunities and complexities,” Mr Li said. “From developing specific bi-lingual signage and providing exclusive routes through the precinct, to creating dishes that mirrored our guests’ tastes, every detail was anticipated and delivered to a five star standard.

“I’m pleased to say that the Amway China Leadership Seminar 2017 was a triumph thanks to a trifecta of best in class facilities, flexible spaces and most importantly, an expert team that was easy to deal with and quickly addressed our every need.”

The event, which saw delegates arrive in four groups, also took advantage of many of Sydney’s key attractions and hotels including Luna Park, Sydney BridgeClimb, Sheraton on the Park, The Star, Sydney Tower Restaurant, Captain Cook Cruises, and Sydney Opera House.

Organisers cited the precinct’s stellar audio visual equipment as essential to delivering ‘next-level’ presentations, and its remarkable 10Gbps optical fibre backbone and precinct-wide connectivity, in supporting a seamless experience.

The event also offered VIP visitors the chance to explore the broader precinct, with The Hunger Games: The Exhibition and Brickman Wonders of the World Exhibition, both concurrently held in the venue’s exhibition halls.

Business Events Sydney CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith, whose company that secured the event for Sydney, said the precinct underpins Sydney’s reputation as one of the world’s most desirable business meeting destinations.

“As the centrepiece of the AU$3.4 billion, 20-hectare transformation of Darling Harbour, ICC Sydney has generated huge interest from international organisations and played a significant role in Amway China’s decision to return to Sydney for a third time,” Ms Lewis-Smith said.

“In the past decade we have seen 20 percent year-on-year growth from the highly lucrative Asian incentive market. ICC Sydney will drive this further, and deliver major cultural and economic benefits.”

Officially launched in December 2016, ICC Sydney is expected to inject an estimated $5 billion in to the NSW economy over the next 25 years.




2017 declared International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

THE official launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 took place at the International Tourism Fair of Spain, FITUR, in January.

The event, before more than 600 international travel and tourism industry leaders, kicked off 12 months of global actions aimed at advancing sustainable tourism contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Co-presented by Max Forster, CNN, and Raquel Martínez, RTVE, the launch event underlined “the immense socio-economic opportunities brought by the sector to all societies as well as its power to advocate for mutual understanding, peace and sustainable development worldwide” according to United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

“Every day, more than three million tourists cross international borders. Every year, almost 1.2 billion people travel abroad,” Mr Guterres said.

“Tourism has become a pillar of economies, a passport to prosperity, and a transformative force for improving millions of lives. The world can and must harness the power of tourism as we strive to carry out the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

The event also marked the launch of the International Year campaign ‘Travel.Enjoy.Respect’, aimed at promoting sustainable tourism among travellers, in partnership with CNN and RTVE. 

At FITUR, UNWTO also announced the ambassadors of the International Year: President of Liberia HE Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; HM King Simeon II; UnionPay president Huayong Ge; Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization president Talal Abu Ghazaleh; and , and Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry president Michael Frenzel.

UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai said, “2017 is a unique opportunity for us to promote the contribution of tourism to achieving the future we want – and also to determine, together, the exact role we will have tourism play in the sustainable development agenda, to and beyond 2030. A unique opportunity to ensure that tourism is a pillar in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, Alfonso María Dastis said, “The 2030 Agenda considers sustainable tourism as a vector of development, job creation and the promotion of local culture and products. Tourism is part of the Sustainable Development Goals and contributes decisively to almost all 17 Goals through its impacts on fighting poverty, promoting decent jobs, improving gender equality and the livelihoods of young people or the fight against climate change.”

Also addressing the ceremony were high representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, assistant director-general for culture at UNESCO Francesco Bandarin, and European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elzbieta Bienkowska. 

Sponsors of the International Year:

Official Sponsors of the international year includeANA, Balearic Islands, Global Tourism Economy Research Centre, Minube, Amadeus, Chimelong, Ras Al Khaimah, Ministry of Tourism of Colombia, Ministry of Tourism of Morocco, and IFEMA/FITUR

Diamond sponsors are theMinistry of Tourism of Mexico, Georgian National Tourism Board, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, The Travel Corporation, Capital Airlines, Eventísimo and Mastercard.

Gold sponsors are theGerman National Tourism Board (DZT), Turismo de Portugal, Valencian Tourist Agency, Catalunya Tourist Board, Global Geoparks Network, University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur – Institute of Tourism and Leisure and Intercontinental Hotels Group

Silver sponsors areJTB Corp and South Pole Group, while media partners are CNN, RTVE and Travel Weekly.

Portal of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

Travel.Enjoy.Respect Campaign



First Global Dialogue on Happiness at World Government Summit

WITH the World Health Organization expecting depression to rank in the top three biggest diseases within the next 15 years, more than 300 global experts, scientists and decision makers met in Dubai on February 12 for the first Global Dialogue on Happiness.

The conference is a global initiative driven by the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Duba, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and intends to create a framework for governments to align their policies with the happiness and well-being of their people. 

To underscore its commitment to this initiative, the UAE has created an official cabinet-level position focused specifically on happiness.

The Global Dialogue on Happiness was a pre-event to the 2017 World Government Summit, which followed also in Dubai.

UAE Minister of State for Happiness, HE Ohood Bint Khalfan Al Roumi, outlined the sense of urgency and moral imperative of governments to take the well-being of their citizens seriously: "350 million people globally suffer depression and 800,000 people between the ages of 15-29 commit suicide annually.”

The UAE is tackling these concerns directly, convening global experts on happiness to build a framework to implement ideas that will potentially affect substantial positive change and build happiness in societies.

According to findings from A 75-Year Study on Human Happiness  by Dr Robert Waldinger, Harvard professor of clinical psychology, “Close relationships were the strongest predictor of what kept people happy throughout their lives.”

Helen Clark, administrator of the UNDP spoke about the Human Development Index and reinforced the need to measure happiness to accurately assess and compare progress across countries.

Prime Minister of Bhutan Tshering Tobgay spoke about his country’s Gross National Happiness initiative which considers responsibility of individual happiness in the same way it thinks about education, healthcare or any other public good.

“Great philosophers and religious leaders have devoted their lives to teaching people how to be happy,” he said. “Why don’t governments make happiness a public good rather than relegating it to an individual pursuit?”

The 2017 World Government Summit featured 150 speakers across 114 sessions that highlight the world’s most pressing challenges and showcase best practices and cutting-edge solutions to deal with them.




Davos – ain’t it tweet?

FOR what it’s worth, the highest trending topic ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland this week is 'geo-politics'.

The Twitter accounts of WEF participants attending this year's annual meeting, from January 17-20, have settled into regular ‘geo-political’ references, according to reports from KPMG International’s WEFLIVE monitoring of the event.  

Mentions of 'Trump', 'Brexit' and 'Elections' were among the top keywords driving this geo-political conversation by those registered to attend WEF Davos.

According to KPMG, WEF participants have published more than 108,000 tweets over the past four months.

A WEFLIVE spokesperson said activity also suggested that the theme of the 2017 event, Responsive and Responsible Leadership, resonated well with WEF attendees, “clearly voicing their sentiments as they relate to political leadership and the rise of populism throughout the globe”.

Outside of the political realm, discussions on the topic of ‘women’ also surfaced to the top of participant Twitter activity, with content highlighting important issues around workplace inequality. There have also been spikes in issues related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the impact of safe drinking water on the lives of the world’s most vulnerable women. 

Of those WEF participants registered for Davos 2017, singer, songwriter and education advocate Shakira (@Shakira), who will be receiving an award at Davos for her leadership in improving the state of the world, tops the list of the most influential WEF participant on Twitter.

Bill Gates (@BillGates), co-founder of Microsoft and devoted philanthropist, and Cory Doctorow (@doctorow), Canadian-British blogger, journalist and science fiction author, ranked second and third respectively.

In terms of the location of the Twitter engagements – that is, retweets, replies and likes – of the participants’ tweets, the US, the UK, India and Mexico were the top four contributing countries.

KPMG’s WEFLIVE is suggesting that these locations are most affected by current geo-political topics.

Developed by KPMG International in 2011, WEFLIVE is a data visualization platform that aggregates Twitter data from WEF participants and what the world is saying in response. WEFLIVE. Called a ‘window to Davos’ – the site has had one mission since its launch: to help the global audience understand and engage with the WEF Twitter dialogue.

A KPMG spokesperson said, “In order to achieve this, the platform focuses on smart data analysis and rich, interactive visuals.”

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.&stid=1549900&thid=214699&tlid=214699&url=~11" target="_blank">


Ways to engage with WEFLIVE

Customize and embed WEFLIVE into your site using the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.&stid=1549900&thid=214699&tlid=214699&url=~12" target="_blank">widget builder

Discover content and subscriptions using the WEFLIVE This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.&stid=1549900&thid=214699&tlid=214699&url=~13" target="_blank">Facebook Bot

Follow WEF topics and content throughout the year, with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.&stid=1549900&thid=214699&tlid=214699&url=~14" target="_blank">WEFLIVE 365