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Sydney Boat Show – new venue FAQs

by BIA NSW on 25 Feb 2014
Undercover part of Sydney Boat Show 2014 .. ©
This year will see the Sydney International Boat Show move from its traditional home at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre (SCEC) to a temporary facility at Glebe Island, to be known as Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island (SEC @ GI). The SCEC has been the shows home for 25 years and will reopen in 2017 after redevelopment between 2014 and 2016.

The move to SEC @ GI has raised many questions and the BIA of NSW has sought to provide answers. Some elements remain fluid and we are endeavouring to find answers to these additional questions. More information will be available when the Invitation to Exhibit is released and periodically through the associations E-News.

Q: Where will the Sydney International Boat Show be held in 2014?

The undercover exhibits of the Sydney International Boat Show will be located in a purpose built facility in Glebe Island. The venue will be known as the Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island. This facility has been constructed for the exhibition industry and will be used from 2014-2016. It is located in the heart of Sydney on the foreshore of the harbour near the underside of the Anzac Bridge. The marina exhibits will remain in Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour.

Q: When will the Show be held in 2014?

Show dates: Thursday 31 July to Monday 4 August 2014. It is envisaged that the normal move-in and move-out time periods will apply. Schedules will be sent to confirmed exhibitors in advance of the show.


Q: Is Glebe Island actually an island?

'Glebe Island was a major port facility in Sydney Harbour and, in association with the adjacent White Bay facility was the receiving venue for imported cars and dry bulk goods in the region until 2008. It is surrounded by White, Johnstons, and Rozelle Bays. Whilst retaining its original title as an ‘Island’, it has long been infilled to the shoreline of the suburb of Rozelle and connected by the Glebe Island Bridge to Pyrmont.' (Wikipedia)
For those familiar with Sydney, it is that span of land to the left that is visible as you cross ANZAC Bridge, heading towards the city from the west.

Q: How will visitors travel between the Sydney Convention Centre @ Glebe Island and the marina exhibits in Cockle Bay at Darling Harbour?

During show days, there will be regular ferry and bus shuttles between the two locations. The BIA NSW is currently working with the venue and its appointed transport providers to develop a comprehensive transport plan. All transport shuttles will be free for show ticket holders. Ferry shuttle travel time will be approximately 10 minutes. There will also be a taxi rank at both locations. Pedestrian access into the Sydney Convention Centre @ Glebe Island is not possible. Free bus shuttles will be available from Central Station (Eddy Avenue).

Q: Is there parking available?

Parking is available at Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island. Coupled with the overflow areas, it is envisaged that a similar number of parking spaces will be available to those that existed within the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre car park, around 900 spaces.
Our message to visitors travelling by car will be to travel to Darling Harbour as first choice. Significantly more parking is available in the Darling Harbour precinct than SEC @ GI. Additional information will be provided as and when available.

Q: How will the ticketing work?

Ticketing will work in a similar manner to previous years. Visitors can purchase tickets at either venue and that ticket will be valid for entry at both venues. Shuttle transport between the venues will be free.

Q: How much will it cost to exhibit?

Exhibitor rates for the 2014 show will be held at the 2013 rates. The Board of Directors has decided to absorb increased venue costs and the operational expenses, and this is expected to result in a deficit for the Association for 2014.

Q: When will the Invitation to Exhibit (show prospectus) be released?

The Invitation to Exhibit is a comprehensive document that outlines details of the event and includes information that will direct businesses to the price lists and floor plans. It is planned to have this document available to industry in early to mid-March

Q: Can I visit Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island before the show to look at the venue?

Yes, there will be several opportunities for exhibitors to visit the venue before the show. Those unable to attend an organised viewing may be able to visit the site by special arrangement. Interested visitors should view the Associations E-News for details.

Q: How big is Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island?

The interim venue is 24,500 m² in size. By comparison Halls 1 – 5 of the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre were 25,000 m².


Q: What type of structure is Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island?

Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island is primarily a hard walled structure built on a raised concrete slab. The venue will be air-conditioned and have permanent lighting installed. It will be a fully functioning purpose built facility with catering and amenities. Prior to being erected at Glebe Island, the structure was used at the London Olympic Games.

Q: Can I rig signage above my stand at Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island?

Rigging from the ceiling at Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island will not be possible. Floor mounted rigging will be permitted. This means is that the rigging truss will need to be built up from the ground, not hang from the ceiling.

Q: Will I be able to bring my custom stand to Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island?

Custom stands will be welcome at Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island. The venue has some limitations that differ from Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, including a lower ceiling height (5m in most areas), a 10kpa floor loading with rigging only possible as previously described. Exhibitors with custom stands are asked to contact the BIA Event Operations Manager Belinda Close on 02 8197 4755 or belinda@bia.org.au to discuss specific limitations and requirements.

Q: Can I drive inside Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island?

The venue has limited entry and exit ramps available for vehicle access to the halls. We are aware that the gradient on these ramps is too steep to allow car and trailer access and we are working with Infrastructure NSW to install modified ramps of a lesser gradient to ensure access for cars and boat trailers.
Due to the limited number of access ramps we continue to work on a logistics plan with various parties to determine the most efficient means for a smooth move-in and move-out.
Further information will be made available.

Q: Can I bring my own forklift to Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island?

This has yet to be determined. Whilst some changes to operational procedures will be inevitable, the BIA is working to ensure that exhibitor costs are not unnecessarily increased.

Q: Can I use my own transport company to deliver to Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island?

Yes, you can use your own transport company to Glebe Island. On-site services will be provided by the venues nominated provider, Agility Fairs and Events. Further details of these services will be advised within the Invitation to Exhibit.

Q: What is the ceiling height of Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island?

Ceiling heights vary from hall to hall. Generally there is a 5m clearance height above most stands. Access height to move products and boats in and out of the show will also vary when traveling from hall to hall. Exact ceiling and access heights for each hall will be included with the Invitation to Exhibit.

Q: Will I be able to crane boats into Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island?

The ability to crane boats within the halls may be limited to smaller vessels. Exhibitors with large vessels will need to consider the marina as an exhibition option. Please feel free to discuss your requirements with BIA Event Operations Manager Belinda Close on 02 8197 4755 or belinda@bia.org.au.

Q: Can I arrange my own boat shuttles between the two venues?

The NSW Government has stipulated that the specially built wharf at Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island can only be used by its nominated transport provider. As such, it will not be possible to have private vessels drop off at the Ferry Wharf at Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island.
The BIA is investigating if other wharf options are available and will provide further information when available. Please note that there is no pedestrian access into Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island.


Q: Will there be any changes to the marina layout?

The BIA will design a marina layout to accommodate the vessels included in the applications for space received. The design will take into consideration the new Dockside Pavilion planned for Cockle Bay. The Dockside Pavilion is a floating function centre that has been approved to be floated into Cockle Bay, opening in May 2014 and remaining until December 2016. The function centre will be positioned in the south western corner of Cockle Bay and occupy a portion of the water space traditionally used by some exhibitors.
The Dockside Pavilion will benefit the Boat Show and details will be provided in advance of the show.

Q: Where will the organiser’s office be located?

The BIA will have an office or presence at both Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island and Cockle Bay Marina in Darling Harbour. Detail will be provided in advance of the Show.

Q: What are the security arrangements at each venue?

Security arrangements for the Cockle Bay Marina will remain the same as previous years, 24 hour guards positioned at each marina entrance. There will be 24 hour security at Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island and the venue will be locked and patrolled overnight.
Please note it is the responsibility of the exhibitor to secure their stand at all times. Attention should be taken during show hours to secure personal valuables such as wallets, phones, laptops and electronic equipment. Any valuables, intellectual property, price books and invoice books should be secured or taken off site overnight. During move-in and move-out exhibits and products should not be left unattended. For trailer boats, the use of hitch locks on tow-balls and wheel clamps should be considered.

Q: Will the BIA increase marketing of the show to ensure the public understand the change of venue and location?

Yes. The BIA has increased the advertising budget to ensure that the shows media campaign includes a strong educational element. This will ensure visitors to the show understand the new venue, transport and parking options, as well as the great line up of products, services, education and entertainment.

Q: How will the change of venue impact on visitation numbers?

There is no way of answering this question with any certainty. What is certain is that the BIAs communication campaign will inform and entice visitors to an event that promises to fulfil their boating needs.

Q: Is there any restriction on the amount of space I can book?

At the present time, the BIA Board of Directors has a policy that restricts any one exhibitor to a maximum of 700 m². Applications for space above 700 m² will be considered by the Board of Directors.

Q: How will the BIA ensure Sydney's reputation as a world-class boat show continues for the next three years at its temporary venue?

Industry feedback and media reports indicate that the industry plans to continue product launches at the Sydney International Boat Show and use the Sydney event as the regions focal point for the recreational marine industry. The BIAs philosophy to 'educate and entertain' will remain and it will deliver a portfolio of activities to ensure the visiting public enjoy their stay and have their boating needs fulfilled. We are confident we can deliver a successful and need fulfilling event for both visitors and exhibitors.

Q: Will bad weather affect the new venue?

SEC @ GI is in-doors and weather proof. It is expected that weather influence will be no different to what the show has endured at Darling Harbour over the last 25 years.

Q: What about food and drink? Is there additional food available given the lack of nearby cafes and restaurants?

One of Australia’s leading hospitality organisations, The Dockside Group, has been appointed as the Food & Beverage supplier for Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island. They will provide a variety of options on site for visitors and exhibitors.

Q: How do I find out more?

Please contact the BIA of NSW on 02 9438 2077 or info@bia.org.au if you have any questions. Further details about Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island can be found at sydneyexhibitioncentre.com.au

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