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Glebe Island has it all as temporary home for Sydney Boat Show

by Jeni Bone on 24 Sep 2012
Glebe Island artists impression BIA NSW
The NSW Government has announced that Glebe Island will be the home of the interim venue for exhibitions during the redevelopment of Darling Harbour, 2014-16, and as Domenic Genua explains, exhibitors can be assured this is no second rate venue!

The interim venue to be known as Glebe Island Expo will be prepared with infrastructure and complemented with transport services from Darling Harbour.

The new interim site will be required in 2014, 15 & 16. The boat show will remain in Darling Harbour next year and will return to the new venue that will be known as The Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Centre (SICEEP) in 2017 in time for the Sydney International Boat Show to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Domenic Genua, Marketing & Events Manager for the Boating Industry Association (BIA) said the NSW Government through Infrastructure NSW included and consulted with the BIA from the beginning.

'This allowed the BIA to ensure that a solution was found that suited the industry and would allow for the best link between the temporary hall exhibits and the existing on-water displays that will remain in Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour.'

Glebe Island is the most suitable of all alternative venues, continues Genua. 'The exhibition industry, together with the BIA believe that Glebe Island is the most suitable of the all the alternatives that were being considered as the interim venue.

'What is pleasing is that Infrastructure NSW (INSW) has considered transport as part of their solution and as such we know that a ferry terminal will be built at Glebe Island as part of the interim facility. From the Boat Show’s point of view, this is good news as the Glebe Island location is only minutes away by water from what will be our Cockle Bay on-water display, and the voyage can certainly be turned into part a positive and fun boat show experience.

'This of course is not the entire transport solution, INSW also have a shuttle bus plan that will complement the ferry service.'

The BIA has been assured that the temporary facility will not be a second rate venue.

According to Genua: 'It will be fully functional with air conditioning and a complete back of house service. What is also good news is that the planning authority has opened their doors to us to allow us to have an input into the temporary structure and the associated services.

The new facility (that we are referring to as SICEEP) that will replace the current exhibition halls, will give the boat show a larger exhibition space. At the moment the Boat Show occupies the 5 large existing halls, the smaller hall 6 and the Promenade. These locations together occupy 28,000msq.

'Typically the boat show consumes all of that space and in doing so, one should understand that the BIA NSW has a 700msq rule. That rule states that no single exhibitor can occupy more than 700msq at the show. We know that demand has at times meant that some exhibitors have wanted more space, but the rule did not allow it.

'The briefing document that the bidding consortia have worked with states that new facility must have a minimum of 40,000msq of exhibition space.

'Apart from the fact that the new facility will have the most modern and functional facilities, it will now allow us to explore what real demand there is for space at the Sydney show if some of the space occupancy restrictions are relaxed. The reality is that the new venue is still four shows away, and the true demand for space will only be known once bookings take place for the 2017 show.'

The good news for the marine industry is that there will be no disruption to the Sydney International Boat Show.

'We will be at Darling Harbour in 2013 and the Glebe Island Expo site for 2014, 15 and 16. All going to plan, we will be in the new facility in 2017 to celebrate our 50th show,' says Genua.
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