Welcome to the Sydney Meeting and Event Planning Guide, written with meeting planners in mind. With a mild climate, plenty of sunshine, and a friendly "g'day," it's no surprise that Sydney remains an alluring destination for both meeting and leisure travel. The Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, the city's main meeting complex, boasts the most extensive exhibition facilities in the Southern Hemisphere, reflecting Sydney's position at the forefront of Asia/Pacific trade and commerce. Located in downtown Sydney in close proximity to over 16,000 hotel rooms, the center is easily accessible by road, monorail and ferry links. The Convention Center has an auditorium capacity of 3,500 and 20 other meeting rooms with the ability to offer catering for 20 to 600 people.
The Link Building Gallery links the conference center to the Exhibition Center, which provides five single-level exhibition halls. Each hall is almost 54,000 square feet, providing a total area of almost 270,000 square feet.
Darling Harbour, a centerpiece of the city, has undergone the efforts of a major urban redevelopment project. Originally part of the Port of Sydney, the 1980s found the area largely derelict. After extensive renovations and upgrades, it has emerged as one of the world's foremost tourist precincts with over 15 million visitors a year. The harbor is home to numerous unique venues, including the Star City Casino and Chinese Garden of Friendship.
Guests can lounge by the water at Cargo Bar, which, among other rooms, offers its entire upper deck for events of up to 600 people, or enjoy an intimate dinner at the Malaya, a flexible venue for groups of 20 to 300 guests.
Looking at the greater city area, over 50 unique venues, many of which feature the water as a backdrop, are available. Groups of 20 to 1,000 people will never forget their once-in-a-lifetime meeting experience at the world-famous Sydney Opera House. For incredible views of the harbor amongst lush, Australian flora and fauna, the Royal Botanical Gardens offer nearly 100 unique lawn settings for marquee events. For a truly original venue with an atmosphere of smiling faces and street performers, the bright lights and excitement at Big Top, located in waterfront amusement park Luna Park, offers a 2,000-seat auditorium and two spacious bars.
As a corporate and financial center, Sydney's importance extends throughout Australia and well into the Asia Pacific region. Over 90 banks have their headquarters in the city and Sydney is also the regional headquarters of around 500 multinational corporations including Coca Cola, 3M, American Express, IBM and Microsoft. Fox Studios also has a major movie studio in the city. Sydney is also an important center of learning and research and has five large universities offering a wide range of subjects.