At SMC, the multi-million dollar renovations that will transform the centre continue apace. Demolition is complete and the process of fitting out is in full swing. With over 2,700 square metres of function space, one of the key aspects that makes SMC so attractive to event organisers is flexibility.
As one of the only purpose-built conference and event centres in Sydney, SMC has always had versatile spaces for up to 2,190 guests across the building, and when the centre reopens in May 2019, there will be 13 contemporary designed multi-purpose spaces for organisers to combine to suit their events.
Level 1 is remarkable for majestic spaces that create a memorable impression. The Marble Foyer is an ideal registration hall, exhibition and cocktail space, the Grand Lodge is the perfect plenary for up to 600 guests, and the Banquet Hall can be booked for lunches, dinners, cocktails and awards ceremonies as well as trade shows and exhibitions. Event organisers can also make the most of another 10 rooms across all levels of SMC for concurrent sessions, meetings and break out zones.
Two recent conferences perfectly illustrate how organisations have taken advantage of SMC’s adaptable spaces for their events. The Institute of Industrial Arts Technology Education (IIATE) conference from 29 Nov to 1 Dec 2018 provided a forum for 290 teachers of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) to gather for a full day of workshops followed by a two-day conference with presentations, break-out sessions as well as two evening events. This opportunity for networking, resource sharing, skills development and advancing STEM education included exciting ‘hands on’ workshops such as ‘utilising Virtual Reality with fusion 360’, ‘costume design using EVA foam’, ‘making Photoshop puppets come alive’ and ‘Hollywood effects in the backyard’.
SMC bookings experts helped IIATE organisers plan their technology education conference using the Grand Lodge as their plenary set in theatre style, and the Banquet Hall and Marble Foyer as exhibition areas with informal catering that made it possible for guests to network and experience the technologies on display. These large spaces proved ideal for IIATE to display the large amount of over-sized printing equipment and woodwork machinery because they are serviced by an easily accessible loading dock and goods lifts. For the evening events, IIATE’s numbers swelled to include guests of members and the Ionic Room was reset in banquet style for cocktails and a formal dinner.
In mid-November, the Real Estate Institute of NSW’s Women in Real Estate (WIRE) organisation used SMC’s spaces in a different way for their 2018 conference that welcomed 320 delegates. WIRE provides a network for women serious about making the most of their career in real estate.
Over the last 12 years, the WIRE conference has provided an environment where women can discover the keys to success in the property business and network with like-minded professionals. For this edition, the Grand Lodge plenary was set for TED talk-like presentations with a thrust stage that property stylists designed to resemble a luxurious residential lounge. The Marble Foyer was perfect as both an exhibition and informal catering space and the Banquet Hall was set for a sit down lunch. Event designers also worked closely with the Building Management team to use the in-house rigging system to suspend catering stations in the Marble Foyer to great theatrical effect.