As National Events and Partnerships Manager of the peak health body Palliative Care Australia, Jacqui Murkins is an ‘events team of one’ used to juggling a hectic schedule and the expectations of multiple stakeholders. Each year PCA run a calendar of events culminating in the Parliamentary Friends of Palliative Care Group meeting in the final week of May, which is National Palliative Care Week. Typically, this is a breakfast or lunch held at Parliament House in Canberra attended by 80-90 guests and external health care providers.

ON AIR Studio

Agile thinking, collaboration and the ability to pivot during this unprecedented time of business interruption has a silver lining. With the onset of COVID-19 impacting on the ability to deliver events, businesses and associations are turning to virtual events to enable their conferences, meetings and training agendas on track. SMC has transformed one of its newly refurbished conference rooms into a dedicated studio that can be adapted for multiple configurations with managing hygiene and social distancing rules at the forefront of the configuration.

As we enter a new decade, SMC hopes everyone has had a safe and smooth start to 2020. For those who have been adversely affected by the devastating bushfires, storms and travel bans, know that SMC, its owners, the Freemasons of NSW and ACT, and their charity Masonicare have a Disaster Relief program providing much needed financial assistance and other support to communities. 

Now that the business year is well underway and SMC’s multi-million dollar renovations are complete, it’s a perfect time to see how the centre’s transformation is making it easy for event owners. 

 

The festive season is always a great time to rejoice and reflect on the year that was. Being the end of 2019, we’ll also bid farewell to the decade as we usher in the 2020s.

SMC opens up their majestic Marble Foyer for two nights only to celebrate Christmas cheer in one of Sydney's most unique and sought-after spaces.
 

General Manager Paul Davison and the team at Sydney Masonic Centre are pleased to announce a new partnership with Associations Forum, the peak body for associations, not-for-profit organisations, clubs, charities, foundations and special interest groups.

In preparation for end of year celebrations, SMC has announced a new and exciting cocktail list and extended wine lists that offers great beverage options for all styles of events.

SMC’s cocktail packages are ideal for standing-room parties and galas or to precede formal dinners and presentations.

With the multi-million dollar renovations now unveiled, the team at SMC has seen a rush of excitement from event producers and conference planners. “It’s always great to see a new venue open or one as iconic as this get a major upgrade,” says Rosie Buckley, Business Development Manager at Conference Resources. “We’re always looking for fresh spaces and ways to make events unique and enticing”.

Espresso Yourself

It’s been a busy few months for the SMC team who have been on the road attending and exhibiting at industry conferences around Australia while renovations were underway. You might have caught up with them at the 14th annual Executive Assistant Network expo in Sydney in March and the 32nd annual Meetings and Events Industry (MEA) national conference in Brisbane in April, which were great opportunities to present the newly renovated and upgraded SMC.

SMC catering

On 3 April 2019, SMC welcomed their new Head Chef Regan Petersen multi-million dollar renovation program who quickly had all the burners roaring in the newly refurbished kitchens.

Regan is a graduate of Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, where he studied Hospitality Management & Professional Cookery and brings to SMC 20 years of industry experience in leading restaurants, hotels and venues across South Africa and Australia. In 2013, Regan was Finalist for Chef of the Year at the Australia Hotel Association NSW Awards for Excellence.

SMC First Look

At SMC, the end is in sight for the multi-million dollar renovation program set to transform the centre. All of the new AV and technology infrastructure is integrated throughout, the state-of-the-art is in place, architectural lighting systems have been installed and the finishing touches are being made to the luxury interiors of the 13 new and refreshed event spaces.

With a Grand Re-Opening scheduled for May 2019, event organisers are invited for a First Look at the new SMC.

At SMC, creating world class events comes down to the winning collaborations between event organisers and the calibre of the centre’s event delivery team.

With the multi-million dollar renovations that will transform the centre soon to be complete, General Manager Paul Davison is thrilled to announce two new appointments – Pamela Waring and Paul Noakes – and introduce some of the familiar faces whose long service expertise makes SMC synonymous with excellence.

As the multi-million dollar renovations continue at SMC, much attention to detail is being paid to the aesthetics and material palette of the new interiors. Beyond the luxurious décor that is layered with rich patterns and neutral tones, the centre has a ‘green’ heart and wears its sustainability credentials with pride.

No matter what the event size, every conference organiser holds their breath as the first presenter cues their keynote. Every gala organiser does the same as their MC or leading performer takes the stage. There is an understandable anxiety about whether all the technology and AV systems will talk to one another and sync perfectly on the day. When it goes wrong, disaster. When everything just works, sheer relief.

Event organisers are confronted by an almost never-ending list of decisions when it comes to logistics and people wrangling. There is a constant juggle between timings, costs, client wish-lists and delegate experience. Often each decision impacts other decisions so there can be a complicated, cascading effect that can chew up valuable time and create additional pressure to get everything perfect for a conference or event. When choosing a venue, naming the dates and locking in talent are just the tip of the iceberg. Location, accommodation options, service, event flow and standard of delivery are some critical factors in any event organisers decision-making process. 

Over the years, the team at SMC has fine-tuned their bookings and event delivery practice to simplify the process so that organisers can breathe easy knowing their events are in the best hands.

Here are six essential factors that simplify things for event organisers:

Excitement is building for May 2019 when SMC is due to re-open, unveiling new look interiors, new technologies and new spaces that complement the centre’s striking monumental architecture.  

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.

At SMC, construction is well underway in the major capital works program that will transform the centre. Global strategy-led business solutions group Incorp have been engaged both as designers and project managers for the multi-million dollar scheme. The group specialises in the integration of people and place, and are experts in delivering future-facing workplaces.

When the first school term starts for the year, the city comes back to life. It’s all systems go for businesses and organisations, and Sydney Masonic Centre is no exception even while its doors are closed for renovations. 

December has come around fast and as the festive season warms up, it is a great time to look at the achievements of the year and reflect on the ways that the Christmas spirit of generosity and goodwill is at the heart of SMC’s values year-round. 

Audio Visual and Broadband Internet

 

PROJECTION

In the Grand Lodge and Banquet Hall, the installation of new Panasonic 12,000 lumen laser light source data projectors deliver crystal clarity, brightness and resolution that is ideal for video and film screenings as well as all highlighting the granular detail in speakers’ presentations.

AUDIO

Throughout the building, new digital mixing consoles, concert quality Martin Audio public address systems, wireless microphone technology and lecturns are all welcome improvements for presenters and performers.

Hearing assistance has also been augmented throughout the venue via wired hearing loops and infrared assisted listening systems.

LIGHTING

A newly installed intelligent architectural lighting system allows for lights to be easily and precisely programmed for different functions. Perimeter RGB shadow lighting allows for different colour combinations and mood lighting states. Importantly, feature walls are augmented with gallery-style wall washer lights that highlight artworks and exhibition content. House lighting throughout the foyers and meeting rooms has been upgraded to second generation LEDs for improved light output and energy efficiency. When SMC re-opens, event organisers will simply use touch screens to select options to light their presenters and performers, add stage washes and special effects as well as change the room ambience. Depending on the style of each event, and if needed, SMC’s AV technicians can also control all lighting from one central location.

RIGGING AND SPECIAL EFFECTS

New rigging infrastructure provides added flexibility and the advantage of quick turnarounds when re-setting rooms for different styles of events. A motorised truss in the Banquet Hall and new centrally placed ceiling motors allow for rigging special effects including giant chandeliers and mirror balls. These staging devices and capabilities mean that event organisers have the option to restyle the same room from conference mode to gala mode with ease and efficiency.

INTERNET CONNECTIVITY

When it comes to online access, SMC recognises fibre-optic internet connection as the industry standard. Taking this standard seriously, SMC has invested in an enterprise level fibre-optic backbone and has the capability of providing fast, secure connections reaching speeds of up to 1000 mpbs both up and down, and can accommodate private premium networks. This is ideal for live streaming and delegates making use of digital applications and social media. SMC also offers free Wi-Fi throughout the entire venue for guests and a cabled in connection in every room is possible. Event organisers simply select a connectivity plan to suit their requirements.

 

Whatever the emphasis and creative composition of your event, SMC is now technologically equipped to deliver events aligned with your strategic goals and convey the messages you want to get across.

 

pdfConnectivity217.45 KB

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Parking

SMC and Secure Parking have teamed up to offer you 15% off ALL parking products at the Secure World Square Carpark when booking online.
At the Secure Parking World Square booking page, click “BOOK NOW” next to any of the products and apply the promotional code: SMCFC16.

Arriving by train? The closest station is Museum Station (300 metres or a 3 minute walk) and then Central Station (700 metres or 7 minutes). To walk from Museum Station, simply follow the Castlereagh Street exit signs inside the station, then turn left heading south down Castlereagh Street. At the first intersection (corner of Castlereagh & Goulburn Streets), turn right to come to the SMC main entrance at 66 Goulburn Street.

pdfLocation and parking information sheet785.18 KB

 

SMC Hotel Partners

 

Located within a stone’s throw of the venue are a range of quality affiliated hotels that makes SMC an attractive option to organisers hosting delegates for multi-day events.

Click on the hotel icon in the above map to see each hotel’s address, phone number and website, or download SMC’s Accommodation Fact sheet.

 

pdfSMC Accommodations Fact Sheet PDF547.4 KB

Sydney University Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference

Event Highlights

Date: 5-9 March 2018

Event Type: International Conference

Delegates: 350

Key achievements: Fully flexible venue use, high speed, large-volume internet usage and special requests.

Introduction

The Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference (LAK) was held for the first time in Australia in March 2018. Sydney University brought the event to Australia after a winning the bid to host the conference.

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SMC the Leading Venue for Accessibility

Event Highlights

Date: Aug - Sep 2015

Event Type: Annual Meeting, Conference and Workshops

Delegates: 600

Introduction

SMC Conference & Function Centre’s (SMC) versatile spaces provide an elevated level of accessibility to all types of events via extensive accessible design, including direct access for unassisted entry, and indirect access compatible with assistive technology such as hearing loops.

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ACEL Inaugural Hedley Beare Memorial Lecture

Event Highlights

Date: 13 February 2015

Event Type: ACEL Inaugural Hedley Beare Memorial Lecture

Guests: 169

Key achievements: Effectively managed a high profile, high risk national event

Introduction

The objective of this event was to bring educators across the nation into an open forum, inclusive of a Q&A with the Australian Minister for Education and Training, and to be briefed on the release of the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) report.

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NSW Australian Cinematographers Society Awards Dinner

Event Highlights

Date: 8 November 2014

Event Type: NSW Australian Cinematographers Society Awards Event

Delegates: 200

Key achievements: Delivery of the third consecutive award event for ACS

Introduction

The Australian Cinematographers Society Awards are held annually in every major state. The NSW Awards were held on 8 November 2014 at the SMC Conference & Function Centre (SMC) Banquet Hall. There were 20 categories and 200 people in attendance including 80 nominee finalists, sponsors and members.

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Starlight Children's Foundation

Volunteer Thank You Event

Event Highlights

Date: 20 October 2014

Event Type: Starlight Children's Foundation Volunteer Thank You Event

Delegates: 120

Key achievements: SMC Conference & Function Centre’s Marble Foyer facilitated one of the largest groups of volunteers as part of the Starlight Children’s Foundation’s community

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Australian Medical Students' Association

10th Global Health Conference

Event Highlights

Date: 5 — 9 September 2014

Event Type: Australian Medical Students' Association 10th Global Health Conference, workshop, social events

Delegates: 720

Key achievements: SMC Conference & Function Centre's (SMC) Plenary Hall facilitated the largest ever AMSA global health conference. AMSA engaged a wider than ever range of speakers including, for the first time, a webcast featuring a high profile speaker from the UK

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