First held in 1823, the Sydney Royal Easter Show (SRES) is Australia’s largest annual ticketed event, attracting over 828,000 attendees on average.
The RAS has a full time staff of 155 who not only run the SRES they also manage one of the largest event precincts in Australia. In addition they run Wine, Dairy & Fine Food competitions and the Australasian Animal Registry.
This swells to over 500 paid employees during the show supported by over 350 volunteers who are responsible for everything from judging to support services.
The 2020 RES was cancelled three weeks out from opening, when on Friday 13th March the PM announced that all events for over 500 people were to be shut down.
In this interview Darryl Jeffrey outlines the process the RASNSW went through with NSW Health (and later, Western Sydney Health) to allow the 2021 RES to go ahead with a maximum of 60,000 ticketed visitors per day.
That capacity was reached on nine out of 12 days of the event with a total of over 800,000 visitors.
ASE caught up with Darryl at the recent National Events Alliance Meetup at Sydney Showground
Darryl Jeffrey – Chief Operating Officer, Sydney Showground
Darryl is the Chief Operating Officer for Sydney Showground, the venue and event management business of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS), a position he has held since 2014.
In this role Darryl is responsible for the overall leadership and direction of all operational departments of Sydney Showground, a world-class venue that delivers over 100 national and international events each year. Sydney Showground has partnerships with the Australian Football League and Cricket NSW, with the Greater Western Sydney GIANTS and Sydney Thunder utilising the Showground’s main arena GIANTS Stadium for their home matches. Every year, Sydney Showground delivers the RAS of NSW’s flagship event, the iconic Sydney Royal Easter Show. Australia’s largest annual event, the show attracts circa 900,000 people.
For the 2021 Show, Darryl led the planning and execution for the COVID-19 overlay that allowed the Show to proceed with endorsement from NSW Health.