The Sun Room at Ivy is very bright and breezy, just what was needed on a wet Sydney July night.
The monthly ISES Sydney networking event featured tabletop showcases from a dozen or so members and presentations by Terry Kaljo from Contemporary Hotels and David O’Brien, Merivale’s Events executive chef.
The evening kicked off with the chapter AGM which saw the new executive sworn in and the presidency handed on from Jeremy Garling to Paul Davison.
Terry Kaljo manages a number of bespoke properties that include accommodation and function spaces along with trophy houses which are in great demand for elite events. Terry gets invited to a lot of these events so she has the opportunity to observe fashion and design trends, which she shared with her audience.
Here are some of her top observations and tips.
An event that could be intimidating can be softened by humour – whether that’s having the waiters wear foliage in their hair or in the presentation of the food itself.
Choose a simple, elegant backdrop for your event so the focus is on the product.
The current trend is definitely simple – white and silver – avoid the colourful Smartie look at all costs.
Incorporate a single design motif through the event – from the invitation to the farewell.
Be original – Dare to be different.
Be connected and connect.
If you are responsible for seating allocation at a dinner table, put the extroverts in the centre (where they can be the centre of attention) and the introverts at the ends so they don’t feel intimidated.
Budgets can be expanded if you present a good idea.
And finally – Keep the champers cold and the canapés small.
David O’Brien is passionate about his role of executive chef for the meetings and events division of Merivale and has had his share of delights and challenges in the venue.
One of those challenges was an event where the client had booked for 700 for dinner and 1500 turned up. David explained that they were able to deal with the situation because they have a multitude of kitchens and venues within the complex. If they were a one room function centre that would have been an almost impossible challenge.
A few observations from David…
The Ivy complex is diverse – you could have 20 hot chicks (his words) in a cocktail function in one of the intimate rooms and at the same time there might be 700 builders in the main function room. Each function requires equal attention and a vastly different approach.
Christmas functions seem to be starting as early as October! Christmas food should reflect the fresh produce available in Sydney – like prawns and mangos, stay away from hot, heavy dishes – this is not Europe.
Then it was back to networking and enjoying the delightful surrounds of the Ivy
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