by Trevor Connell
It was one of the biggest attendances for an ISES Sydney event for a while and the attraction – a guided tour of the new grandstand at Royal Randwick.
Our host for the evening was Terri-Ann Mikulic, Group Business Development Manager, Australian Turf Club and a great supporter of ISES.
Terri-Ann told us she was excited at the prospect of events that would now be held in the new facilities built during the $150M redevelopment that has given Sydney an exciting new entertainment and hospitality precinct.
This new stand boasts a ballroom that will seat 700 for dinner as well as many other smaller rooms, most with dining facilities. Nearby, overlooking the Theatre of the Horse is the Owners Pavilion with its own unique charm.
One of the function spaces that will be missed is the Pavilion that seated over 800 for dinner; this is more than compensated for by the ground level function space of 2,100 m2 which will accommodate 2,500 for a cocktail function or around 100 exhibition booths. It will be very interesting to see just how this space works for large dinners.
Our guide for the tour was Adam Smith (Catering Operations manager at Royal Randwick) and he was quizzed extensively by the technical, staging and event managers in his group. We learned that the venue’s events team had to fight hard to get all the technical and staging facilities that event managers would be asking for. But they did have a number of significant wins, for example, two very large goods lists to service the function areas, which should make for relatively easy move in and out.
The previous grandstand was focussed firmly on the racetrack. The new stand has a number of balconies facing away from the track and over Centennial Park to the city skyline making for a great view at night time.
It will be very interesting to hear from event managers as they start to stage events in these new spaces.
Following the site tour guests gathered for some delightful canapés prepared by the in house caterers and fortified with a drink we settled in for a presentation from James McGregor.
James is GM of the Jupiter Agency, a rebranding of Event Planet which reflects the company’s transformation from an event producer to a “creative communications agency”
James gave a presentation of their approach to a number of events that happened to fit with the theme of the location for this gathering.
This included events staged for the Autumn Racing Carnival (Sydney), Polo in the City (five cities) and the Tabcorp Past the Post marquee (Melbourne).
In particular James talked about the challenge of coming up with new concepts to service these clients who are always looking for new ways to impress their clients.
Venue and Catering: Royal Randwick
Technical Support: Microhire