Interview: Event Planning with Jacinta Calicetto from Botanic Gardens Restaurant

Our recent launch event was held at the beautiful Botanic Gardens Restaurant and it was a great night - the venue, food, drinks and atmosphere were all amazing. A lot of work goes into events, as many of you will know all too well, but when you have an events manager at the venue who goes above and beyond to make your event spectacular, it makes all the difference and is one of the main reasons that your event will be successful.

We loved working with the venue and our event manager, Jacinta, so much that we thought we should share some of her expertise and insights with you. Hopefully it will help you with planning your next event.

Happy planning!

Nis & Sarah

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1. What venues do Trippas White Group manage?

Trippas White Group manages a large number of premium venues in iconic locations in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and Perth. They’re best grouped by garden, city, waterside and destination locations including:

Garden

  • Botanic Gardens Restaurant, Sydney
  • The Pavilion in the Domain, Sydney
  • The Calyx, Sydney
  • Centennial Homestead, Sydney
  • Queens Park Shed, Sydney

City

  • STUDIO Sydney Tower
  • Roslyn Packer Theatre and Walsh Bay Kitchen, Sydney
  • Portside Sydney Opera House

Waterside

  • The Avalon on the Beach, Sydney Northern Beaches
  • WATT, Brisbane

Destination

  • The Lookout, Echo Point, Katoomba
  • Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra

2. Can you tell us which of your venues are best for corporate and social events?

All of them are suitable for corporate and social events! We are so lucky to have such a fabulous selection of venues for our clients as each one offers a different style that can suit every type of event, whether a garden backdrop, city location or beach escape.

3. What elements should you consider before you start planning an event?

The budget, number of guests, what style of event is it, i.e. a dark space for a day full of presentations or something that requires guests to get up off chairs and move around and feel creative. If you have these three things in mind – we can help everything else fall into place!

4. What makes an event successful?

Organisation! We know how busy Sassy Assistants are and we know how organised you can be – so I guess I don’t need to tell you that the more organised you are the more organised the venue will be. Keeping us updated with every bit of information, no matter how big or small, will ensure a successful event.

5. What types of events do you usually manage? Do you have a favourite?

Literally anything that can be an event, we have hosted it! Christmas parties are my particular favourite as they are always fun – it’s such a festive time of year and spirits are high. We are the lucky ones who get to host the celebrations for our guests who have worked hard all year! It’s an honour really…

Weddings are also special for our events team as we become emotionally involved, we feel like it’s just as important to us, as it is the bride and groom – and their mothers!

6. What are the current trends YOU’RE seeing for events?

Food installations! Otherwise known as food stations. Not to be confused with a buffet – we have several different styles of stations that are great for any style of event (seated, cocktail, conferences etc.). When guests arrive at a venue and see a styled table with drool worthy food it really sets the tone for the type of event that lies ahead (after all we eat with our eyes first). Guests are able to help themselves at their own pace from a selection of treats, it also provides that all important interactive element that guests love!

7. What are your top tips on how to choose the right venue for an event?

This always depends on the style of event you are aiming for – does the venue have enough natural light or is it large enough to accommodate your number of guests? Are the surroundings going to be conducive to the event brief? Do your research and know what is on offer so you can compare apples with apples – for example a minimum spend might be slightly higher at one venue however that same venue may not be as premium as the other you are comparing to. Have an idea in mind about what you want to create so that your Event Sales Manager can explain how it can be executed for you at the venue.

8. How do you manage stress as the date of an event draws near?

Again, being organised! In any given week we may have up to 7-10 events, so we need to ensure we are super organised, are on top of our check-lists and continually receive up to date information from clients on the relevant due dates. We work very closely with our operations team including kitchen and floor staff, as they are the amazing ones who deliver on the day, so lots of meetings and email updates. We’re a very well-oiled machine!

9. What is the best piece of advice you can give to someone who is planning an event?

Use the events team at the venue to your fullest advantage – we are here to make your life easier. Prepare the brief and let us do the work for you. Let us recommend the best food and beverage options to suit your theme – let us be creative with our chef for you. We will also send you reminders, prompt you when information is due and take a lot of stress that may come when organising an event. And ensure you have fun along the way!

Enisa Fazlic