Last month the Australian Bridal Industry Academy voted Showtime Event Group, Best Wedding Reception Venue in Australia.
Over 3,452 couples voted for 954 entrants across 9 categories. After Showtime Events Centre was nominated in the Victorian category for the past 5 years (taking out the top prize three of those years) it qualified for the first time as the countries very best place to hold your wedding reception. It is one of the most prestigious awards to win as it is voted by couples throughout the course of the year.
These awards don’t come easy. There is a lot of hard work that goes in to becoming Australia’s No.1 Wedding Venue. We thought you might like to meet the team behind the award.
Mr ‘Never say no’
General Manager – Brad Dabbs
Brad has been at the helm of Showtime Event Group for over 7 years. When establishing the group’s core market, Weddings were flagged early on. Brad comes from a background of resorts and hotels, were guest experience and satisfaction is first and foremost.
‘In the early days I wanted to make things easy for couples. Everyone in the market had a wedding package, but then they also had a very long list of extra things you had to pay for. I wanted Showtime Events Centre to show that when you book this venue, we include all the little things you don’t want to go away and think about, or budget for, on top of your reception’.
‘I never wanted to be in a position that I had to tell a couple that what they wanted couldn’t be done. I never wanted to say no. So for the past 7 years I’ve tried my hardest to meet every couple, whether its on their first site, as host at their menu tasting, or there to greet them on the big night. I’ve listened to the changing market, and I’ve ensured that our team has multiple packages, price points and menu options to facilitate any request that comes through.’
Senior Wedding Producer – Karinda Mathison
Karinda has produced weddings at Showtime Event Group for the past 4 years. Not only did the venue take out the top prize, but Karinda was runner up for the Best Wedding Producer in Australia, missing out by just 0.2% of the vote.
There’s not much she hasn’t seen, and with over 300 weddings under her belt there is no problem she can’t fix. Even after all this time you’re guaranteed to find her crying during first dance, and speeches… and the entry… and the walk down the aisle… well you get the idea!
All about the “vibes” and creating those priceless Kodak moments, Karinda lives and breathes the ‘No stress Policy’
Although she’s pedantic about the detail and ensuring no rock goes unturned, she doesn’t take life too seriously and believes in flipping the traditional “wedding” on its head to create one-hell-of-a-party!
Mr Fabulous (Exclamation Mark)
Wedding Producer, Gavin Johnston
If this team was a giant colourfully wrapped box, Gavin would be the polka dot ribbon tied in one massive bow.
Gavin has a background in weddings and events in luxury 5 star hotels, so he knows how to deliver polished service even under the highest of pressure.
‘The best part of my job is meeting a couple who are stressed to the max about the entire wedding ordeal, and within 2 minutes I can settle them with a glass of champagne, and the assurance that they need not worry, they have me Producing their wedding. Then I watch them smile, and get excited. Goodbye stress, hello Gavin!
Wedding Producer – Devin Bosley
Devin is our peacekeeper, coming from a long background in weddings but also corporate events means that she prepared for any challenge or request a couple might present, and she does it all with class.
Dev’s skill as a people person makes her indispensable on the day, dealing with logistics through to family and her humble and down-to earth nature ensures any task is executed with the upmost of grace and elegance; leaving you to rest easy knowing all the “i’s” are dotted and no “t” is left uncrossed!
Ms ‘Aim to please’
Wedding Producer – Lauren Haskell
Lauren’s career has spanned several resorts, and hotels, all boasting Weddings as their core business. So Lauren was always going to be the perfect fit to continue delivering that high end quality, to match the Industrial Chic and Glamour of the South Wharf venues.
Lauren’s knack for immediately instilling confidence, and “no fluff, honesty approach” guarantees that every couple feel in the safest of hands! Her quick-thinking ability under high pressure situations makes her the ultimate problem solver and your most trusted ally in the wedding planning journey.
Food and Beverage Manager – Paul O’Brien
Paul heads Showtime Event Group’s operations, often across multiple sites. His backgroun
d in unique venues, and off site catering, combined with traditional hotel style operations, is the perfect mix to deliver a high end service, with the relaxed and personable feel required.
‘I’ve run events for decades. Whilst the next wedding may be the one thousand and twentieth event I’ve done, I never forget to remind all of my team on the night, that to a certain couple, this is the most important event of their life, therefore it is, for that night, ours as well’.
The Chef Extraordinaire
Executive Chef – Vasantha Caldera
Vasantha has had a long career in the kitchen, having seen a lot of the world along the way. His approach to food is always innovative, and remains on trend with where the industry is at. He leads an impressive team of people across multiple venues, that are all part of the Showtime Event Group family.
‘Melbourne really is the best place in the world for combining local produce, and innovative catering. The market here is educated in food, and they have standards, we need to meet the demand, especially with our wedding couples – because this is their day, it’s their memory’.
Showtime Event Group is already confident in defending the title at the 2019 Awards, and in July is nominated for Best Wedding Reception Venue in Victoria by the 2018 Restaurant and Catering Awards. Watch this space for updates.