Melbourne’s Showtime Event Group (SEG) plans to secure at least four more properties for exclusive catering within a year as it expands its operations to meet the demands of business event clients.
The company, formerly known as Showtime Events Centre, was re-launched as SEG at the hosted buyers welcome for AIME 2018 held at the Old Melbourne Gaol, which was its first event as the new exclusive venue caterers for the historic jail and Old Magistrates Court.
SEG’s managing director Brad Dabbs says he’s been looking at the ongoing changes in the inbound business incentive programs, with smaller groups that have a greater focus on sampling local culture and more innovative events.
“We are also investing greatly in our external catering operations to activate Melbourne’s iconic public spaces and I shall be taking these new products on the road,” he added.
SEG is also looking at getting access to “big time” events like the Grand Prix and Australian Open.
“We want to become the major player in the meetings industry in Melbourne. Conferencing with a difference is where we’re all heading, which is fantastic,” Dabbs told TTGmice.
The company is one of five strategic partners for the Melbourne Convention Bureau, which means it effectively has a representative in Asia.
“Asia is really important to me, especially the incentive market. I’ve been to China for the past two years with Tourism Australia for Business Events week and I’m planning on going again this year. My first year was a real eye-opener for me to get to know who you’re dealing with and different cultural beliefs,” he continued.
Dabbs believes it’s important to both follow the trends but also challenge them.
“There are certain things you just have to follow but to position yourself as a leader in the industry you need to set the trend as well. Some people questioned our decision to use the Old Melbourne Gaol to host events, for example, and thought we were crazy. My answer is that it’s not crazy, it’s different and people will see that in the future. Bookings for the Gaol are skyrocketing and people love it,” he said.
SEG’s venues include art galleries, distilleries, exhibition spaces, warehouses and yacht clubs, catering from five to 5,000 people.