This week Showtime Event Group announces their appointment by the State Library Victoria as exclusive caterer and event partner. This impressive year of growth for SEG is, however, years of meticulous strategic planning. General Manager, Brad Dabbs and Head of Business Development, Troy Stasinowsky share the secrets to SEG’s recent success.
In 2012, Showtime Event Group set an ambitious task of becoming a market leader for Business Events in Melbourne. Aligning with the Melbourne Convention Bureau as a Strategic Partner, SEG have paved the way to achieving this goal.
“I’ve been privileged to be at the helm of this group for 7 years now. From running Showtime Events Centre in the early days, all the way through to steering us toward this next exciting phase.”
Showtime Event Group started in 2011 with the opening of Showtime Events Centre. Three years later they added a second South Wharf space, Cargo Hall, to cater for the growing demand.
“We really focused on the wedding market in the early days. It was the time when people were looking for more than the standard hotel ballroom for their wedding reception. Warehouse conversions were the in thing, and people loved the riverside wharf feel.”
Showtime Events Centre has won Best Wedding Reception in Victoria at the 2015, 2017, and 2018 ABIA Awards. In June this year the venue took out the win for Best Wedding Reception Venue in Australia.
In 2014 SEG launched ‘South Wharf Events’ a catering arm to meet the demand in business events coming from the convention centre.
“Early on we knew we needed to capitalise on the location we had in South Wharf. With the expansion of the Convention Centre we had the ability to market a ‘Promenade Pop-up’ event concept for delegations looking for an offsite option that really showcased Melbourne’s’ creative market. We first did this concept for the 2013 AIME Welcome Party and it has been a big hit ever since.”
The ‘Promenade Pop-up’ concept has been rolled out for over 30 different SEG clients in the past 5 years, with the largest capacity so far at 5,500 delegates. That particular event took over no less than 9 different venues to create one large interactive event.
In 2018 this year, the business aligned each of their brands under one, relaunching over AIME 2018 as Showtime Event Group.
Head of Business Development, Troy Stasinowsky; “We knew that to grow to that next phase and re-position ourselves, an overarching brand had to be created. We wanted to draw on what recognition the business already had in the market place, so we took the Showtime name, and developed the rest around that.”
Showtime Event Group was established with a clear vision to keep serving the boutique weddings market, and focus on the growing business events market.
“Our growth has ultimately been about aligning with the right industry bodies, and using these relationships to secure new spaces on exclusive agreements. Our partnership with the Melbourne Convention Bureau is an integral part of that strategy. Together we are able to market Melbourne as a destination for Business Events to international markets. We are seeing a rapid increase of enquiries flowing through, especially in incentives. Overseas markets are starting to consider Melbourne a lot more.”
“To meet the enquiry demand, it was paramount for us to source venues that fitted our business objectives. We wanted to be partnering with unique Melbourne locations, that weren’t just looking at events as a secondary revenue stream, but as a way to position their offering to wider markets.”
In February 2018 SEG was appointed as the exclusive caterer and event partner to the Old Melbourne Gaol by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria). This relationship sees SEG cater to the Gaol, the Former City Watch House and the Old Magistrates Court.
“We have developed a great relationship with the Nat Trust in just a few short months. We’ve found a great level to connect on commercially, and we are working with them to activate several spaces across the wider portfolio of their venues, including Polly Woodside in South Wharf which we are set to relaunch as an event space soon.”
In August of this year, SEG added to their growing venue portfolio with the successful win of the exclusive catering tender, and the appointment as Event Partner to the State Library Victoria.
“When the opportunity arose to tender for the State Library contract we jumped at the chance. The Vision 2020 redevelopment and the opportunity to align with the changing library fitted with our company profile of being that next generation of the event industry in Melbourne. I’ve worked with a few of the big caterers over the past 10 years, and I could see the market becoming stagnant. There was always going to be an opportunity there, it was all about timing.”
When the State Library project is completed there will be over 10 spaces that will be accessible for events, including the brand new Isabella Fraser Room, restored Ian Potter Queens Hall, and the renovated Conversation Quarter that connects the conference theatre and seminar rooms with Hansen Hall.
So what’s next for SEG? You would think this ambitious 2018 growth period would be enough, but not for the ever creative Mr Dabbs.
Brad adds, “I don’t think we can ever be in a position to say, ‘that’s it for now’, not with our market. In the last week we have probably seen at least five different options to activate as new event spaces, including two CBD roof tops and a multi-story car park.”
But the biggest news from SEG is still yet to come, with plans for a three level event space and capacity to seat 500 guests currently in the planning stages. So watch this space as the show does go on!
Further Information –
SEG Press Enquiries;
Troy Stasinowsky – Head of Business Development
[email protected] m. 0481 095 304