Getting to know Zoë Binning

Meet Zoë Binning. Currently the Senior Event, Sales & Marketing Manager at Sydney-based catering company, Bayleaf Sydney, she also manages their new subsidiary brand, Food Geek Sydney. Having managed catering for some pretty impressive gigs, including The London 2012 Olympic Games and TEDx – Zoë knows food. In fact, Zoë LOVES food and it’s no wonder she’s made a career out of working in catering. Zoë has a work hard, play hard mentality and a passion for a 90’s UK pop band that is a tad cringy-worthy… Join us as we meet another amazing Event Pro, Zoë Binning…

Give us a snap shot of your career to date

I have had over 10 years’ experience in various roles in the hospitality and events industry both locally and internationally. From managing catering aspects of The London 2012 Olympic Games to events at Twickenham Stadium and as the Food Producer for TEDx Sydney, I have led both small and large teams and delivered some exceptional events. As an integral member of Bayleaf’s leadership team, my current role oversees Bayleaf’s corporate events and its subsidiary Food Geek Sydney and manages the sales and marketing activities for the group. 

What is the most memorable event you have worked on and why?

Amway Asia Pacific gala dinner for 1,200 guests at The Cutaway, Barangaroo. The VIPs were driven to their tables in vintage mustangs. We served 4 courses in an hour & a half. The event finished with fireworks with drones filming the crowd’s cheers. 

What did you ‘learn the hard way’ when planning an event?

Running water is not always a given.

What are three personality traits that you think are required to succeed in the events industry?

Good communication, flexibility & time management.

If you could share one piece of advice to those starting out in the industry what would it be?

Throw yourself into as many areas of events, sales, operations, coordination etc. The more well rounded your knowledge of the different event elements, the better understanding you will have of how to match client expectations to operational logistic and financial capabilities.

What song always gets you on the dance floor?

Anything by S Club 7 (sad I know!).

For those of you who need reminding who S Club 7 were or just want a boogie...

If you could plan an event anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

Capri Italy. Amazing produce, world class wines & the environment serene.

How do you unwind after a big event?

With a large glass of wine.

Words to live by?

Work hard, Play hard.

Where do you go for creative inspiration?

I keep up to date with industry trends through online publications & industry events. Food is a hobby to me and so I regularly dine out at restaurants.

When entertaining at home what do you cook?

A roast with all the trimmings.

What do you prefer, cocktail party or sit-down dinner?

Sit down dinner.

What’s your drink of choice at an event?


Who would you love to invite to dinner (past or present)?

Richard Branson.

Best event styling tip?

Keep it simple. Sometimes less is more. Stick to one style & use elements of the menu for theming food stations. Up lighting is great for accentuating the natural features of the room.

What is the craziest request you have ever had when planning an event?

I’ve had someone list a bee allergy as a dietary requirement.

Why do you love your job?

The sense of accomplishment after a successful event.

If you weren’t working in events what would you do?

I would love to be a food writer, travelling the world, documenting the weird and wonderful cuisines.