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Getting to know Brad Dabbs
Meet Brad Dabbs. Currently the General Manager at Showtime Event Group Brad knows how to make great events happen. He was a creator for the much-talked-about 2013 AIME Welcome Reception and friends describe his job as a smorgasbord of problem solving, planning and adrenaline filled creativity. Brad loves a chardy and want to know the place he would love to plan an event…? It’s out of this world! So join us as we get to know another fabulous event pro, Brad Dabbs…
Give us a snap shot of your career to date.
I have been with Showtime for the past 7 years, prior to that I was on Daydream in Island in the Whitsundays’ (still not sure I made the right choice weather wise coming to Melbourne!) I have always been in the hospitality industry working everything from managing night clubs through to 5 star resorts and hotels.
The most memorable event you have worked on and why?
There are so many to choose from, I love creating events that are a bit unexpected, I guess my most memorable would be in 2013 when we first activated the precinct for the AIME hosted buyers welcome reception. It challenged me to really think outside the box to curate an event that would be the talk of the town to the top event managers and planners in ASIA pacific. It’s still talked about to this day, so I guess we nailed it! I really love the big events, the more people the better- dealing with the logistics and pushing the team to deliver something new
What did you ‘learn the hard way’ when planning an event?
Not to trust anyone! To double check, triple check and check the person checking and then check again! We had an event for 2,000 people that was almost a disaster when 4 hours before doors we had no booze, it was complete human error and the manager had just forgot to hit send on the order, luckily we have some great suppliers that got the booze delivered and iced ready just before doors. Never again!
And I guess to always have a plan b and c when working outdoors, you never know what the weather is going to do.
What are three personality traits that are required to succeed in the events industry?
Passion to please people and ability to listen to what your clients want. Energetic, passionate, invested
If you could share one piece of advice to those starting out in the industry what would it be?
Work hard, expose yourself to as much as you can. Listen and learn every day. Be humble and if you don’t enjoy it don’t do it, you need to love what you do.
What song always gets you on the dance floor?
Discloser Latch is my tune- although anything gets me there after a champagne or 2
If you could plan an event anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
The moon for sure, imagine the possibilities, the logistics, the planning –it would be out of this world!
How would your friends describe your job?
A smorgasbord of problem solving, planning and adrenaline filled creativity
How do you unwind after a big event?
I like to do a debrief with the team talk about what worked and what didn’t- hear it from the staff point of view also then usually a nice glass of Chardonnay!
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
I love going to musicals, concerts and anywhere people gather. I love watching people connect and seeing people enjoy themselves
Best event you’ve been to as a guest?
Nothing will beat when I went to Montreal for C2, it was honestly an event managers dream.
What is your ideal holiday destination?
I love Bali, I usually go at least 4 times a year, it’s my happy place
What’s your drink of choice at an event?
I’m a chardy all the way
Favourite party theme?
We had a staff party a few weeks ago and I made the theme headwear- it was easy and everyone got involved
If you weren’t working in events what would you do?
I’m a huge fan of “Unreal” in another life I would defiantly be Quinn
It’s event day – heels or flats?
I’m not a heel kind of guy, but always tell my girls flats for bump in and out but when it’s Showtime its heels!
Best event styling tip?
Lighting fixes everything, even in the tightest budget, the right lighting can inject that “wow factor”
What is your best party trick?
The back door boogie when I’ve had enough – I’m a master smoke bomber!
What is the craziest request you have ever had when planning an event
I think the standard request these days is that the client always wants more, but wants to spend less. On the surface that sounds very outrageous, but it is the way things are now. Expectations are rising at the same time peoples budgets are decreasing. The caterers that know how to constantly deliver on that request are the ones that will succeed in the future. We are always asked for the weird wild and wacky, just last Friday we had a koala, crocodile, pythons and wallaby’s at an event. As we work with Melbourne’s best industry partners, there hasn’t been too many we haven’t been able to accommodate. Some unfortunately we have to get creative on, like when someone wanted a live horse at their event in The State Library – on this occasion due the fact the library is also a museum and has Ned Kelly armour along with other priceless artefacts, we had to settle for 2 guys dressed in a horse costume!