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Getting to know Brendan Sadgrove
Meet Brendan Sadgrove. A Director at Innovative Production Services he started off running events in his school hall with his best mate, fellow Director Jeremy Koch. They have now worked their way up to running a company that does cutting-edge audio and visual production for events. He is kind, compassionate and loves dancing to Tay Tay. Join us as we get to know another fabulous Event Pro, Brendan Sadgrove…
Give us a snap shot of your career to date
Jeremy, my business partner, and I went to school together. We started off our career hiring out our school hall and putting on the production for other schools and events. We struck a deal with the principal and we got to charge for the labour and the school got to keep the hire fees. That was over 20 years ago. Now, we produce high end corporate events and everything in between, in all capital cities around Australia. We have worked our way up to a business that we are both very proud of.
What is the most memorable event you have worked on and why?
TEDxSydney is probably my most favourite event of the year due to the amazing people and talent involved. It is a monster to design and run, but there are not too many events that give me that warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
What did you ‘learn the hard way’ when planning an event?
When we first started out, we were DJing parties and functions with the gear stored in both of our parents’ garages. I had a paper diary which held all our bookings, but I once wrote the date of a kids party down wrong. The father called me when the party was about to start and said “where are you?”. When I arrived an hour later, he gave me a lecture and said that he didn’t care that I was late, but if I was going to make a proper business out of this, you can never be late. To this day, I have never been late to a gig.
What are three personality traits that you think are required to succeed in the events industry?
Humility, creativity, confidence
If you could share one piece of advice to those starting out in the industry what would it be?
What is your second career choice? Just kidding, no, I would tell them to find the best in the business, who will be good mentors and stick with them. Watch and learn the finer details and you will end up great. Just don’t ever think you are better than anyone else, just because you are managing them. Humility is the key, as at some stage you will need help from the people you least expect. It’s a small industry, so be nice to everyone you work with and for.
What song always gets you on the dance floor?
Mr Brightside by The Killers, or anything Pearl Jam. Ok, sometimes Tay Tay too.
If you could plan an event anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
In our factory. The easier the better. I will save the exotic destinations for my holidays
Favourite type of food?
I eat everything and love all good food. Carbs Carbs Carbs. But Turkish is my fav.
How would your friends describe your job?
They set-up DJ sound systems for parties and disco’s
Describe yourself in two words?
Very Tired. Or, Empathetic & Pragmatic
How do you unwind after a big event?
Swim at the beach and relaxing at home with my wifey
Words to live by?
Be compassionate to others because you never know what someone else is going through
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
Keeping up with the rate of change in the business
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
I like to pull together a brains trust of people I admire in the industry and come up with new innovative ideas
Supernormal in Melbourne
When entertaining at home what do you cook?
I am the BBQ chef, so meat and veg is my specialty. Or a roast.
Best event you’ve been to as a guest?
What do you prefer, cocktail party or sit-down dinner?
Cocktail for sure. No one wants to sit next to the boring person all night and get an alternate meal drop
What is your ideal holiday destination?
Fiji. Cheap and cheerful
What’s your drink of choice at an event?
Cocktails! Then water. I don’t drink much anymore.
Favourite party theme?
70’s or 80’s. Or superheroes
Who would you love to invite to dinner (past or present)?
Best event styling tip
Concentrate the money you have on one big feature, rather than spreading the budget across the whole space
What is your best party trick?
The back door early escape.
What is the craziest request you have ever had when planning an event?
“I want rose petals falling from the ceiling when people enter, but nice and slow so they don’t just drop to the floor”
Why do you love your job?
I get to work with great people and great gear and do things the way we like to do it
If you weren’t working in events what would you do?
I started this business 20 years ago straight out of school. I don’t know anything else, so events is my only option