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Getting To Know Paul Davison
Meet Paul Davison. Currently the General Manager at SMC Conference & Function Centre, from paper boy to educator to producing major events, Paul has had an interesting career path. His love for theatre and the arts, combined with his technical skills give him an edge in the events industry. He loves making “Paul’s Special Chicken Risotto” when entertaining and given the chance he would be a highly successful song writer who dances to ABBA….
So, join us as we get to know another fabulous Event Pro…
Give us a snap shot of your career to date.
- Paper boy and cleaned the local busses after school!
- Apprentice Electrician
- Audio Engineer
- Uni Student (Theatre Design and Production & Music)
- Technical Officer (Wollongong Uni) & Technical Director at Theatre South
- Arts Lecturer in Singapore
- Sydney Convention Centre Floor Manager, Project Manager, Division Manager
- Associate Lecturer casual
- City of Sydney Business Manager Major Events Unit
- General Manager Sydney Masonic Centre
What is the most memorable event you have worked on and why?
The Sydney Chinese New Year Festival would have to be right up there. Also Bandaloop – which was a choreographed dance routine whilst abseiling off the side of a 30 story skyscraper in Martin Place!
What did you ‘learn the hard way’ when planning an event?
After having worked for 5 or 6 years on a reasonable wage, I was volunteering to mop the floor of a theatre at 2am whilst the student actors were getting their notes. Pretty down heartened at that time of night after a massive day, however it was a good reality check- just get on with it!
I’ve never forgotten it, everyone should have some humbling experiences.
What are three personality traits that are required to succeed in the events industry?
If you could share one piece of advice to those starting out in the industry what would it be?
Stick at it, do what ever you’re asked and learn from each experience.
What song always gets you on the dance floor?
Any ABBA song with a fast tempo
If you could time travel, when would you go and why?
Probably back to the sixties when rock and roll was just breaking through – would have been easier to become a Rockstar back then that it is now – maybe!
What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
Gave up a great job to move and live in Singapore by myself in my mid-twenties to work as a Theatre Design and Production Lecturer at an Arts School. Theatre Arts was relatively unheard of in Singapore back then (as I discovered) so we were kind of breaking new ground. There weren’t many like-minded people that I found, so was pretty tough for awhile, but what an eye opener.
What skill or talent would you most like to learn and why?
I would like to have learnt the Piano when I was a kid because Piano gives you such as mastery of music composition. Also, I wish I was born with Adam Lambert’s vocal chords!
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
Taking note wherever you go, could be a concert, the beach, a movie, a shop front – anything.
When entertaining at home what do you cook?
Pizza, BBQ, Paul’s special chicken risotto and anything that jumps out at me from a new cook book. I love making new things and experimenting with spicy Asian flavours.
Best event you’ve been to as a guest?
Recently, probably a 22-course degustation lunch with every course having a traditional indigenous theme and ingredient. It was amazing because the flavours were all there. The green ants were kind of cool, but spicy. The matching wines were pretty special too!
What’s your drink of choice at an event?
Bubbles then beer then finish off with a full bodied Shiraz.
What is the craziest request you have ever had when planning an event?
The brief for an incentive event was pretty simple, they needed a red Porsche, so I organised one. Unfortunately, I had to collect it from the other side of Sydney, three days before the event and as the insurance covered me as a driver, I kind of looked after it for a few days.
If you weren’t working in events what would you do?
Easy, mega-successful songwriting lead in a rock band. I love writing songs and playing them at gigs and open mics so yeah, getting paid squillions to tour the world, selling records and paying stadiums would be pretty cool!