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Getting to know Ray Clark
Give us a snap shot of your career to date.
I started my hospitality career as a waiter at the famous Les Girls in Kings Cross. I moved to London and became a bartender in a multitude of restaurants and hotels. I started in events in London’s St Martins Lane Hotel, where I ran conferences and corporate meetings for up to 300 delegates, award dinners with theming and audio visual for up to 200 guests, hundreds of weddings including ceremony, theming, flowers, menus and entertainment for an average of 100 people, with extensive client liaison, intimate private and corporate celebrations. I have run and organised events for everyone from Madonna to Elton John, the royal family to Prime ministers, and most of the major global corporates. I returned to Sydney two years ago and have been working as the Events and Conference Sales manager at the Bathers’ Pavilion since January 2018.
The most memorable event you have worked on and why?
It was the after party for the film “Big Fish” in London. The venue was covered in daffodils (which is a feature in the film), there were about 500 attendees, as well as the stars of the film. The food was great, every one of the guests loved it, everything went well, it was just beautiful.
What did you ‘learn the hard way’ when planning an event?
I learnt that you need to inspire your team to ensure a productive event. You need to think-on-your-feet as there are so many components involved and you need to be prepared for anything.
What are three personality traits that are required to succeed in the events industry?
You need to be a people person with great social skills. You need to be meticulous with all details, and you need to present a confident face to the client no matter what is going on behind the scenes.
If you could share one piece of advice to those starting out in the industry what would it be?
Events isn’t the glamour job that most people think it is, maybe only 10%. The other 90% is hard work.
What song always gets you on the dance floor?
Anything disco, but I dance to almost anything.
If you could plan an event anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Taylor Swift’s next album launch at the Egyptian pyramids at Giza, because it would be so different to anything I have done before.
Favourite type of food?
I have more than one favourite so my top three would be: Mexican, Asian (any) and modern Australian or European.
Describe yourself in two words?
Words to live by?
Be nice to everyone and laugh as much as you can.
I have so many favourites, but probably Chin Chin or Chuuka.
When entertaining at home what do you cook?
Anything from classic comfort food like a tuna and pasta bake to a full-on Mexican feast (with tequila) to a three course “fine dining” meal.
What do you prefer, cocktail party or sit-down dinner?
I prefer a cocktail event as this fits most with my social personality.
What’s your drink of choice at an event?
Champagne of course!
It’s event day – heels or flats?
Probably flats, but I wouldn’t rule heels out…
Who would you love to invite to dinner (past or present)?
Best event styling tip?
Most of the time less is more.
Why do you love your job?
I love my job because every event and every client is different, I love the variety.