The Australian Turf Club’s (ATC) proven COVID-Safe plan and expansive indoor and outdoor multi-purpose spaces have enabled it to continue operating business and events as usual during the Omicron outbreak.
The renowned Sydney venue has brought in 58,000 people to the Summer Festival of Racing, and has hosted numerous events at its new state-of-the-art WINX Stand at Royal Randwick since it opened in December.
Designed for conferences, gala dinners, exhibitions, and intimate to large-scale events, the venue has seamlessly adapted to the capacity restrictions and evolving health order requirements by utilising its two storeys and open-air terrace to accommodate up to 4,000 pax cocktail style.
While ATC has attributed its successful summer season of events to its dedicated team of professionals, ATC senior business development manager Louise White said promoting the new venue during the pandemic was no easy feat.
“For our team, it’s about looking beyond the right now, and ensuring the opportunities are still there,” White said.
“The question on everyone’s lips right now is ‘How can we make it COVID-safe?’ and having a great solution to this has been a key element in our business development. We are well-versed in this area and work closely with a number of suppliers on rapid antigen testing stations and extra safety measures in all our venues.”
Despite being as prepared as possible, managing events during in a pandemic comes with a unique set of challenges, which ATC event manager Kate Ross can attest to after facing 44 events over the summers with last minute changes and restrictions.
“This is what being an event manager is all about, we are problem solvers and need to find the safest way to hold events.,” Ross said.
“We’re lucky that WINX Stand has so many indoor and outdoor spaces to accommodate guests and really make the clients feel safe and comfortable.”
Another spanner in the works included dealing with supply shortages, which ATC executive sous chef Warren Jackson tackled by working more closely with local suppliers.
“As a venue, we serve up to thousands of people throughout the week in our cafes, bistros and five-star restaurants and the one thing we can’t face is letting our guests down,” Jackson said.
“We have faced many challenges in the food industry recently, from staff shortages and bad weather to COVID-19. Because of this, we have focused on working more closely with our local suppliers to source fresh ingredients that are in high demand, and adapted our menus when required, whilst always maintaining great quality produce and high standards across all of our food areas”.