Meet the planner – Olivia Belvedere, senior event manager – Melbourne Royal Experiences

Olivia's strong background in radio and television has seen her apply her unique set of skills to the dynamic world of events at Melbourne Royal.

With a strong background in radio and television producing and broadcasting, Olivia Belvedere’s unique skillset has seen her excel in the world of events. She joined Melbourne Royal as event manager in 2019 and went on to become senior event manager – Melbourne Royal Experiences, where she oversees the iconic venue’s award program presentations and curates the music and entertainment offering for the 2022 Melbourne Royal Show.

How did you start out in events?

I started my working life as a radio announcer at 15 years old and progressed up to Music Directing and Program Directing for the biggest radio networks in the country, including Nova and the Today Network for stations like Fox FM Melbourne and 2day FM Sydney. From there, I moved on to TV production for my next challenge, Production and Talent Managing on Dancing with the Stars, The Block, The Logies and MasterChef. My first events role, a natural transition from being a producer really, was for Melbourne Royal at the 2019 Show.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given about event planning?

The best piece of advice I was given is something I think about all the time and is so obvious at every event I produce: communication and attention to detail is key. Without that, the specifics of an event fall apart. Communication ensures everyone knows what is happening and the team are on the same page. That attention to detail means events run smoothly, are extremely memorable and the client is happy.

What is the most memorable Melbourne Royal event you’ve been a part of and why?

At my first Melbourne Royal Show in 2019, I managed the VIP events. We would get to the Showgrounds early in the morning and feed the baby animals their milk bottles. Can you imagine? It was a calm and gorgeous start to what would be a very hectic day.

What event do you still pinch yourself that you were a part of?

The Logies. I produced the red carpet special and coordinated the main show and talent. There is something special about a live-to-air show that brings all the excitement, hype, glitz and glamour. It meant lots of planning and working at a frantic pace. Dealing with the VIPs was great fun; everyone brought a great vibe.

What do you love most about the Melbourne Royal food and beverage awards?

The people that bring them to life. We have a tight knit team that excel in their areas, from the food and beverage team to operations. There is real care and integrity in how the awards are judged. Then our team curates the award presentation from end to end. It’s a real delight to see guests enjoying the experience we worked so hard to create. The Melbourne Royal awards are truly a seal of excellence and highly valued by food and beverage producers and I love to give them the awards ceremony they deserve.

What do you enjoy most about planning events at Melbourne Showgrounds?

Melbourne Showgrounds is the most versatile venue in Melbourne with flexible and unique indoor and outdoor spaces. You are encouraged to think outside of the box and bring new ideas to the table to enhance Melbourne Royal Experiences. It’s exciting to be responsible for the look and feel of our events and making sure every guest has a wonderful experience, either at an awards presentation or at the iconic Melbourne Royal Show.

What event trends can you not get enough of?

BIG! With events back on after the Covid-19 disruptions, it’s about impact – what can you bring to an event that’s special and exciting and hasn’t been thought of before. I can’t get enough of big, bold, exciting ideas.

What are the three most important things that get you through event day?

Event day is exciting, hectic and fun. It’s filled with creating great memories and at the same time, managing any issues that arise. These things always get me through:

1. A final checklist
2. Hydration (it’s normally a long day/night!)
3. A solid team.

What is the first piece of advice you give to clients when you start planning their events?

I encourage my clients to have a clear vision of how they want to their event to look and feel. If that is communicated from the start, it’s much more likely that an event manager will bring that vision to life!

If you were planning your own event, what does your perfect event look like?

I am usually immersed with bringing client event briefs to life, this one I had to think about! I envision a red carpet, festoon and fairy lighting, bars with bespoke cocktail and spirit offerings, customised designer finger food and an amazing DJ setting the vibe in a beautiful modern inspired space.

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