NAME: Jo Naumovski

BUSINESS NAME: Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park

POSITION: Director of sales and marketing

What are you working on right now in anticipation of a return of events?

At Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park we are working on the implementation of Marriott International’s new meeting and events initiative called ‘Connect with Confidence’. This initiative is based on five key pillars: Commitment to Clean, Contact Lite Experiences, Hybrid Meetings, Physical Distancing and Redesigned Food & Beverage. Our team is putting each of these pillars into practice with trial runs so that we are well-prepared and rehearsed to confidently welcome events back. Across the hotel, we are undergoing several layers of training on new standards of cleanliness across our business that will ensure peace of mind for our guests and associates.

What’s one lesson you have learnt during the COVID-19 lockdown period?

There have been so many learnings from this period in time both professionally and personally. Most of all, I have learnt to be patient. The restrictions that are having such an impact on our industry will not last forever.

What do you value more now than you may have pre-COVID-19?

The sight and sound of hundreds of delegates across our meeting floors. Hearing the buzz of chatter and networking during meeting breaks and having all hands on deck to ensure the smooth running of events throughout the day.

How do you think events will change in the future?

The fundamental reason why organisations hold an event will change, as many have realised that a lot can be achieved virtually. For this reason I think the pressure on venues and suppliers to create much more unique experiences will be immense. The traditional meeting day where we have a standard day delegate meeting structure will be rare. There will be new rules created, newfound opportunities and I think that this will create richer experiences and outcomes for guests. At Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park, delivering unique and show stopping events has been our hallmark for more than 20 years and as we come into this new chapter in our industry, we welcome the opportunity to show just how creative we can be.

Why are events important?

Events have the ability to motivate, empower and inspire and this is something that can’t be achieved via a conference call. As a delegate or guest being at an event often results in the creation of strong networks and human connections and for that reason I think we will see the return of our industry bigger and better than ever.