“I had the privilege of overseeing the commercial aspects of the (Sydney Royal Easter) Show, orchestrating the commercial retail exhibition components spanning the entire 14-day event. My primary areas of focus were sales and event operations. After successfully executing this role for five shows, I redirected my career path to the venue management side of the RAS of NSW, specifically the Sydney Showground.”
From here, he diversified his experience working with incentive events, large-scale music festivals and “the transition of the displaced business portfolio while the construction of ICC [Sydney] took place.”
Now in his role at the ATC, Busteed’s focus has been directed towards non-race day business events. Following a company restructure, his role has expanded to encompass the race day hospitality business unit.
Both Royal Randwick and Rosehill Gardens he says have the versatility to cater to a huge range of events from small meetings to large-scale exhibitions, with all the bells and of modern amenities and audio-visual technology.
Royal Randwick, as one of the country’s oldest racing venues, is both historic and iconic, bringing a sense of grandeur to the event, he adds.
In particular, he says “the ATC’s culinary offerings are second to none”. Backing this up, the ATC’s group executive chef Gerry Maher was recently named Chef of the Year at the Restaurant & Catering, NSW Hospitality Awards. Serving great food is a responsibility they take very seriously, Busteed says, with the ATC’s culinary experts continuing to collaborate with “a selection of Sydney’s finest culinary ambassadors including Colin Fassnidge of The Castlereagh, Adam Hall from Flying Fish, Dany Karam of Black, Chase Kojima from Sokyo, Guillaume Brahimi representing Bennelong, and Frank Shek of China Doll.
“These collaborations have greatly influenced our menus, allowing them to mirror the same exceptional dining quality found at these establishments.”
But it isn’t just about the food. Busteed says the scenic landscaped surroundings also make the spaces special. “The gardens create a backdrop for events and unlike a conference centre or hotel, delegates and attendees have access to indoor and outdoor spaces.
“We also offer exclusivity to clients which not many venues can offer, meaning that delegates are maintained within the event precinct for the duration of all events.
“The racecourse event spaces can also be customised to reflect your brand’s identity and the theme of your event,” says Busteed.
But the jewel in the ATC’s crown, is the double-story WINX Stand, a $46.6 million venue with more than 5,000m2 of event space. Following its late 2021 opening, it held an impressive 50 business and consumer events in its first year. These included 28 public race days for a crowd of up to 46,000 attendees, corporate awards, technology and luxury car showcases, consumer and corporate exhibitions and more.
“From the get-go, it was highly sought-after and fully booked for the first month of operations,” he says, adding that demand and strong booking have continued, accounting for 23 per cent of event revenue across the ATC’s five venues this year and 35 per cent at Royal Randwick. “It was a record-breaking period,’ he says, attributing the success to the WINX Stand, but adding that it wasn’t the event space alone that made it so successful.
“It’s also the team that maximises the features of the venue, delivering world-class service for clients and attendees.
“Whether it’s feeding hundreds of hungry athletes within tight timeframes whilst navigating live broadcasting or helping a luxury car brand, the WINX Stand and venue team are not only up to the diverse challenges, but they also always deliver success,” he says, which creates happy clients.
“The variety of events brilliantly demonstrates the versatility, depth and uniqueness of the WINX Stand and showcases the expertise, passion and dedication of the venue team.”
He calls versatility and flexibility “cornerstone principles for event organisers”.
“We seldom utter the word ‘no’ instead, we ask ourselves, ‘How can we contribute to achieving your vision?’”
Read more: Inside Universo Ferrari at The WINX Stand