Fall in Love with the Event In­dus­try

Ron­nie Salam sat down with Grace So­larbe­sain to talk about her ex­pe­ri­ence, her pas­sion for the event in­dus­try and her jour­ney to the po­si­tion of Direc­tor of Events at The Dhar­mawangsa Jakarta.

Maxx-M - - PROFILE - Pho­tos by Harry Wibawa

How long you have been in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try?

I have been in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try for 18 years. I have worked for 14 years in the event in­dus­try and about five years at The Dhar­mawangsa Jakarta.

Why did you de­cide to pur­sue a ca­reer in the event in­dus­try?

I quickly dis­cov­ered that work­ing in the event in­dus­try is al­ways in­ter­est­ing and chal­leng­ing. I started my ca­reer in the travel in­dus­try, and I felt that the in­dus­try did not suit my per­son­al­ity. So I de­cided to move to the ho­tel in­dus­try. My first job in the ho­tel in­dus­try was guest re­la­tions. I met lots of peo­ple, did a lot of brain­storm­ing, got to in­ter­act with lots of peo­ple and gained much knowl­edge. It was so in­ter­est­ing and I found that I re­ally liked work­ing in the ho­tel in­dus­try. Then one day I was pro­moted to events be­cause the man­age­ment saw that I loved meet­ing peo­ple, chat­ting and help­ing guests. And af­ter sev­eral events han­dling, I fell in love with this in­dus­try. It was a chal­leng­ing yet dy­namic and ex­cit­ing in­dus­try that re­quires my at­ten­tion to de­tail, and I gain per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion as a con­sul­tant who man­ages to ful­fill their needs.

Can you talk about your re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as Direc­tor of Events?

My re­spon­si­bil­ity is to achieve and in­crease event rev­enue and to mon­i­tor events so there are zero com­plaints. The last thing I want is to get a call from a client who was happy with our ser­vice.

What are the chal­lenges you face in your role?

Con­vinc­ing new clients that The Dhar­mawangsa Jakarta Ho­tel is the best venue for their events and main­tain­ing good re­la­tions with old cus­tomers so they con- tinue to trust that The Dhar­mawangsa Ho­tel is still the num­ber one venue in South Jakarta and they will not hes­i­tate to hold their events here.

What kind of events does The Dhar­mawangsa Jakarta host?

We usu­ally host cor­po­rate events on week­days like train­ing events, seminars, work­shops, break­fast and lunch meet­ings, cor­po­rate launches and cor­po­rate an­niver­saries. On the week­end there are so­cial events like wed­dings and birth­day and an­niver­sary par­ties.

What is the proud­est or most mem­o­rable mo­ment of your ca­reer so far?

My most mem­o­rable event was a big wed­ding that we had to or­ga­nize on a very tight sched­ule. I had less than a week to or­ga­nize the wed­ding. I spend most of my time on week­days in the of­fice, to the week­end is fam­ily time Thank­fully we still had an avail­able venue and we worked with ven­dors to cre­ate the best wed­ding for them. It was amaz­ing that we could make it.

There are lots of venues for events. What sets The Dhar­mawangsa Jakarta Ho­tel dif­fer­ent?

The Dhar­mawangsa Jakarta Ho­tel is dif­fer­ent be­cause of the In­done­sian at­mos­phere and be­cause we al­ways pro­vide what cus­tomers want and of­fer per­son­alised ser­vice, in the sense that we put a pri­or­ity on at­ten­tion to de­tail. Be­sides that, the ho­tel is such a peace­ful, calm, homey and nat­u­ral venue. We have nat­u­ral day­light in al­most ev­ery venue, so guests can see the green gar­den. We also have venue with a ve­randa with a view of the pool or gar­den so smok­ers can use it dur­ing cof­fee breaks or just to chat.

How do you de­scribe a suc­cess­ful event?

A suc­cess­ful event is one where every­body is happy. Guests must be happy be­cause their pos­i­tive opin­ions of us are im­por­tant.

What ad­vice would you give to our read­ers who want to work in the event in­dus­try?

You have to be cre­ative, help­ful, en­er­getic, re­spon­sive, down to earth, al­ways learn­ing, com­mit­ted and have a pas­sion to be the best.

What do you do in your spare time?

I am a mother for two. My old­est son is 9 and the youngest boy is 3.5. My favourite thing to do in my spare time is to spend time with my sons. We usu­ally cook to­gether, make their favourites foods, and then we en­joy it to­gether and talk and eat. I spend most of my time on week­days in the of­fice, to the week­end is fam­ily time.

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