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.
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.