Pranathi Malempati is the director of catering and conventions at The Langham, Melbourne. Read on to follow her journey in the events world.
1. How long have you been an event planner?
I have been an event planner for almost a decade.
2. Where did you start your career?
I started my career at the Stamford Grand Adelaide
3. What are you working on now?
At the moment I am juggling multiple conferences and a large $75 k wedding.
4. What’s the best thing about working in-house in a hotel?
The best thing about working in-house is that every day is different and you meet so many personalities from modern young brides to CEOs.
6. What advice would you give to someone entering the field?
I would advise someone entering the field to provide consistent service levels each and every day. Good service is contagious and paramount to success. The two go hand-in-hand and delivering excellent service can be quite addictive and it’s appreciated and it’s the benchmark by which we’re measured.
7. And what advice would you give to hoteliers wanting to retain their events staff?
My advice would be to treat your staff as you wish to be treated and work alongside them. Whatever you do, don’t just order them around and expect loyalty in return.
8. What would your dream event look like?
What a good question! My dream event would be to go that extra mile with service and have a fantastic staff to guest ratio where every guest felt like a VIP. I am a big believer in service with poise and making the organiser feel that the entire event was smooth and seamless. It would be an outdoor event, a black tie dinner lit by candles and it would be a no expense spared affair. Think international music act, a famous chef, a flotilla of floating boats all lit up with candles and it would be nothing short of magical.
9. Have you had any major event disasters? What happened? Like all of us in the industry, we’ve all had a share of imperfect days. Once I had a guest booked into one function room but she insisted that she wanted the other function room. She even got angry at the clients in the other room and demanded they leave. The client burst into tears and it was awkward but we managed to smooth everything over with both clients and, in the end, the demanding client apologised and explained that a personal tragedy had fuelled her erratic behaviour.
10. And the best event you have ever worked on and why?
That’s an easy one to answer. No question, it was when I was in Nepal for New Year’s Eve at an historic venue with 100s of bells ringing and 400 guests. It was an international group of guests and we all had one thing in common, to ring in the year 2000.