When did you move here and why?
I arrived in 2003 on a music tour and fell in love with the inspiring lush landscapes and the colourful characters.
Can you describe your perfect day in Byron?
Waking up to the birds, a stroll down to the beach, watch the waves as the sun comes up, breakkie with a friend, acoustic beach rehearsal picnic under the pandanus tree with one or two of the region’s finest musicians, fish and chips in the park overlooking the ocean as the sun sets and the lorikeets flock in the trees above head, dance to some live music.
What inspired you to start Byron Bay Experience?
Many years ago a group of us would perform in the streets of Byron. All kinds of visitors would stop in their tracks and have a spontaneous ‘Byron Bay Experience’. Couples would waltz on the road. Fire twirlers, drummers and hula hoopers would stop to join the party.
We styled the street with vintage lamps and plush rugs and there were people telling fortunes, others making jewellery and selling art. It was special and memorable because it was interactive and immersive and fun. There was something for everyone. I began to be inundated with holiday makers many of whom turned out to be decision makers of major companies asking for the Byron Bay Experience for their special events.
Having that background saw us grow steadily into a fully-fledged entertainment company but with a big difference. I quickly realised that the people who were coming to me were tired of the same old entertainment formulas. People were hungry for something unique and had some great ‘out of the box’ ideas but needed the support to pull it off. This is where our customer service evolved to include creative planning and consultancy.
What have been the biggest challenges that you have faced starting-up a business in a regional area?
We obviously don’t have the same volume of events in a regional area, but the flipside to that is it enables us to offer the fully present customer experience that we pride ourselves on.
Any events stand out for you?
We had a wonderful time with the Audi Red Boot Rally. Over the course of three days the celebrity teams were fiercely competitive in their quest to raise money for Ronald McDonald House.
One of their challenges was a trip to Nimbin to buy an outrageous outfit and then go busking in Byron town. The performances they came up with were outstanding. The films of that event are hilarious and great promo for the cause. They raised over $300,000 for seriously sick children and had a bloody good time doing it.
How do you work with the Byron Business Events Bureau?
The Byron Business Events Bureau supports people coming to the area to organise business events and connecting them to the best Byron suppliers. As suppliers in a small town we are like a family. We have been working on amazing tailor-made events together for years so the communication is strong and the ideas and creativity are abundant. I enjoy the confidence of knowing that each team member is the top of their game. It makes the roll out seamless and everyone has a great experience.