Western Sydney business awards overcome ‘impossible task’

The 30th Annual Western Sydney Awards for Business Excellence (WSABE) Gala was successfully held at Rosehill Gardens last month.

The event has been held for the last three decades, marking the culmination of an annual program that typically features four events, an eight-month digital marketing campaign, a six-week judging process, and a six-week application period.

Having made the decision to press forward with the 2020 WSABE campaign despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, Gandhi Creations were tasked with delivering the event in a landscape still subject to strict regulation.

“Having been presented with the impossible task of delivering a 600-person event in a manner that would not limit opportunity to the platform’s sponsors, finalists, and the Greater Western Sydney business community at large, the Gandhi Creations team were faced with the option of either adapting to the circumstances or failing to meet the standards that guests of this event have come to expect,” said Sonia Sadiq Gandhi, Gandhi Creations’ director.

“Through innovative event management and an outstanding team effort, we were able to successfully run two events simultaneously and provide the full WSABE experience without compromise to the platform’s expansive audience.”

The event, which typically attracts over 600 guests annually, had to work within the NSW government COVID capacity limit of 300 guests per event space.

The decision was made to break up the top floor of the Australian Turf Club’s Grand Pavilion, which typically accommodates up to 1600 seated guests, into three defined sections with a central break out room solely dedicated to the audio-visual team.

Guests of the WSABE Gala were then allocated seating across two adjacent venue spaces and the award presentations, entertainment, keynote speakers and all engagement components were alternated between the two rooms.

Maintaining a presence across both rooms was ultimately accomplished through the seamless and innovative audio-visual production delivered by AVisual Productions.

The second obstacle was ensuring that the 600 guests in attendance were streamlined into two groups throughout the entire process.

Two separate forms of tickets were issued to guests one week out of the event advising if they were to be positioned in the ‘North’ or ‘South’ side of the venue.

Alternate parking arrangements were coordinated for each ticket type, and separate locations for pre-dinner drinks were allocated beforehand. This result of this preparation were two entirely separate groups of guests arriving at two opposite sides of the venue and proceeding straight to their designated arrival areas before the doors to the WSABE Gala opened.

“We felt it was crucial this year, more than ever, to show leadership and lead by example,” said Romina Bousimon, WSABE Committee & Business Relationship Manager at Parramatta Chamber of Commerce.

“The commitment to persevere with the WSABE awards was a simple decision that presented complex obstacles that required a flexible and innovative way of thinking. The Parramatta Chamber of Commerce stood proud to deliver WSABE as it celebrated its own milestone turning 30.”