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Julia Truong, building a successful event management business through adversity



In this week’s episode, Josh is talking to Julia Truong who was a Winner in the 2016 Victorian Young Achiever Awards.

Julia Truong established her own events and production business JT. Production Management in 2013, a highly successful business delivering a variety of events such as the Western Chances 10th Anniversary Gala event, Tourism Fest in the West and the Heart Foundation Victoria Healthy Living conference.

She then developed her second company JT. Weddings, organising many successful weddings and scoring 5 star reviews on Australia’s biggest wedding directory. Julia has also completed work with various theatre and art productions, including stage manager at White Night Melbourne.

Julia has completed a Bachelor of Production and speaks to high school students about the importance of education and continues to volunteer with not-for-profit organisations.


In this episode:

  • We hear how JT. Production Management embraced the online space during COVID to keep their business going and now thriving
  • Julia now has a team of 17 and is looking for more employees as her business grows


Connect with Julia on LinkedIn

For blogs and helpful tips for running events, visit: www.jtproductionmanagement.com

Want to find out more about JT Production Management and the services they provide? Email Julia at: julia@jtproductionmanagement.com


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Aimen Jafri

Madeline Wells



[00:00:04] Annette
Welcome to the inspirational australian’s podcast
[00:00:07] Annette
where we chat to people making a difference in their communities and in the lives of others. And here is your host today. Josh Griffin
[00:00:10] Josh
Thank you, Annette. And before we get into this week’s dose of inspiration speaking with Julia Truong. Just wanted to remind everybody to jump on to Spotify, Google podcasts or Apple podcast, and leave a review for us
[00:00:36] Josh
quickly. As we’ve just had Christmas. You know, your Christmas present to us could be reviewed if I can be enough to
[00:00:42] Josh
ask for that. As a Thank you and another way that you can get involved with the podcast is to become an awards member head towards Australia dot com slash up to read all about that
[00:00:52] Josh
But one of the
[00:00:54] Josh
little perks of that is we do a shout out for any member on this podcast and a few other places too. See if you’re familiar with the show and how that works. And many podcasts, it’s a little
[00:01:03] Josh
bit like that, but a
[00:01:04] Josh
slightly different where the person is actually don’t go to that podcast. They go towards
[00:01:09] Josh
the community champions and inspirational Australians that are part of our award programs to the winners helps fund prizes to them to help them further follow their dreams and achieve great impact for the community and in their career. And a great example of some of our inspirational Australians is today’s guest Julia.
[00:01:27] Josh
So before I introduce you on Julia, normally I do
[00:01:31] Josh
a bio about you now and we talk about your career and go backwards. But today I’m going to read that your bio from 2016
[00:01:39] Josh
and you won the career kick start category in the Victorian Young Achiever Awards, and then I’ll bring you on and we’ll talk about
[00:01:46] Josh
coming forward to now.
[00:01:48] Josh
So Julia, in 2016, you established your own events and production business, JT Production Management a few years prior,
[00:01:56] Josh
which was very successful at that time.
[00:01:58] Josh
And you’re managing a whole bunch of different events and even had another company, jta, weddings.
[00:02:04] Josh
So that’s quite varied, but very cool. You were also working with various theatre and art productions,
[00:02:10] Josh
including us stage manager at WhiteKnight Melbourne. And at that time you were studying a bachelor of production as well. Lastly you were speaking to high school students about the importance of Education, and you are volunteering as well. So Julia, Firstly, welcome. How are you going today?
[00:02:27] Julia
Thanks so much for having me. I’m doing really well. Thank you.
[00:02:31] Josh
And so I want to ask you a few questions about that time from 2016, but we’ll come quickly to the present. What do you, what does great production management do now?
[00:02:41] Josh
And give us a very brief background and kind of on your working role there?
[00:02:45] Julia
Yeah, of course, so very, very thankful that despite covid-19 over the last two years to production management is still around and has been really growing from strength to strength. So
[00:02:58] Julia
our company is now based in North Melbourne. I
[00:03:02] Julia
have a fabulous team of 17
[00:03:05] Julia
staff and we basically produce unique experiences for our clients, bringing them lots of laughter, creating interesting conversations, and essentially building better communities through the work that we do with ourclients.
[00:03:20] Julia
So you can catch our team producing things from conferences to festivals, all the way through to career days, expo’s awards nights
[00:03:31] Julia
for a range of clients. So anything from
[00:03:33] Julia
governments all the way through to our education sector?Yeah.
[00:03:38] Josh
Yeah, and I recommend everyone to jump on Instagram apology production because you post really cool stuff about the
[00:03:44] Josh
different events that you run and are involved with.
[00:03:46] Julia
Thank you. Thanks for following us
[00:03:49] Josh
through. It’s always interesting and
[00:03:50] Josh
I don’t really get involved with the events side of things that, that we do here in Australia as much. But it is nice always just to talk with the and really those times and one you did recently, Julia was so cool. It was the Macedon ranges is awards, which is actually called, I think the joshes rainbow X gets this award and Josh was a past winner of the young achiever awards in Victoria too. So that was really cool to say,
[00:04:16] Julia
yeah, yeah, absolutely, we love ocean was really, really exciting because we’ve been working with Macedon ranges for a number of years. And he was also an
[00:04:26] Julia
award winner with the Macedon ranges, business excellence, awards. And it was really nice to be able to get him on as a sponsor now that he’s
[00:04:34] Julia
grown up so much
[00:04:35] Julia
with a very successful business and doing great things in the community. So that
[00:04:39] Julia
was a really special event that we got to do. And one of our
[00:04:42] Julia
probably first events back in person since
[00:04:47] Julia
the various lockdown’s.
[00:04:48] Josh
Well, I was actually about to say I reckon that must have been if not the first one of the first awards not to happen in Victoria since we’ve come back out because lined up really well just with the way that increased capacities. And we hit the I think it was the 90 per cent mark, wasn’t it again?Yes.
[00:05:05] Julia
Pretty much we were hanging in there with government guidelines and we were like two days out. Now it was two days out from the
[00:05:12] Julia
announcement, so
[00:05:14] Julia
you know, fingers and toes crossed, but we made it.
[00:05:16] Julia
And it was a really, really nice to be able to have people in a room celebrating,
[00:05:20] Julia
recognising all the hot work in the community again.
[00:05:24] Josh
Yeah, fantastic. Well, so jta production management, you mentioned to me of age before we started that you found out that in 2013, you know, going back to 2016, we had the Korea kick start award,
[00:05:37] Josh
which was
[00:05:38] Josh
an interesting name for an award because it wasn’t quite sure what it was a small business award, whether it was
[00:05:43] Josh
in your career and I think you kind of fit the bill really nicely because you started your
[00:05:47] Josh
company is in
[00:05:50] Josh
and you’re already achieving great things. What were some of the
[00:05:54] Josh
events that you’re working on back then and how has it changed to what you do now?
[00:05:58] Julia
Yeah, absolutely. I do remember the award
[00:06:01] Julia
experience quite clearly in my Mind when I was speaking to 2016 because I feel like it was
[00:06:07] Julia
definitely a milestone to me in my
[00:06:10] Julia
career. And it was such a wonderful time to be recognised for the hard work that I was putting in, but also
[00:06:18] Julia
the team. And it
[00:06:19] Julia
really did feel like kick started. The next phase of jta production management went from a very, very small business with myself and a couple of contractors to now growing the company as it is. So there was, was a huge,
[00:06:34] Julia
I guess, boost in my career at that point.
[00:06:38] Julia
But yeah, if we rewind back to 2016,
[00:06:42] Julia
like I said, it was me and a couple of others.
[00:06:45] Julia
We were still working with a lot of clients that we are now. But just not at the scale. So it was less volume of events,
[00:06:54] Julia
but still really significant and special events. So a lot more within the
[00:06:58] Julia
[00:06:59] Julia
a lot in the education sector. So
[00:07:01] Julia
you know, awards nights,
[00:07:03] Julia
open days, exhibitions, career choices, industry seminars,
[00:07:09] Julia
all of those kind of experiences we would do.
[00:07:12] Julia
But not to the scale that we do now. So
[00:07:15] Julia
as a quick comparison back in 2016, we
[00:07:19] Julia
probably would be producing maybe
[00:07:22] Julia
20, 30 events a year.
[00:07:25] Julia
Now, this year it’s twenty twenty one. We would
[00:07:29] Julia
be knocking off the record of one hundred and fifty events. This year,
[00:07:33] Julia
so it’s been a massive growth
[00:07:35] Julia
phase for us.
[00:07:37] Julia
[00:07:38] Julia
I, the journey has been incredible. So yeah,
[00:07:43] Josh
that is pretty cool. That’s a huge
[00:07:45] Josh
increase in events and you touched on you had a smaller team then what, how many things do you think it was with working with you at that stage?
[00:07:52] Julia
Yeah, 2016 to be honest, I probably had only maybe
[00:07:58] Julia
two to three part time
[00:08:00] Julia
other colleagues that would join me you.
[00:08:03] Julia
I didn’t have an office at the time. I was still working a
[00:08:05] Julia
lot from, ironically, a lot from home just as I am now. But you know, it was all like everyone would just come over and we do our thing in our living room and then we’d go to the that kind of thing. Never would I thought I’d be able to afford an office scale, grow, have more team members put structures into the company. But at that
[00:08:29] Julia
point it was pretty much from geek to, you know, just trying to build out the portfolio and trying to also at the same time, give back to the community where I can.
[00:08:38] Josh
Yeah. So that’s, I’m glad you said that because it was one of the questions I want to
[00:08:40] Josh
ask you, what kind of Community involvement were you into?
[00:08:43] Julia
Yeah, a number of things, I guess it kind of goes back to my grass roots. So I grew up in footscray, footscray city girl,
[00:08:53] Julia
but I also came from a financially modest family background. So that basically meant that
[00:08:59] Julia
on a Day to Day basis for
[00:09:01] Julia
school, I couldn’t afford books
[00:09:03] Julia
pens. I couldn’t go to school excursions
[00:09:06] Julia
to my family circumstances. So
[00:09:07] Julia
from a very young age, the idea of being successful
[00:09:11] Julia
or being able to achieve that seems
[00:09:13] Julia
pretty farfetched. But it was thanks to a lot of
[00:09:17] Julia
various organizations and people in my life that really helped mentored and encouraged me to pursue what I was really
[00:09:24] Julia
passionate about. And in this case, events and creating life experiences
[00:09:28] Julia
that I was able to
[00:09:31] Julia
be a little bit more brave and decide to pursue the petrol production which I did at the University of Melbourne which was more or less around fita and festival productions.
[00:09:41] Julia
So I guess from my journey of pretty much having nothing
[00:09:46] Julia
and not really thinking that I would be able to
[00:09:49] Julia
even go to university, to be honest.
[00:09:52] Julia
It was a big goal of mine that if I were to
[00:09:55] Julia
make it as such, I’d
[00:09:57] Julia
find ways to kind of give back to the community. So
[00:09:59] Julia
as a result, I’ve been involved in a number of
[00:10:03] Julia
[00:10:03] Julia
being able to go to different high schools and different education sectors to present my story,
[00:10:08] Julia
to mentoring to young people. I have my own forecasts as well. collectivists, little plug there where it is a platform for young people in melbourne’s West
[00:10:19] Julia
to better have access to various mentors and stories.
[00:10:22] Julia
I’m also an
[00:10:23] Julia
ambassador for a fantastic charity as well. So
[00:10:27] Julia
I try to get around as much as I can to just, I
[00:10:29] Julia
guess encourage other young people who might be
[00:10:32] Julia
facing adversity
[00:10:34] Julia
to know that there’s
[00:10:35] Julia
always an opportunity for you to succeed. One way
[00:10:38] Josh
that’s fantastic and I have heard from people through the awards and partners of ours and just people who want to get involved with community kind of wondering and asking, well, I don’t know where to start, because there is a lot of great charities and great group to get involved with I think what you’ve done is an amazing example of use, what’s relevant to you or what’s passionate for you. And you know,
[00:11:00] Josh
you as a young person growing up, wanting to
[00:11:02] Josh
had those mentors that helped you and then now you’re doing the same and in your local area where you grew up. So yeah, I think that’s a really cool the, the areas that you’ve chosen to give back to
[00:11:14] Josh
you. Thank you
[00:11:14] Josh
Thank you for that. Must be quite rewarding as well to kind of almost take yourself I suppose in some of the people you’re able to assist.
[00:11:22] Julia
Yeah, yeah, definitely you, it’s just crazy feeling of
[00:11:26] Julia
you know, because I still remember things quite clearly how I felt as a young person and
[00:11:30] Julia
not being able to simple like
[00:11:32] Julia
going on a school excursion. We couldn’t afford it.
[00:11:35] Julia
[00:11:36] Julia
just knowing that I had the feeling that I used to experience and the feeling that I was never on the same kind of playing field as many other young people and being able to go back to school and different high schools and
[00:11:49] Julia
different organizations to support a mentor, other
[00:11:52] Julia
young people and seeing them realize that they have a lot of potential is a really special feeling. Yeah.
[00:11:59] Josh
You’re putting yourself going even further back in 2016. What was it about events that
[00:12:03] Josh
kind of interested you in the first place?
[00:12:05] Julia
Yeah, that’s a great question. I would have to go back to.
[00:12:10] Julia
Oh yeah, but I think those around 14 15 year olds I like I said before I grew up in footscray. So I went
[00:12:19] Julia
to an all girls public school and college for
[00:12:21] Julia
girls. And there was an opportunity to volunteer for maribyrnong city council to do some of their
[00:12:30] Julia
battle of the bands of music arts events.
[00:12:34] Julia
And one of my mentors said, hey, put your hands up and
[00:12:37] Julia
go and just put yourself out there. I was quite shy at the time
[00:12:40] Julia
and I thought OK, well why not? So I went along to the council meetings and then I started getting really interested in the logistics of planning an event planning a campaign or a project.
[00:12:52] Julia
Got really heavily involved and we
[00:12:53] Julia
started putting on some
[00:12:55] Julia
music events or hip hop events
[00:12:57] Julia
for like community. So it was like lots of rap battles and dancebattles
[00:13:03] Julia
[00:13:03] Julia
never existed in our area of the town. And from that moment I recall the event that I ran and just being able to open the doors and say,
[00:13:14] Julia
I’m just a people
[00:13:14] Julia
walk in
[00:13:16] Julia
and really enjoy themselves.
[00:13:18] Julia
There was just such a special buzz that you get
[00:13:21] Julia
out of the adrenaline
[00:13:22] Julia
and the stress that made me realize that I should really, really thrive from this feeling and really, really love this.
[00:13:30] Julia
And I just love being able to
[00:13:31] Julia
hone in on all the little details from,
[00:13:34] Julia
you know, the
[00:13:34] Julia
name tags all the way through to the guest list,
[00:13:37] Julia
where people are sitting.
[00:13:39] Julia
And then to be able to see the big picture as well and see how an event really comes together
[00:13:43] Julia
and what it makes people feel when they do and when they leave. So
[00:13:48] Julia
that’s where it really sort of Kickstarted my passion. I
[00:13:51] Julia
never thought at that age that I would make it a career,
[00:13:55] Josh
but I’m really, really glad that I went down that path
[00:13:57] Josh
with sorry, about all the emotions that you kind of then it’s, it’s making me think back as well. It is adrenaline inducing. And some people love that, and
[00:14:09] Josh
in those situations you can make quick decisions and
[00:14:12] Josh
they really thrive on that. And yeah, for some people it’s not I couldn’t think of anything worse. So I can say, I just know
[00:14:21] Josh
that you get that feeling and it’s like,
[00:14:23] Josh
oh my God, that was stressful. But the event starts and you just feel great feeling that the worst is over you. Yeah, so true. So
[00:14:34] Josh
you’re hosting hatsu events and it’s a natural thought for many people to think well, hosting events,
[00:14:39] Josh
weddings, because they’re the big, big events. What was that kind of the thought process for you or how did you get into starting doing your own you?
[00:14:47] Julia
Yeah, that’s a great question. It was a bit random to be honest. So I am obviously
[00:14:55] Julia
didymus Australian.
[00:14:57] Julia
Even though I was
[00:14:57] Julia
born here, I can speak quite silently.
[00:15:01] Julia
And it was, it just happened that I was
[00:15:03] Julia
at a venue reception
[00:15:06] Julia
and someone approached me and said, hey, have you ever
[00:15:09] Julia
considered running weddings and have you ever considered actually emceeing a wedding in
[00:15:15] Julia
ditmas in English? And I was like, oh, that sounds like fun
[00:15:20] Julia
and I do kind of like so I thought maybe I’ll give it a go.
[00:15:25] Julia
So at the time it was sort of just
[00:15:27] Julia
the beginning of jati. So
[00:15:30] Julia
we had a couple of gigs, but you know,
[00:15:32] Julia
it wasn’t as easy as it is now. So I had a bit of time to kind of go, oh, maybe I can explore the wedding side. So we did the first wedding and I remember it was a Korean and
[00:15:43] Julia
Vietnamese wedding. So two young people
[00:15:48] Julia
coming together in
[00:15:49] Julia
footscray as well.
[00:15:50] Julia
And I organised the wedding with my partner at the time. And then I and sage, and I had such a great time, it was, you know, the, to be honest the skills in events. And I’m sure you will agree is, is really transferable
[00:16:05] Julia
[00:16:05] Julia
a lot of areas, to be honest, not just with an event. So
[00:16:09] Julia
transferring the production and events sort of skills into the wedding side of things.
[00:16:15] Julia
[00:16:16] Julia
I guess formula is the same,
[00:16:19] Julia
different clientele obviously and, and different sort of programming
[00:16:23] Julia
and different pressure points as well. It’s the biggest Day, most people’s lives.
[00:16:28] Josh
They want flexibility there. Yeah.
[00:16:31] Julia
But the, the yeah, the thinking process is the same. So
[00:16:35] Julia
we just did one great job, got referred on to the next one. And then next thing, you know, sort of Katie’s wedding was born and our weekends were pretty much getting booked up,doing
[00:16:47] Julia
wedding weddings. And
[00:16:49] Julia
it’s really interesting
[00:16:50] Julia
because it got to twenty sixteen when I won this particular award
[00:16:54] Julia
with you guys that maybe sort of reflect back
[00:16:57] Julia
on where I wanted to hit next.
[00:17:00] Julia
[00:17:00] Julia
was a really interesting milestone because I was like, right,
[00:17:03] Julia
lovely to be recognized for the work I was doing. But where do I want to go from here?
[00:17:08] Julia
And from a business perspective, I obviously had two growing breasts. And it became apparent to me that my brand was actually modeling
[00:17:18] Julia
for a lot of people. So some people would recognize it as just
[00:17:22] Julia
weddings, or some people would recognize me as just
[00:17:25] Julia
corporates. And
[00:17:26] Julia
in many ways it’s great, but in many other ways, it
[00:17:29] Julia
wasn’t so great because we
[00:17:31] Julia
weren’t clear in our direction. So I made the call that we would
[00:17:36] Julia
slow down on the weddings
[00:17:38] Julia
takea breather on it and just put all that energy to growing our
[00:17:44] Julia
corporate inside of it. And so we’ve been doing that ever since.
[00:17:48] Josh
And it’s worked out very well for me from a
[00:17:50] Josh
I can tell
[00:17:52] Julia
you. Lucky.
[00:17:56] Josh
[00:17:57] Josh
the other thing I want to touch on in your bio from twenty sixteen is you were three things really you were working on WhiteKnight, Melbourne, and Tennessee.
[00:18:07] Josh
Mind back I think was the quite new in Melbourne. I hadn’t
[00:18:10] Josh
been around for long. What was it like to work on?
[00:18:13] Julia
Yeah, incredible. Like,
[00:18:16] Julia
you know,if
[00:18:17] Julia
people have attended whatnot
[00:18:19] Julia
back in the days it’s such an experience because it’s pretty much, almost twenty four hours straight of entertainment activations all around Melbourne.
[00:18:29] Julia
And you’re right in saying, I think that would have been you want to fly at
[00:18:33] Julia
night. So
[00:18:34] Julia
in my early days of jta, I did a lot of freelance gigs as well
[00:18:37] Julia
and it was really important for me to, I guess grow my experience, my network in that way.
[00:18:44] Julia
So working and whatnot was really special. The concept itself is so unique that you really wanted to be honest.
[00:18:51] Julia
You just really wanted to see how they were running and see
[00:18:54] Julia
what works. And yeah, I was managing some of the
[00:18:58] Julia
activations and it was a heap of fun.
[00:19:01] Julia
[00:19:02] Julia
strange to go to bed early in the afternoon so that you can start your shift at seven PM and wiggle your way through to the next Day.
[00:19:10] Julia
But it was good. Yeah.
[00:19:13] Josh
Because those early years they were, the crowds were humongous.
[00:19:18] Josh
Anyways, I didn’t go that years. I was like, oh my gosh. So many people
[00:19:22] Josh
wrote that amazing, amazing event. So
[00:19:26] Josh
just and as you said, working all the way through the night
[00:19:29] Josh
would have been, I imagine a massive crowd wouldn’t let on.
[00:19:31] Julia
Yeah, yeah, definitely very, very deep for lots and lots of layers to operations and logistics
[00:19:39] Julia
and great people that were behind the scenes on it, but
[00:19:43] Julia
so, so much fun.
[00:19:44] Julia
Yeah, yeah.
[00:19:46] Josh
So fast forwarding a bit now the last couple of years
[00:19:49] Josh
have been very tough for many people.
[00:19:52] Josh
The event industry being one of those. And
[00:19:55] Josh
as you said before, your office in North Melbourne. And I can only assume that many of your events would be local to Victoria.
[00:20:03] Josh
What was it like for you say in March 2000, 20 February, when events are being canceled and there was all that uncertainty.
[00:20:13] Julia
It was horrible. To say the least. And I’m sure
[00:20:19] Julia
many, many, many businesses, especially those in our industry would say the same I it’s so
[00:20:26] Julia
bizarre because the beginning of twenty twenty, I came back from a great holiday trip and I was like yeah, 20 20 is going to be a great year. You know, got these amazing projects lined. I’m going to have a great time. It’s going to be awesome. And then March was
[00:20:41] Julia
is usually our busiest month.
[00:20:44] Julia
And I’m sure you would remember this as many people would when
[00:20:49] Julia
canceled and
[00:20:50] Julia
you’re like, OK, things are getting
[00:20:53] Julia
real and things are not looking great. So I do remember on that Friday night when
[00:20:59] Julia
they pulled the PIN,
[00:21:00] Julia
all of our clients were bringing us as well. And just pretty much saying these projects off,
[00:21:05] Julia
I’d be like to that person I stuff working on that project. coleus supplies were canceling. And then next thing you know my phone
[00:21:11] Julia
would ring again and then it’s like, yep, your projects cancelled supplies. And so this kind of domino effect,
[00:21:18] Julia
and I remember I was, I think we were so shocked and myself and now managing director, we were like, OK everyone talks down
[00:21:25] Julia
because I don’t know what to do.
[00:21:28] Julia
And it was really scary because I think within that kind of wake of things becoming quite serious and everyone’s kind of prepping for lockdown pretty much. We did some quick math and we realized we lost about 90 percent of our contacts.
[00:21:42] Julia
And we probably had enough cash to keep the team afloat for the next
[00:21:46] Julia
two months. So it was a really scary realization,
[00:21:51] Julia
especially when it’s like my baby that I’ve worked on for so long that I could lose everything and
[00:21:58] Julia
could lose the team and,
[00:22:01] Julia
and being locked down for
[00:22:03] Julia
but what I was really, really thankful for was at that time we made a decision that instead of
[00:22:08] Julia
standing down all of our stuff,
[00:22:10] Julia
which understandably many companies had to do,
[00:22:13] Julia
we all said to the team, let’s, let’s shorten nowadays. Let’s put our heads together. Think of
[00:22:20] Julia
some concepts and such ideas. How can we continue to
[00:22:24] Julia
engage with our clients and support them during this time? And that’s when we came up with the concept of couche
[00:22:29] Julia
community. Which essentially is we ran a couple of series where we brought together comedians, chefs, both industries who had big losses at the time
[00:22:43] Julia
to put on some
[00:22:44] Julia
shows essentially cooking shows that were quite funny and humorous. And then
[00:22:48] Julia
our online audience were able to engage and cook along with it.
[00:22:52] Julia
We ran a series
[00:22:53] Julia
of episodes and we kicked off our first one pretty much in April. So pretty
[00:22:58] Julia
quickly after the lockdown, where we were just trialling It was a
[00:23:02] Julia
great opportunity for us to go, hey, we’re in the shites.
[00:23:06] Julia
Let’s just try whatever we can. Let’s test the system. Let’s test or whatever you can Google.
[00:23:12] Julia
Let’s give it a go.
[00:23:14] Julia
People were very forgiving. They were very supportive.
[00:23:16] Julia
They were cheering on Facebook, YouTube watching us,
[00:23:19] Julia
trying to cook
[00:23:20] Julia
with these amazing chefs. We started doing delivery
[00:23:24] Julia
boxes, started rolling out versions of that concept.
[00:23:27] Julia
And so,
[00:23:28] Julia
thankfully with everyone’s
[00:23:30] Julia
hard work, especially critically my team at the time. And our
[00:23:35] Julia
clients were really stuck in there with us. We turned things around. So by June, we took that concept and pitched it to other clients.
[00:23:43] Julia
They started engaging in services to produce these entertainment series
[00:23:47] Julia
for them.
[00:23:48] Julia
And they started engaging in services to really design virtual experiences for them. And so
[00:23:54] Julia
we really were able to kind of turn themselves around
[00:23:57] Julia
by the end of the year. And then
[00:23:59] Julia
two thousand and twenty one comes along and everyone’s like yeah, we’re back out. And then of course we get locked in and I’m
[00:24:08] Julia
really, really thankful once again that the team sort of what’s really really hot and that we were able to have really great plans in place this time around because we want to know what we know now. And have been able to continue to grow quite
[00:24:22] Julia
significantly this year in particular. So we’ve actually
[00:24:26] Julia
tripled in size
[00:24:27] Julia
in twenty 20 months. And so that’s where we’re at now.
[00:24:31] Josh
Which is pretty amazing to think that half of the year, roughly the exact numbers, but were in lockdown or at least with some kind of severe restrictions that impact And you’ve been
[00:24:42] Josh
increasing and asking you to look into a crystal ball too much. But do you think in twenty twenty two? You have still a large portion of online events and online components
[00:24:53] Josh
of your work?
[00:24:54] Julia
Yeah, yeah. I
[00:24:56] Julia
think that’s a great question. I honestly think
[00:24:59] Julia
that your experience is here to stay for a little longer. I definitely think that they will be still a lot of online engagements just naturally because I think people are realizing that, hey, there’s a cost difference in producing an online events. There’s also an accessibility point of difference as well. Like a lot of our clients realize they could reacha
[00:25:22] Julia
much wider audience.
[00:25:24] Julia
They have longer term engagement, have a longer shelf life in the videos and the content that we produced for them. And so
[00:25:32] Julia
that becomes really appealing for a lot of people. So
[00:25:35] Julia
I think
[00:25:36] Julia
yeah, everyone is definitely hanging in there to be back in person and be able to
[00:25:42] Julia
have a glass of wine, some kind of network with people in person rather than a screen. But at the same time I do think
[00:25:50] Julia
hybrid events and online events are here to stay for a little while.
[00:25:53] Josh
Yeah, yeah, for sure. So Julie, you touched on,
[00:25:57] Josh
I love that concept. You’re talking about of
[00:26:00] Josh
the cooking shows and then you package that up
[00:26:04] Josh
and use that as a product and service. Other clients. Amazing job by you and the team. Was that part of your thinking back then? Or was it really just happy byproduct of doing those events? Well,
[00:26:19] Julia
I’m a little bit cheekily was part of the thought process
[00:26:25] Julia
and a lot of that was but there’s definitely a part of it was pretty much like fingers crossed this works out because you just don’t know how people would react.
[00:26:38] Julia
We found that
[00:26:39] Julia
back in March, April,
[00:26:41] Julia
our clients was
[00:26:42] Julia
as shocked as we were with the impact of covid-19. And they weren’t really interested in talking about engagement. They were just trying to transition to working from home.
[00:26:53] Julia
So it brought us some really good time for us to kind of, I guess, do a lot of r&d on our
[00:26:58] Julia
side of things, work out what works, what doesn’t work, what
[00:27:01] Julia
programs, what programs are not so great. And it was definitely a tough
[00:27:05] Julia
period because
[00:27:06] Julia
when we were producing these episodes as much as I
[00:27:09] Julia
could see that it’s a great concept and I can definitely sell it back out if you like. At the same time, we were all just taking risk and just going I hope that this is paying offeventually.
[00:27:22] Julia
And thankfully it did. So. Yeah. So it’s a combination of
[00:27:28] Julia
a bit of strategy and a bit of fingers crossed. I hope this works.
[00:27:31] Josh
Yeah, for sure. Interrupting this week’s episode to let you know about the new initiative report for people to join us in supporting inspirational Australians just like the people we chat to on this very podcast. How does it work well for any fifty dollars a year? Now that’s 14 cents a Day, can you believe you can get involved and become an awards member? And 100 percent of those proceeds will go towards prize grants for our winners. It gives people a chance to directly contribute to the community champions that we celebrate through the community achievement awards and the young achiever awards programs. As a member, you get first access to notifications about the awards. Plus we give you some shout outs to social media in our quarterly newsletter and on this podcast which brings me to this week’s new members to incredible tasmanians. Firstly, just like to shout out Madeleine Wells who’s actually been the past finalist in the Tasmanian young achiever awards
[00:28:30] Josh
most recently in the first national
[00:28:33] Josh
real estate leadership award. So thank you, Madeleine and also thank you to Ayman Geoffrey who was actually a winner in the 2021 Tasmanian community achievement awards in the head. And Christopher Chong outstanding achiever award
[00:28:47] Josh
to inspirational Australians right there.
[00:28:50] Josh
And you can also support the people that we celebrate through this
[00:28:54] Josh
podcast and through our awards are becoming an awards member
[00:28:58] Josh
at tomorrow’s Australia dot com slash up to find out all the details of it. Now back to the episode.
[00:29:05] Josh
Well, you know, now that we’re about, we are moving forward and it’s high vaccination rates and all that, it seems like lockdown’s will be much less likely. You know, I’m asking because you’ve got a very quick thinking innovative approach to business. Do you have any tips for other business owners out there on how they can approach 2020 to whether it’s they’ve got staff wanting to work from home in the office, they wanting to work on your new ideas? What do you think should be some of the focus of your head? Yeah,
[00:29:38] Julia
that’s a brilliant one. I would say, I mean, just around the I guess your first point about
[00:29:43] Julia
staffing. I think for me it comes back to culture
[00:29:47] Julia
and it’s so important to Ensure that we build a great culture, especially as we are
[00:29:53] Julia
coming out of covid-19, like everyone’s
[00:29:55] Julia
had such a tough,
[00:29:58] Julia
hard, two years.
[00:30:00] Julia
And I think even for it’s about maintaining our staff morale, it’s about making sure that our staff is feeling positive that we’re looking after the mental health moving forward. And so
[00:30:11] Julia
building that trust and culture is really, really critical.
[00:30:14] Julia
Anyway, covid-19 or not
[00:30:16] Julia
[00:30:16] Julia
a business
[00:30:18] Julia
being successful,
[00:30:19] Julia
so insane then I think in twenty, twenty
[00:30:21] Julia
two. The notion of and depending on your type of work, of course for us
[00:30:26] Julia
both Victor and I, who is our managing director, we both have a lot of trust in our team and we both acknowledge that it’s really important that we do
[00:30:35] Julia
allow them to work from home have that hybrid work.
[00:30:38] Julia
We know that honestly itworks.
[00:30:41] Julia
We’ve been doing it for two years. There’s no excuses.
[00:30:44] Julia
And we have a lot of faith in them that they’re doing the right thing and they’re doing a great job. So
[00:30:48] Julia
in saying that
[00:30:50] Julia
I need twenty, twenty two is all about flexibility and being able to
[00:30:53] Julia
build on culture, look after your team, maintain your team.
[00:30:57] Julia
And that may be that
[00:30:59] Julia
it is allowing them to work from home more and have more flexibility. But just also showing that you care coming out of covid-19, I think the emotional factor of it is really important. And as a business owner, and even if you’re not a business owner and you’re a manager of a team, it’s a really important skill and aspect in your role that you really need to take on and focus on for next year. As we come out of this,
[00:31:26] Julia
your second question was
[00:31:30] Josh
I guess innovation and utilizing online
[00:31:33] Josh
engagement to, I guess built to build the business and grow into it. Yeah.
[00:31:40] Julia
I mean rounds, I guess,
[00:31:42] Julia
to that part
[00:31:43] Julia
around I think
[00:31:45] Julia
what I’ve learned is that,
[00:31:48] Julia
unlike probably what
[00:31:50] Julia
school in Uni would teach
[00:31:51] Julia
you in terms of the process of innovating and
[00:31:54] Julia
product development and then
[00:31:55] Julia
trialling and then bring it to market.
[00:31:58] Julia
I’m your proof of your proof that you can innovate product development trial and then bring it to market in a really rapid pace. If you truly
[00:32:08] Julia
believe in it. And if you are flexible and that you’ll
[00:32:10] Julia
welcome the feedback
[00:32:13] Julia
and that
[00:32:13] Julia
you can move quick.
[00:32:15] Julia
So I think moving to twenty, twenty two and beyond I’m certainly a lot more open to concepts that the team bring to the table every week when we do team meetings, we always like to make things more efficient. How do we develop things that
[00:32:32] Julia
are not being wedded to certain platforms or certain systems are in place,
[00:32:36] Julia
especially with our line of work where we are using a lot of different I guess
[00:32:42] Julia
technology to make our virtual experiences successful.
[00:32:46] Julia
We’re never saying to the team that this is a system you must use forever. We’re always saying to them, this is a system we’re using
[00:32:53] Julia
currently because we know it works with traugott. But hey,
[00:32:56] Julia
let’s check out the market. What other systems are out there? And let’s bring in our board and trial it so being
[00:33:01] Julia
really open to making changes and just not creating your pathway. I think it’s a really important.
[00:33:08] Josh
Yeah, fantastic. And
[00:33:10] Josh
kind of
[00:33:12] Josh
it’s related to something we’ve talked about already but after we kind of came out of some of these most recent lockdowns at the end of October and November. And you were so busy.
[00:33:20] Josh
Was it a big change of
[00:33:22] Josh
pace having to work at live physical events in person and how did you and your team, I guess, respond to that change of pace?
[00:33:31] Julia
To be honest, I feel like our team’s been on this crazy
[00:33:36] Julia
[00:33:38] Julia
for a little while. It’s been quite easy.
[00:33:41] Julia
We’ve always been producing events virtually
[00:33:44] Julia
sort of at least once a week for the past couple of months. So
[00:33:50] Julia
when we were getting out of lockdown,
[00:33:53] Julia
we knew that
[00:33:54] Julia
a lot of the projects that were postponed, postponed and postponed again, needed to take place. So I think our team was really hungry just as many other people to kind of get out there
[00:34:06] Julia
and see people again and to be able to
[00:34:08] Julia
you know, light, life’s cards out, hand out nametags do all of that. So I think in terms of pace, and I don’t think we even realized that we were just excited to
[00:34:20] Julia
be back whilst
[00:34:22] Julia
we were delivering a lot of in-person experiences. We still had a lot about virtual experiences to look at online, but I got to say one of the things we realized when we got back out into a lot of those in-person events was the fact that
[00:34:35] Julia
we had to deal with other event issues that wasn’t
[00:34:39] Julia
your on mute or
[00:34:40] Julia
refresh your page. It was nice to be like, oh it’s really cold today. We’ve got to deal with the weather. It’s really windy and people are stuck in traffic because they actually have to travel to have it in. Rather than all the issues that we’ve been troubleshooting with out there, like it’s past two years around tech and how to use that computer
[00:35:02] Josh
to think of what’s the equivalent in the in-person events to here on me. And
[00:35:07] Josh
nobody has comment because it’s maybe the microphone is not on, but Yeah,
[00:35:12] Julia
yeah, I feel like it’s
[00:35:16] Julia
not Arantxa probably it’s like,
[00:35:18] Julia
oh I’ve changed my Mind. I’m
[00:35:21] Julia
coming today even though I can tell you and then you’re like, oh OK.
[00:35:26] Josh
I do this
[00:35:27] Josh
and look apologies to anyone out there have been it’s but I do feel like some people may have the
[00:35:32] Josh
about rs3 paying and purchasing tickets and those sort of things we experience that as well.
[00:35:37] Josh
In our first few events back that up. Yeah, people were just looking up and I thought you better squeeze me in this very on the joys of being an event manager you make it happen.
[00:35:48] Julia
Yeah, exactly that.
[00:35:50] Josh
So what have you got for three thousand twenty two, which since we had to say it’s right around the corner,
[00:35:57] Josh
what’s kind of big events we got on
[00:35:59] Josh
the line up and what are you looking forward to from a
[00:36:03] Josh
personal standpoint as well. Personally,
[00:36:06] Julia
I’m looking forward to the holiday,
[00:36:09] Julia
they’re just taking an extra week off in January, which I’m really excited about
[00:36:15] Josh
traveling or staying.
[00:36:17] Julia
Just stay put. I’m looking forward to just cleaning my house, seeing family eating
[00:36:23] Julia
lots and sleeping. The basics.
[00:36:27] Julia
In terms of business wise, we’ve got quite a few exciting projects in the works. We obviously work a lot with
[00:36:35] Julia
universities in the education sector.
[00:36:38] Julia
One of the universities, the University of Melbourne. So lots of exciting awards nights that we’re producing for them. Same with orientation Day
[00:36:47] Julia
exhibitions and so forth. And we’ve got a
[00:36:50] Julia
few exciting, I guess gala dinners and things like that with government as well. We probably ought to talk about it
[00:36:56] Julia
right now, but
[00:36:57] Julia
all really, really excited.
[00:37:00] Josh
Yeah, definitely listening to this and they’re running their event. You would know this better than most people that a lot of people think that they can just run an event that’s out of their normal work scope. What would be,
[00:37:13] Josh
I guess, to keep something like that, or pros and cons. What would be a tip to someone who is trying to do that? And I guess secondly, maybe a little bit actually,
[00:37:22] Josh
but what would be your advice to someone who, who’s thinking I need to get some help with this event?
[00:37:29] Julia
Yeah, great, great one.
[00:37:31] Julia
If you’re trying to run your own event, in-house, and that’s totally understandable. And it’s a great
[00:37:38] Julia
opportunity to do so.
[00:37:40] Julia
I would suggest to actually helping out with that we’ve got some great
[00:37:42] Julia
blogs already in existence, with some great tips around how to plan an event.
[00:37:48] Julia
But I would say just generally is to make the basic things like checklists
[00:37:53] Julia
and work backwards from your end date. So a lot of people always start at the beginning. It’s like, right I’m starting to plan my event today. Day
[00:38:01] Julia
one, I’m going to do this. And a lot of times people forget that an event is an end date and that’s your end goal of a project. So start there and work your way
[00:38:10] Julia
back from it.
[00:38:11] Julia
And without, I guess, pointing out the obvious but have lots of
[00:38:15] Julia
contingencies in place.
[00:38:19] Julia
covid-19 as much as I’ve been saying that all we’re
[00:38:21] Julia
coming out of covid-19, but it’s still pretty much
[00:38:23] Julia
[00:38:24] Julia
in existence and it’s still going to be around us for a long time. So, you know,
[00:38:29] Julia
keep up to date with the Government’s website. Ensure that you do have solid covid plans, risk management plans
[00:38:35] Julia
in place,
[00:38:37] Julia
and just don’t underestimate the risks that you need
[00:38:40] Julia
in order to manage that. I guess it’s safety piece of it. That’s really, really important.
[00:38:46] Julia
Because at the end of the Day, we’re here to bring
[00:38:48] Julia
people together to celebrate to spark conversations that we’re going to do it in a safe environment.
[00:38:54] Julia
Yeah, yeah.
[00:38:55] Josh
I think,
[00:38:56] Josh
yeah, that, that speaks to me as well when I was first starting to run a and learn about the industry. There were so many guidelines and the government rules and also even just at different venues that came across and is quite a lot to try to keep track of. And that to me was one of the
[00:39:14] Josh
advantages of working with someone who knew all those things already.
[00:39:17] Josh
That is just ingrained in their brain, they know all these things that experience behind them is a huge help.
[00:39:24] Julia
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I guess to answer your second
[00:39:27] Julia
question around
[00:39:30] Julia
if they want to,
[00:39:31] Julia
if someone was interested in outsourcing or looking for additional support,
[00:39:37] Julia
I guess the trigger point for a lot of our clients and organizations who are
[00:39:42] Julia
then on the hunt for an event manager or event agency to jump on board
[00:39:47] Julia
is the realization of how much work is involved in planning a seamless event. As we know. There’s a lot of tasks as a lot of nuances and a lot of correspondence. If you’ve got a
[00:39:58] Julia
pretty full on
[00:40:00] Julia
job on a Day to Day basis,
[00:40:03] Julia
running an event can be quite stressful. And this is probably the trigger point for you to consider
[00:40:08] Julia
outsourcing and just know that from, I mean I can’t speak to every event I see out there, but definitely vegetate where
[00:40:14] Julia
pretty much an extension to our clients teams. We work in a collaborative manner. And we come in at any stages of an event process. It’s
[00:40:22] Julia
not necessarily just all into it.
[00:40:25] Julia
We can come in just manage certain portions of an event management process, registration the tech side of things, the event delivery.
[00:40:33] Julia
Or we can come in and do it all but the point is it’s all in the collaboration and that we’re here to work very very closely with all of our clients. So yeah,
[00:40:43] Josh
I think so. Lastly, I just want to say we started back in 2006 at this chat and so I want to finish there as well. You said that you do remember the awards? Not quite well. What was the feeling like when you heard your name? Called out as the winner?
[00:41:01] Julia
[00:41:03] Julia
[00:41:04] Julia
I actually still have the video because my partner recorded
[00:41:09] Julia
me going on.
[00:41:11] Julia
Why would
[00:41:12] Julia
the feeling, honestly, I was actually there with my incredible mentals from San Francisco the charity that I’m in a festival. They actually bought me a ticket to come as well as my partner.
[00:41:25] Julia
I was
[00:41:26] Julia
nervous sitting there and I honestly
[00:41:29] Julia
got to say this, but as Melissa, obviously you’re going to suss out your competition right now. I was reading the program booklet saying who else I was up
[00:41:38] Julia
against and I genuinely thought everyone was so incredible. And it really is, you know, everyone in that
[00:41:44] Julia
room and every year when you guys put on these awards, you do bring in such incredible
[00:41:50] Julia
[00:41:51] Julia
and success stories in the room. And so I genuinely did not. So I was struggling back to my table after my certificates and I got my final certificate and I’ll sit down and
[00:42:04] Julia
everyone on the table was like feeling nervous
[00:42:07] Julia
and they were getting their phones out and everything else like put your phone away.
[00:42:11] Julia
And when my name got called, I think I was just shocked to be honest.
[00:42:14] Julia
I was like, oh my God, what, what did I say before I have to get back up on stage
[00:42:18] Julia
and what do I need to start? So it was just an incredible moment
[00:42:22] Julia
and it was
[00:42:23] Julia
quite emotional because like my mom didn’t come because she is quite shy in these kind of environments. And that’s that moment I really wish that she was there because it’s
[00:42:34] Julia
just, you know, this is all hard work as well.
[00:42:37] Julia
I just felt like it was an incredible feeling to know that you’ve got an external organization.
[00:42:42] Julia
Judges who really believed in what you do.
[00:42:46] Julia
And you really want to recognize your achievement, and I think that feeling
[00:42:50] Julia
is such a kick start to my career With my own. Yes.
[00:42:59] Josh
Fantastic. Well, thanks for
[00:43:00] Josh
taking the time to chat with us today. I really appreciate it. If people want to follow you and find out about the event you run, can you give us those tags or Where’s the best place I can connect with you?
[00:43:12] Julia
Yeah, absolutely. You’re welcome to follow us on LinkedIn or Instagram. So it’s just at jati production
[00:43:20] Julia
management’s. Otherwise you can follow us on our website at project management dot com, or even just drop me an email at Julia actuating management to come
[00:43:30] Josh
play. And
[00:43:31] Josh
if you are interested in events for anyone listening in any way, I do recommend that Instagram page because it’s
[00:43:37] Josh
a lot of great content inspiration and ideas for events too,
[00:43:41] Josh
I think as well. So
[00:43:43] Josh
yeah, thanks once again Julia
[00:43:45] Josh
and look forward to following what’s happening in twenty twenty two single, those big events and get that rest and sleep and food over the break.
[00:43:54] Julia
Thank you so much for having me on board. I’m so excited. You guys are doing a fantastic job with this podcast as well.
[00:44:00] Julia
Thank you.
[00:44:01] Josh
Thanks Julia. One last plug. What was your podcast called? Again,
[00:44:04] Julia
it’s at the collectivists.
[00:44:06] Josh
Yeah, thank you.
[00:44:08] Josh
That’ll be in the other show notes for funny wondering. Well,The
[00:44:13] Julia
things, I
[00:44:15] Josh
hope you enjoyed that interview, if you liked it or any of our other episodes, it would be great if you can write and review the inspirational australian’s podcast. It really helps us out if someone, you know, it’s a little dose of inspiration. Why not let them know about this podcast? And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribed, so that you won’t miss an episode. Join us each week as we talk with ordinary Australians, achieving extraordinary things. You can always head to our website at awards Australia dot com slash podcast for more information and details on each guest. Now before we go, I’d like to thank Annette our producer. Here’s a fun fact, and that is my mum and our other hosts. Geoff is my dad. This podcast
[00:44:58] Josh
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[00:45:00] Josh
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[00:45:20] Josh
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[00:45:22] Josh
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