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T +64 9 300 9595


29 Galway Street, Britomart

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IMG_6160_jpg | The Hotel Britomart
IMG_6160_jpg | The Hotel Britomart
IMG_6160_jpg | The Hotel Britomart

Tayla Mitchell

As manager of the events sales team at The Hotel Britomart, Tayla Mitchell is always aiming to create a memorable experience for clients, and to find new ways to make the most of the hotel’s series of different event spaces, from The Libraries and The Courtyard to kingi Private and new space The Kronfeld Room.

MELINDA WILLIAMS Tayla, how long have you been working on the events team at The Hotel Britomart?

TAYLA MITCHELL I joined quite recently, in June 2023. So I think I've just cracked the eight-month mark. It's been a bit of a whirlwind, exciting. We've got a relatively new team, which we're quite grateful for as they are so engaged and passionate. I feel like I've just sort of slotted in, a piece of the furniture now.

Could you give us an idea of what your role involves day to day or week to week?

I would say the role itself is quite broad, but in summary, I'm responsible for the event sales performance, and that can vary from event inquiry, client management, event coordination, and also supporting the two event coordinators who manage the bulk of the enquiries on a day-to-day basis, as well as the behind the scenes in terms of more forward focus plans, promotions we want to introduce, budgets, forecasts, all the fun stuff. But yeah, it's an opportunity to be office-based with more of the behind the scenes planning, but also involved in the day-to-day and actually meeting and engaging with those clients as well. So it's quite dynamic in that sense.

What sort of events do you host here at the hotel?

It ranges, which is great because it means there is never a dull moment. I would say most commonly it would be day-to-day meetings and conferences, but it can be as broad as weddings and elopements, product launches, networking events and everything in between, so you get a really good idea of what it’s like to interact with people from all different backgrounds and event requirements. It's rewarding being involved in the process from start to finish.

How did you come to be involved in the events industry?

My introduction to events was at a wedding venue that was based in Kumeu. That would've been in 2016, 2017. The role was predominantly weddings, and I was involved in the initial site visit and event coordination and was hands-on helping execute the event on the day. So that really gave me quite a broad overview of how an event can run successfully from start to finish and how crucial each piece of the puzzle is. I've always had a love for people and organising, so I suppose this industry allows me to mesh the two together. And then I suppose I just wanted to grow beyond weddings and get a broader perspective of events in general, so I thought the hotel industry would be the way to go.

What was it that appealed to you particularly about working at The Hotel Britomart?

Initially the design, the overall aesthetic. I love event design and event styling, so that was definitely my initial attraction to the hotel. Just the way they restored a heritage building and maintained the culture, the story behind it and then all the added in modern elements and unique design pieces. From an events perspective, I was really drawn to the idea that the approach was quite bespoke… so, having the opportunity and the freedom to go above and beyond for the client, as opposed to being confined to the generic copy-paste approach, which can be seen in the industry at times. I liked being able to be a bit more fluid and having the support from the wider team in order to achieve that.

What do you find are the keys to hosting a really successful event?

Having a genuine understanding of the client and what they need. You have to listen. And just having that relationship beyond being corporate, I suppose. I think if you're actually building a foundation of trust and friendship with each client, then that can also be key to the event being successful, because you have a really good understanding of what it is they need. From an internal perspective, having a really close relationship with the operations team as well, and making sure that everything’s communicated across the board, so what we're promising to the client will be delivered on the day.

For The Hotel Britomart, sustainability is obviously a core part of the offering. Is that something you find particularly draws clients to holding events here?

There are definitely quite a few who are drawn to the hotel and events here for that reason, having a five Green Star rating. But I suppose from an events perspective, maybe just talking to a few of the key features within the hotel. How we source the food is obviously sustainable, so highlighting that during the initial enquiry process as well. We also have a tree planting scheme where for every 10 people who attend an event or meeting here, we will plant a tree up at our sister property in the Bay of Islands. I think from the client's perspective, it's great to know what we are doing as a hotel, but it makes them feel like they're actively contributing to that and they're a bit more involved. So I would say that's quite key.

Do you find that guests respond really positively to the hotel’s sustainability initiatives?

Yeah, absolutely. I think it's an opportunity for education as well. Although New Zealand is said to be quite a clean, green country, and I've been born and raised here, I've had somewhat of an understanding of sustainability but no in-depth knowledge. So being here for the time that I have and being able to share that knowledge with everyone that walks in the door every day, I think, is received quite positively. Lots of wows, and that's awesome. And yeah, right down to the small day-to-day operations as well, not just how the building was constructed, but what we are continuously doing in and about the hotel every day.

In the time you’ve been at the hotel, have there been any events that have really stood out for you as special?

There's obviously something really special about weddings and elopements, because you get to really know the couple and their relationship, and it's much more of an emotional event. We did have a larger showcase here that ran for a two-week period and took exclusive hire of all of our event spaces at The Libraries. It was really neat to see how they personalised the space. We've got a beautiful venue, but no two events are the same, so it was really amazing to see how they utilised some of the display shelving for their products, and how they transformed it in their own way. That event was definitely a standout.

Do you have any particular goals for the upcoming year that you’re working towards with the events team?

We have recently expanded our offering to include an offsite event venue called The Kronfeld Room, in the nearby heritage Hayman Kronfeld Building. We're super-excited about that space, because although we have beautiful venues here within the hotel, that will give us a lot more range in terms of event capacity. We’ll be able to host events of up to 300 people in cocktail style. I think that'll be a really new and exciting challenge for the team, to work with a new venue, get a taste of those larger events and how we can operate them successfully and see how we can make it a really attractive and exciting space to use. In terms of a large overall goal, I know The Hotel Britomart was awarded New Zealand's Best Hotel by TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards in May last year. I sadly can't take any responsibility for that because that was before my time. I think if we were to be awarded that again this year, to know that I played a little tiny part in that achievement would be pretty amazing.

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