From the Working Environment to the Playing Ground
The annual football luncheons are the most anticipated events on the Taylors sporting and social calendars as it gives a chance for directors and clients alike to enjoy a well-deserved afternoon away from the regular working environment and in the midst of the great playing ground, the MCG.
This years UDIA and PCA Footy Lunches were well attended by Taylors delegates and esteemed clients, some of whom had not experienced this opportunity before, but were grateful for the fun day out. As Taylors General Manager of Business Development – and devoted St Kilda supporter –, Sarkis Yelandjian explains, “It’s a good social day where everyone is in a great mood”.
The UDIA Footy Luncheon was the first occasion on the calendar this year with key speakers from both the AFL and AFLW discussing topics surrounding equality and work-life balance at great length. “A great afternoon was had at the UDIA Footy Luncheon,” Sarkis recounted. “the table was made up of our long-time clients in TCG, AV Jennings, Satterley, and a more recent client but no less important, In Collaboration.”
“There was healthy discussion at the table both about the current market, day to day pressures of delivery, and speculated consideration about what the market could be in twelve to eighteen months’ time. There is still a fair bit of optimism about the land development market, albeit a bit more relaxed in 2019.”
With an estimated 700 delegates in attendance, and beverages being enjoyed by all, there was further discussion leading from work to play. “There was, in addition to industry banter, some off-field combat between various footy teams with the table represented by Richmond – our very own Nick Hooper -, die hard Melbourne supporters, Hawthorn, and some not so successful followers in St Kilda supporters.”
As the afternoon progressed, guest speakers were introduced to discuss topics of substance. Nick Riewoldt, of St Kilda fame, gave a great insight into life after football and some of both the physical challenges and, more importantly, social impacts of life after football and how he has transitioned to a ‘post footy’ career, his exposure to the media, and his involvement in charity.
The second speaker represented the women’s football league (AFLW) and gave an insight into the inaugural year of the women’s league and the challenges of working and playing football. She described the challenges of having to balance a career as well as play football, ‘because of both the money not being equivalent and the fact the season is so short.’
“Quite a bit of a sacrifice was required to pioneer and get the women’s league off the ground.” Sarkis explained. “They were very different challenges to those faced by Nick Riewoldt who made a career and got security out of playing football because it was financially viable, whereas the women are doing it tough. Potentially post football you’re not financially well off and you still need to have a career.”
The second football luncheon, hosted by the Property Council of Australia (PCA), was described as “one of the best events in the calendar” by Taylors General Manager of Urban Development Planning and Design – and keen Richmond supporter –, Nick Hooper.
Held at the Crown Palladium, over 1500 members of the property industry came together to celebrate the end of the football season as the countdown continued towards the Grand Final. Taylors hosted a table at this sold out event which gave General Manager Engineering and Project Management, John Yalden, Nick Hooper and Design Manager, Andrew Matheson, a chance to spend some quality time with a group of esteemed clients in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Well known football identities Shane Crawford, Ben Brown (of North Melbourne fame) and Lily Mithen (of the Melbourne AFLW) shared stories with the Master of Ceremonies Tiffany Cherry right in the middle of the cavernous Palladium. The afternoon was enjoyed by clients from Stockland, New Sky, Country Garden, V-Leader and Gorway Projects. “The massive crowd is a great indicator of how popular and enjoyable the afternoon is”, said Taylors Nick Hooper, “It is a wonderful time of year and gives the Taylors team and our clients a chance to discuss work matters and the footy in a relaxed atmosphere, furthering the relationships that are so important to us”.
Of course, these social events are a great opportunity for networking, additionally however, they can be considered a day of recognition for strong business relationships and a chance to stop and take a breath in an otherwise constant environment. “Getting together at the football luncheons in a very busy year is a great opportunity to have some banter and feel the clients’ affection for Taylors or otherwise.” Sarkis commented. “It’s a good social day where everyone is in a great mood, but we get to talk to our client on a closer basis where on a regular day to day schedule you just don’t get that opportunity. So, you can tell in that social environment whether things are travelling well or not. It’s sometimes a challenge getting there as we are all so busy, but once we get there, it’s good to be there. Personally, I find the challenge is getting to those events, but once you get there, the benefit is you get a good feel for the client and understand if they’re happy or otherwise; it’s also a reward and a thank you to the client for their involvement over the last year.”
First time attendee, Senior Planner, Stephen Lake, reflected on the importance of these experiences with clients. “It was an excellent opportunity to build on relationships away from the day-to-day project ‘rock face’. Importantly, it gives a ‘human face’ to the tasks and challenges at hand which benefits both Taylors and our clients.”
“The topic isn’t about the profession, it’s about footy, and it’s a great icebreaker. You also get an understanding of other consultants and developers that you bump into around the table, so it’s often a good opportunity to cite someone and plan for the next few months.”