Julien Berthillon is an expert in hotel events! He’s been organizing special events ever since he graduated from Vatel in 2005 - 10 years of sumptuous receptions.
Julien, who has been working since September, 2014 as the Dubai Radisson Blu Media City Receptions, Banquets and Seminar Manager, tells us his seven thoughts that have guided his career and contributed to its success.
1- Balance several tasks while keeping a smile on my face!
We all work to meet challenges, sometimes for events that are last minute reservations, on several projects at the same time and in difficult working conditions. Your smile packs a powerful punch, and it’s your best friend because it conveys warmth and confidence to your customers as well as your team members.
2- Your associates are your most valuable asset!
In the hospitality industry, thousands of families of colleagues are all working together with the same goal. When you work in this field, you have to excel in human resources management. All the men and women that make up our team members are a valuable asset and resources that we have to retain and develop. Strength lies in numbers!
3- Be Dynamic!
For me, this means several things. In particular,
- wanting to keep moving
- the capacity of being mobile
- the ability of making quick decisions
- the propensity of adapting to changes.
Knowing how to be dynamic and energetic is a quality that people appreciate and it’s often rewarded. When you’ve got a dynamic attitude, you’ve also a got positive way of behaving, and that will circle back to bring you more positive results.
4- Cross-train and try different hotel departments!
I always think of Vatel’s educational concept, which allowed me to try out all the different departments in hotel management during our practical application weeks that we did in the school’s application structures. Likewise, I regularly invite my team members to see how other hotel departments are run and what goes on there, for a day. They play the role of a team member and it’s always really appreciated. This 360° vision opens all the doors in the hospitality industry, anywhere in the world.
5-Be innovative and show initiative
Believe in your ideas and defend them. The next idea that would allow your hotel to jump ahead of the competition could be yours. Don’t be afraid to propose it, and talk about the future to introduce a new momentum to your job and career. Your customers are the ones who’ll appreciate it the most!
6-Learn the different cultures and revenue centers in your place of work
When you’re open to others and to your environment, that allows you to enrich yourself, both professionally and personally. That’s what I do every day, because I’m lucky to live in a very cosmopolitan city. Dubai is a true paradise for a person who is ready and willing to experience other cultures and other strategies of financial management. When you follow this rule, you’ll learn how to increase the profitability of your hotel, and earn more money, at the same time.
7-Turn a Problem into an Opportunity to Improve
I’ve always been fond of this quote ‘There are no problems, just solutions.’ And I’d go even farther by saying that each time you’ve got a problem, you’ve got yourself an opportunity to improve!”
What Julien has done since he left Vatel
“As soon as I graduated, I went to Dubai to supervise one of the restaurants in the Royal Mirage Hotel, an institution here. After that, to gain more experience and skills in organizing large banquets, I took advantage of an opportunity in Monte Carlo. I started working for the Events Cluster in the luxurious Societe des Bains de Mer as soon as it opened.
- The Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, 334 rooms, 8 conference rooms, 3 different restaurants;
- The Monte Carlo Beach Hotel, 40 room, 3 restaurants and the Main Ballroom of Monaco, “Salle des Etoiles,” one of the largest venues in Europe with a capacity of serving 1,000 meals. These three places were my playing grounds.
A fabulous and enriching experience, where I was in charge of organizing sumptuous events for large international groups or for royalty: weddings, or annual events like Le Bal de la Rose, etc.
After that I worked with Starwood and Le Meridien to expand my skill set in sales strategies. For three years I was the Senior Group Sales & Catering Executive, a job where the Sales, Catering and Special Events departments all worked together and I managed the French, Swiss and Benelux markets for the Le Meridien Beach Plaza Monte Carlo. I received three awards and distinctions from the Hotel Group during this time.
In September 2014, I came back to Dubai to manage the Special Events Department for the Radisson Blu Media City Hotel in Dubai. Each step of a career, in my opinion, is made up of challenges to be met.
The United Arabian Emirates are a federation of seven Emirates on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. At an intersection where the East meets the West, they all have international hotel chains which roll out projects that are always more luxurious and more creative, to give their guests an exceptional experience. Most of the employees and managers here are ex-pats. With all the hotels that are being planned to open in the upcoming years, there are a host of possibilities to expand your career in just a few years and to gain experience in a highly competitive field. Vateliens, you’ve got all sorts of interesting opportunities here!