Ever get to this time of year and think what do I need to do to look like I know what I am talking about when it comes to the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival? There is such a corporate expectation on business people to know what’s going on and how to facilitate employee and client expectations. The answer is easy, preparation.

Prepare early, create a plan and stick to it. Familiarise yourself with terms like weight for age and handicap, W S Cox Plate, colts and geldings, fillies and mares, Melbourne Cup, quinella and trifecta…….aargh!

From a business perspective it is the perfect time to impress your employees and clients. Involve them in a sweepstakes, buy and give them a live trifecta ticket (careful of any FBT implications if they win a fortune). Take them to a venue on race day, it is perfect for all those clients and employees who have been loyal to you over the years or even better for that potential new client, a day at a racing function might just sway business your way. But the most important thing is to know what you’re talking about and know what the protocol is this time of year.

Here is an extensive check list to help you out:

  • Know when the three big races are on i.e. The Cox Plate, The Caulfield Cup and of course the Melbourne Cup
  • If you are intending to attend any of the race meetings know where they are on. Many a time a frustrated racegoer has turned up at Flemington only to find out the races are on at Caulfield
  • Allow plenty of time to get to and from the venue as racing and sporting venues at this time of year are going off
  • If travelling interstate book your travel arrangements early: flight–tick, accommodation –tick, rental car–tick. Remember, service providers will sell out.
  • Organize your office sweepstakes or put someone in charge who knows how to run a sweep. This is an important part of the obsession with the Spring Carnival, it unites workplaces and brings work teams together
  • If your employees want to have a bet other than a sweep, make sure you know where the nearest TAB is
  • At least have some nibbles on hand for when the race starts. No nibbles and your care factor is seen as zero
  • Where and how are your staff going to watch the race? This is one of the most important aspects of the day. No visual of the race and you can bet that your employees will be Googling SEEK.com quicker than the horses they did not see race due to your oversight.

So, if you get some of it right you can bet that employees and clients will be impressed. If you get it all wrong then there is always next year. What are the odds???