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INTERVIEW WITH GARY SEWELL OF SINTILLATE
A VIP PARTY WHICH HAS POPPED OVER 300,000 BOTTLES OF CHAMPAGNE, F1 STYLE!
SINTILLATE is Europe’s finest nightclub and event management company and was founded in May 1999. The idea is to bring the VIP party experience to more and more people, they want to bring people together as part of a luxury lifestyle. This year they are celebrating their 50th anniversary after having popped over 300,000 bottles of champagne F1 style at their famous spray parties for the past 16 years. We spoke with the founder Gary Sewell about it all and what to expect with SINTILLATE this summer season.
How did you get involved with Event Management in general?
"I had partied around the world during my 12-year modelling career in some amazing venues and built up a large network of friends throughout my travels. It made sense to continue doing something I loved and bring some of that formerly inaccessible party scene to the wider audience."
What made you come up with the idea?
"A good friend of mine had travelled with me, enjoying the international party scene; he had the money but before we met, he hadn’t had the access. At that period in time, fashion models were the celebrities of the day and everyone wanted them at their party; there was no reality TV back then and none of the hype about footballers. I had the connections in the business and friends on the scene to ensure our events were the parties to be at! We also drew from my background and took ‘pap’ style shots of everyone which we posted on our website the next day so that everyone had a chance to feel like a celebrity. It may seem commonplace now, but back in 1999 that had never been done before! We also ensured a certain amount of exclusivity by only inviting people via email which was also a very new thing."
The concept of VIP parties and the Champagne Spray act in particular are catching on elsewhere - how will you keep consistently fresh and new?
"Everything we’ve done has pushed the boundaries of party promotion and changed what people’s expectation of a night out are. When we took SINTILLATE across the UK and beyond we also took with us our expectations on service, on a safe environment, on music policy and more, so that wherever guests joined us they would know what to expect. More than anything, this is what we’ve found replicated. People may create a ‘night’ or a clubbing ‘brand’ but they are all based around this concept we created, we're a lifestyle, not just a night out. It takes a lot of hard work to keep at the forefront of the party scene for 16 years and not everyone is prepared for that when they start up, hence we see so many other promoters come and go. When people are planning a night out or a big celebration, they want to do so with a company they can rely on for a quality night or for a break abroad, and with us they know that they’ll get that. We’re constantly looking for new ways of making that process easier and enriching our guests’ lifestyle experiences."
What goes into the organisation of an event?
"We have a full time team of around 25 people that plan each event, inviting guests and ensuring we get the right mix of like-minded people to attend. We consistently source great venues that we feel offer more of an experience to our guests and then work hard to ensure everything at the party is just right; from the music to the service, the décor to the security, all the things that make such a difference to the overall experience that you might never notice, that’s the beauty of what we do, in making it all seem effortless."
How do you promote the events?
"SINTILLATE was, in essence, one of the first social networking sites, built around the community that attended our parties. As such we have always strongly embraced social networking as it has evolved. However, the best form of promotion is always the word of mouth promotion that we get from our own guests and the experience they’ve had with us at our events."
What relationship do you have with wine merchants that provide the champagne to be sprayed?
"I would like to say a great one since our Champagne Spray Parties are the biggest outlet of Veuve Clicquot in the world but sadly I think the venue owners get those perks."
How will the company be celebrating its 50th Champagne Spray over the course of the summer season?
"I think the most exciting thing that we’re doing to celebrate is relaunching our website this summer and really going back to our original philosophy of SINTILLATE being a lifestyle and therefore providing experiences based upon our recommendations around the nightlife and daytime party scenes. It’s all about ‘accessible exclusivity’, the original concept that has taken us through our first 50 Champagne Spray Parties and indeed all of the 8500 parties we’ve hosted, and into the next."