First Class Events in Noosa!

Image source: Photographer Dave Gleeson

In the words of Melinda Gannan from First Class Functions, “it takes a village to create a village”. Melinda and her team recently turned Noosa Woods into a world-class venue thanks to a cumulative effort from the local business community, as Jolene Ogle discovers.

If you went down to the Woods on 30 July you may have seen the wide-open space being transformed into a luxe tipi event.

Later that night, 250 guests would be treated to delicious food served alongside live music under the canopy of Australia’slargest ever tipi construction, but what you may not know is that an event of this scale takes over a year to plan! What is even more astounding is that less than 12 hours after the event, you would never even know it was there.

Twelve months ago, Melinda and her team started work on creating the largest tipi event ever seen in Australia. They wanted to create a space reminiscent of a luxurious tropical escape for the250 lucky attendees. Throughout the planning process, First Class Functions worked with a plethora of local business from the Sofitelwho provided accommodation, to transport providers who ferried everyone between Noosa and the airport.

The effects of the planning process were far-reaching ensuring to engage mostly local suppliers and producers. This local focus was paired with an eco-friendly ethos that saw environmentally-safe ensuite bathrooms and a comprehensive waste system chosen to reduce the impact of the event on the pristine environment where it was held.

On the night, more than 20 local waitstaff were employed, along with two floor supervisors, three runners and even someone with the sole job of monitoring the generator. There were countless local suppliers who came and went throughout the day of set-up, making deliveries and drop-offs while eight chefs worked tirelessly in the pop-up kitchen to feed 250 people a delicious alternate drop menu.

When the guests arrived, they were treated to crisp brews from the team at Heads of Noosa. Co-owner Craig Mastertonsaid the national exposure was an excellent opportunity to showcase their beers to the wider-Australian beer-loving community.

“It was fantastic to be given a look-in at such an event that gets our beer in front of new people,” he says.“We poured the Japanese Lager and the Bock and the feedback was that the beer was ‘bang-on’, which we’re hearing a lot!”

Noosa Council recently adopted its new events policy that focuses on ensuring the perfect balance between private and public use of popular local spaces, including Noosa Woods. Melinda says she appreciates it’s tough to find the balance and understands every major event run by First Class Functions is a privilege.

To ensure their events meet the new guidelines, Melinda and her team only host major events in the off-season. This serves two purposes: reducing any disruption to locals and bringing in the tourism dollars for businesses throughout what is traditionally a slower period for accommodation and hospitality businesses. As Melinda explains, large-scale events like this are a great opportunity for the local region.

“An event of this scale provides opportunity and income for local providers, suppliers and producers across the board. There are so many upsides and, the great news is, we have such a minimal impact on the space we use,” she says.

After guests had dined and danced the night away, the team at First ClassFunctions began to pack down the luxurious tipi creation. By the next morning, Noosa Woods was once again a wide-open space with locals returning to walk their dogs, take a dip in the water or simply soak up the sunshine.

“We always want to leave a space in better condition than when we arrived,” Melinda says. “At Noosa Woods, we made sure every scrap of waste was collected and disposed of properly thanks to the team at Party Bins. Tipi Luxe ensured no holes were left from the construction of the tipis and we walked every fork, knife, spoon and piece of furniture back out of the site.”

So, if you go down to the woods today, you will never know that just a few weeks ago it played host to Australia’s largest tipi event with six luxurious tipis, 250 guests and a night of dining and dancing. Now that’s what we call eco-tourism.

About the Author /

Jolene has worked in the local media industry for more than five years. She is now a small business owner, mother to one sassy toddler and a newborn baby and loves to share stories about Noosa from its glorious food scene to the inspiring people.

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