Managing Director at Monaco Star Events and US Star Events, mister Shane Heminway, gives us his busy Monaco GP schedule.
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The Monaco Grand Prix is our biggest race of the year and we spend most of the year in Monaco preparing for this very weekend. With over a thousand clients in town for the week, it’s certainly a logistical puzzle that has to be pieced together and well thought through. Fortunately, I have an amazing team and we have over 15 years of experience in working in Monaco for the Grand Prix, so at this stage, the weekend is a real pleasure that we look forward to each year.
Teams start showing up already the weekend before the race to set up their motorhomes and hospitality inside the Paddock, which we get an upfront view of as our offices are above the famous Stars’N’Bars restaurant, which gives up the terrace each year for the Formula 1 Paddock. About this time we start setting up our own rooftop and terrace hospitality options, the yachts we are in partnership with normally pull into the harbour the Tuesday or Wednesday before the race weekend and they have to be stocked up and prepared before Thursday ideally, as access becomes challenging to say the least from Thursday when Formula 1 practice sessions and support races start.
As much as I love the Monaco Grand Prix, a great sense of relief sets in on Monday when all our clients make their way back to the real world and our city streets are restored back to normal.
Clients normally start to show up on Wednesday and Thursday since most hotels impose a four-night stay and Formula 1 practice already starts on Thursday in Monaco. This is when the controlled chaos begins, the first stage being to get all clients happily checked into their hotel rooms, vacation rental villa/apartments, yacht cabins, etc. Many of these clients lean on us to provide them with VIP access to all the top parties, clubs and exclusive events over the weekend. Surely, this is a huge part of what makes Monaco so special and unique. From private yacht parties with celebrities, top DJs and live music to famous nightclubs like Jimmy’z and Amber Lounge, we provide a one-stop-shop for VIP access to these unique events. Most of our race hospitality starts on Saturday, so Friday we have to have everything 100% ready to go – Friday is a very, very long day.
Then the fun starts, we greet smiling guests as they arrive at our numerous hospitality venues. It’s exactly what makes all the hard work worthwhile. We offer around 25 different hospitality options per year, located in various parts of the town, so from Saturday to Sunday I am running from venue to venue to shake hands and make sure everyone is having a great time. With so much experience in Monaco, we know where mistakes can happen and thankfully we have the solutions ready to resolve any kind of challenge.
The Monaco Grand Prix is the best time of the year to network and builds new relationships, so time is always made to set up meetings with prospects, existing clients and to show up at the key events throughout the week. Since the last few years, we have been getting involved in sponsorship opportunities as well to pair brands with commercial property rights that can maximize their visibility in an event that rivals just about any other in terms of attendance of a high net worth audience and massive television exposure.
As much as I love the Monaco Grand Prix, a great sense of relief sets in on Monday when all our clients make their way back to the real world and our city streets are restored back to normal. The relief is short-lived though as we have lots of loose ends to clean up and preparation for the following year starts right away.
The job has its perks though, some years I end up doing cool stuff like driving World Champion Lewis Hamilton around COTA in the driver’s parade before the race in a ‘50s Corvette (see photo at the top).