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Get to know Cliftons Canberra venue manager

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Posted on February 27, 2024

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Melchor Barcelona is a familiar face to many of our Canberra clients, having been part of the Cliftons Canberra team for 17 years.


As our venue manager, Melchor leads the Canberra team, ensuring we have a thorough understanding of the event requirements. On event days, he takes the lead on venue inspection, ensuring all rooms are ready, supplies are fully stocked on everything from sugar to toilet paper, and staff are briefed. Melchor also takes the lead on event day meet and greets, as well as being available to assist clients with any concerns or requests, before, during and after the event.

Man posing for a portrait photo

Introducing Melchor Barcelona

“I love building relationships with clients, vendors and event attendees. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of the job. Having worked at Cliftons since 2007, there’s many clients, facilitators and instructors that we’ve been hosting all that time. A lot of these clients have become friends, and I even see them when I’m interstate,” says Melchor.


Relationships are incredibly important to Melchor and play a key role in how he adds value to our clients, saying, “Whether a client is a short or long-term relationship doesn’t make any difference to me. I put the same effort in and that’s always valued by everyone. We have had some clients where we only worked with them briefly, but the relationship built was strong enough that they remain long-time friends.”

How Melchor makes events remarkable

Being based in Canberra, many of the events Melchor helps clients coordinate are with the Federal Government. These clients appreciate the understanding Melchor brings, including the requirements to frequently keep details and attendees confidential.


“A strong benefit of Cliftons is the deep knowledge we have of clients’ goals, preferences and expectations. I prioritise open communication which helps to ensure a remarkable experience. Through this communication and strong relationships, I’m able to assure clients that the Cliftons team is here to help and can adapt to unforeseen challenges with quick solutions,” says Melchor.


Sometimes, this recognition of client needs means recommending an alternative venue or additional services. As an example, Melchor cited a client that could not be accommodated in-house due to the size of their requirements. “However, we were able to offer our event management solutions and the client was so impressed with our support, We organised and managed a three day off site event with many moving parts and a budget of a quarter of a million dollars."

entry way to venue and breakout space
children posing with toys at a charity drive

Creating the opportunity to give back

As well as doing a stellar job as the Cliftons Canberra venue manager, Melchor has also taken the leadership on a project that forms a key pillar of our corporate social responsibility initiatives. Since 2018, Melchor has coordinated a school supply donation drive, supporting a school in the Philippines.


“This project came about when my wife saw a story from her cousin who is a school teacher back in our home country, the Philippines. Her cousin was sharing a story about donating some old shoes to her students and how grateful they were – some of these children had never had their own shoes before. I knew immediately that we needed to help these kids,” says Melchor.


Melchor knew as the venue manager that there was frequently a surplus of stationery from events, like pens, notepads and marketing materials. He started collecting these and once a box was filled, Melchor would courier the stationery to the Philippines for distribution to the students at Pinucauan Elementary School, where his wife’s cousin teaches. From there the initiative grew to include donations of various school supplies from across the Cliftons network.

Cliftons Charity Initiative

Since November 2020, all Cliftons venues have been involved after Melchor shared the initiative with executive team members at the Cliftons Conference.


“Being from the Philippines, I know how tough life can be back home and the impact these donations can have. Many of these children are so poor that they can’t afford to buy even a pencil. A story was shared with us about how one child was so happy to get just one pencil and said she was going to cut it into three pieces so her two other siblings could also benefit,” explains Melchor.


Melchor and his wife are currently planning a trip to the Philippines and hope to meet with some of the children they have been supporting later this year. We look forward to sending more stationery with them on this trip to distribute in person.

Children attending a charity drive

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