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A last minute decision to attend the ‘race that stops a nation’ reminded me why gossip magazines sell so well and how gen-y is absorbed with the idea of celebrity, so much more than I remember my generation ever being.

Melbourne Cup is recognised as one of the top racing carnivals in the world. It’s well branded and attracts every celebrity and their hanger-on in abundance.

Typically, I am not a gambler and putting a bet on a horse is to me, an uneducated gamble that usually ends in me donating my hard earned cash to Tabcorp. So, it is with great trepidation that I chose to put money on a horse, but in the spirit of Melbourne Cup and so that I am not the odd one out, I put a few dollars on a couple of horses that didn’t win.

I asked a good friend of mine (Mad Punter!) who to tip and generally speaking, he is pretty good. Not on this particular day to my dismay. I bet of horse 20, 1, 3, and 4. I never knew their names – just their numbers, but like everyone else who joined me in the Lavazza marquee in the Birdcage on Melbourne Cup Day, I jumped up and down as the horses raced and for a second thought one of my horses may come in.

Unfortunately, it didn’t, so I had to console myself with champagne courtesy of Lavazza and a boogie or two on the dance floor.

Lavazza has long been known as the place to be during the Spring Racing Carnival. It is full of celebrities and who’s who of society, in which the owner, the Valmorbida’s are very acquainted with.

The food, the champagne and the entertainment is second to none. There is no more prized invitation than this high profile Lavazza branded marquee – and I have to say, I was very pleased about being there, out of the weather and enjoying a few good tunes.

Michael Klim and his lovely wife Lindy were there. As were Good Charlotte and a few Idols. A carefully sectioned off area gave the celebrities some reprieve from the hordes of people wanting a photograph or a signed autograph. Yes, even celebrities were asking other celebrities of their photo to my astonishment.

Lindy then showed off her DJ skills and belted out some tunes that had the entire marquee on the dance floor going off. John Valmorbida then put on a few old tunes that he was obviously partial to with 60’s music not causing too much of a stir but in fact keeping the invited guests very entertained and producing some very high pitched vocals.

Other than the inconvenience of not being able to go to the restrooms without having to wait in line, I have to say Melbourne Cup was thoroughly enjoyable. And yes, I will now go out and buy George Clooney’s Coffee machine from Lavazza. Not only was their hospitality exceptional, my brand association with this company acknowledges that they are very hip and happening – and definately a brand that I want to be associated with.

As for the celebrities, I am not one to care about what job one person has over another, so it doesn’t really affect me but I have to say, I can’t believe how many people where falling over themselves to get to Good Charlotte. What is that about? I know they sing a few good songs, but please, embarrassing yourselves and interrupting people from their conversations for a photograph or autograph is bad manners. Have these people not learnt how to be polite?

Maybe I just don’t understand celebrity but typically, the people in question were gen-y, and they had no qualms about elbowing people out of the road for a photo of someone they got to stand next to for only a few seconds.

Melbourne Cup did stop a nation but Lavazza ensured it rocked on!

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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