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Posted on 6 June, 2018 in Stories

Meet Jess – Head of Events

By Binns Rebecca

 

If you are booking or enquiring about an event at Mingara Events Centre then you have most likely spoken to, met with or emailed Jess Rokobaro. As the Head of Events at Mingara Recreation Club, Jess is responsible for the day to day running of the events department, handling enquiries and booking functions and works with our clients to ensure that their expectations for their event with us, are exceeded. You will probably spend a fair bit of time with Jess and her team so we thought you might like to meet her!

picture of Jess at Mingara

What has surprised you most about working at Mingara and Mingara Events Centre?

I’m not from the Central Coast originally and when I started at Mingara I was blown away by the positivity surrounding the Club and all of the amazing community work that Mingara supports through the ClubGrants program. Mingara really is a Club for the people. So much of what we do is outside the Club in the community and I love that to some small extent the Mingara Events Centre plays a part in helping people in the community. You can check me and some other Mingara staff as we volunteered to fill Christmas Hampers with House of Praise for local people in the community doing it tough.

Tell us about your favourite event to have been a part of?

I am not sure I can name just one favourite. For very different reasons, I’d say the Country Womens’ Association of NSW Annual Conference in May 2017 and Icehouse live in The Show Room in 2018, would be right up there as my top 2 events to have worked on.

The CWA event was huge for the Club with over 600 people on site every day for five days just for the event. We had a huge conference component, an Expo component and then finished the week with a gala dinner for 400 people.

Check out this awesome time lapse video of how we changed from theatre style to banquet dinner in just a few short hours below.

 

Read all about the CWA event here.

Icehouse was on 23rd March 2018 and I loved it! We had over 900 tickets sold and it was so great to see so many people loving the entertainment and the Club was buzzing.

I loved these two events for very different reasons but they both showcased just how versatile our Event Centre is and how we can cater to such different event types.

What do you wish other people knew about Mingara?

Following on from my earlier response I would say the versatility of our Event Centre would be something I am very proud of and would like everyone to know! We can cater for smaller meetings right up to the CWA and Icehouse events I’ve mentioned above. We have a lot of experience with tailoring the Event Centre to a client’s needs.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

That I love ‘old’ music! Neil Diamond, Cat Stevens and The Eagles are just some of my all-time favourites. I think I was born in the wrong era…

What are exciting things happening in events these days?

In our Event Department, we are always on the lookout for new and exciting elements to incorporate into our offering and an example of this is our themed tea and coffee breaks. We, of course, offer the standard bakery items that everyone loves but (following on from the emergence of Instagram #foodie #photos) we are now offering themed tea and coffee breaks that look and taste amazing! You can read more about our tea and coffee break options here.

Favourite drink?

I’m a massive Coke Zero drinker and I love a good hot chocolate from The Roasted Berry.

As an events person, what sorts of trends do you see?

In recent years social media has played such a big role in marketing and promoting events. It is such a cost effective way to reach your target audience and has enabled word of mouth to spread much faster and more efficiently than ever. At Mingara we have embraced social media and often link to client’s events as another promotional tool and another way we can support our clients. Visit the Mingara Recreation Clubs Facebook page here.

Some common errors people make when booking events.

I’d have to say their set up requirements and what would work best for their event type. We of course help along the way and there are some tips we’ve put together here just to provide a bit more information on the set up types.

How would someone describe you?

Umm maybe a bit of a control freak! I think this comes from 20 years in the events industry and being focused on operational elements, schedules and meeting expectations of clients and guests. It serves me well in this environment but my husband may not agree!

What do you do when you aren’t working?

I’m a mum to three young girls so between work and looking after the family there isn’t a lot of time left! I do love a good Netflix series though.

Top 3 speakers you would love to hear from?

  1. Li Cunxin is the man behind Mao’s Last Dancer and I was lucky enough to hear him speak once before and he was incredible. I could listen to his life story for hours – a true example of how hard work and perseverance pays off.
  2. John Cleese, I grew up watching Fawlty Towers and I think he is one of the funniest people! He would have some amazing (and I’m sure very funny) stories to tell.
  3. Sue Max (General Manager of Event Operations at ANZ Stadium), I had the pleasure of working with Sue years ago at ANZ Stadium and she was instrumental in setting up the Stadium for its opening ahead of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. She is a wealth of event management advice and experience and is so supportive of those around her. She would be a great industry speaker and is a true leader in our field.

Now that you know a little more about Jess she would probably like to know a little bit more about you! Why not enquire with the Mingara Events Centre today? Contact Jess on 43497799 or enquire online here.

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