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In conversation with Conference & Events Planning Manager – Simone Taube

This week, we sat down with Conference & Events Planning Manager, Simone Taube, to discuss her new role at CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park in celebration of International Women’s Day 2021.

Recently returning from maternity leave, Simone tells us what it’s like navigating life as a new parent in a new role, the positive influence of female role models in industry and what excites her most about the future of events.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Simone Taube, the Conference & Events Planning Manager at CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park. Although I’ve recently returned from maternity leave into a new role, I’m actually about to celebrate nine exciting years with Melbourne & Olympic Parks!

Nine years! Over that time, you must have seen exciting changes. Can you tell us a bit about your journey at the precinct and how you have seen events evolve?

I joined the Melbourne and Olympic Parks precinct in 2012 in a Corporate Account Management role at Rod Laver Arena. I had the privilege of working with our Corporate Hospitality and Premier Experience clients, providing them with some of the most unique entertainment opportunities and money can’t buy experiences.

In 2014 I was given the opportunity to move into our Premier Events team in the role of Sales Executive, Functions & Events; in the 5 years that followed I learnt new skills and embed myself in the business events industry, whilst gaining a deeper understanding of the importance of client relationships.

2020 saw huge and exciting changes for me – I became a mum! When returning from maternity leave, I decided to follow my passion of event management and accepted a role as Conference & Events Planning Manager for our marvelous new venue, CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park.

Throughout my journey at M&OP, the scale of business events in Melbourne has expanded exponentially. Clients are excited by more boutique experiences for their attendees which allows us to really showcase our creative side and harness new and amazing offerings – I cannot wait to explore this at Melbourne’s newest venue.

You have recently returned from maternity leave and have also transitioned into a new role. How does it feel navigating a new role in the events industry as a new parent?

I’ve learnt a great deal since returning to work as a new parent. Juggling a new role remotely and caring for a 13-month-old isn’t easy! However, it has allowed me to reassess how I can best deliver events for my clients and our team and still maintain a healthy work life balance.

Having spent most of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternity leave, I am still navigating the remote working model, particularly the lack of face-to-face connection that is so important to the business events industry. As an energetic person who has worked in the industry for the closer part of a decade, I miss being surrounded by people and being immersed in the atmosphere of our venues – but this is slowly changing, and the future of Melbourne events is looking bright.

Tell us a bit about your new role at CENTREPIECE.

I am so excited to be working with existing clients and create new relationships at what is sure to be the city’s most magnetic event space. My team and I work closely with our clients from the inception of an idea to bringing their event to fruition, delivering vibrant and innovative experiences along the way. Everything from managing event logistics and suppliers, to designing beautiful menus – impossible does not exist when creating an event at CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park.

The management team at CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park are made up of some Melbourne’s most successful female professionals. How does it feel being surrounded by a strong team of female leaders?

Uplifting and empowering. It starts with our amazing General Manager, Lara. She is a leader, a mentor, and a friend who provides the team with constant support that enables us to unlock our full potential.

We have such powerful yet approachable female leaders who take the time to ensure all team members feel supported to succeed. I feel extremely privileged to be part of a team that is constantly in your corner, cheering from the sidelines.

What inspires you as a woman in in the events industry?

You do not have to look far to feel inspired as a female in the events industry. Women grace some of the leading bodies and organisations in the business. The constant wisdom and advice that is shared within the events sector, and the strong female leaders that adorn our industry from CEO’s, to Directors or Chairperson roles is extremely motivating. This industry provides fantastic opportunities for mentorship and connection with other likeminded women, and I feel very fortunate to have such a wealth of knowledge and support at my fingertips.

What advice you would give women starting out in the events industry?

My advice to women starting in industry is to take any and every opportunity that comes your way. Engage with experts in the field and equip yourself with as much knowledge possible – experience and camaraderie will get you far in this business.

What are you most excited about for the future of the events industry?

I feel incredibly proud of our industry and the way it has diversified during the pandemic. While it was devastating to see the impact of COVID-19 in the events sector, I don’t think any other industry could bounce back with quite the same tenacity, excitement and determination – to think that we are on the verge of opening CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park in a matter of months, is nothing but inspirational. Bring on 2021 and beyond I say!