Meet our Events Manager Bob
Events are an integral part of the fabric of Canada Bay Club, a great way to connect with the local community and help celebrate the special milestones of our members. But a great event is only possible when there is a person who is passionate about bringing it to life, thinking about the last minute details and making sure that the event is run seamlessly.
We’d like to introduce you to Bob, our Events Manager who has always enjoyed the one on one interaction with customers in planning their special event, dating right back to the early days of his career. He particularly likes to see the joy that his role at the Club brings to customers lives when their event is held and lifelong memories are created. So, without further ado, keep reading to find out a bit more about Bob and know that any event at Canada Bay Club is nutured by his very capable and experienced hands.
Tell us a little about your background – where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town 350km west of Perth called Merredin. My family left there to move to Perth when I was 15 and I decided to become a chef. I started a course for a pre-apprenticeship and six months later was accepted to do my practical apprenticeship at one of Perth’s most renowned restaurants. After the completion of my apprenticeship I travelled Australia for two years and went back to Perth to open my own restaurant, which I ran for three years before being offered a job in Europe. This involved spending a year working in Melbourne first, but I met my wife in Melbourne and never actually made it to Europe! We lived in Melbourne for 10 years before my wife was offered a job in Sydney.
What led you to a career in event management?
A career in event management was something I fell into. I was working in a hotel in Melbourne for a family-owned business as a head chef when I was asked by the owner to consider a career front of house. He believed that my personality would be something that the business could use. I did a few shifts out the front and found I really enjoyed the “talking to customers” bit and never really looked back. For the last seven years I have been an Event Manager and I really enjoy the fact that every client is different, every event is different and everyone has his or her own ideas. It is always great to see how happy people are when they see their ideas come to life.
Who inspires you?
The people that inspire me the most would have to be my parents. They have always supported my career and have given me advice when I have needed it. The other person who inspires me is the boss I had in Melbourne. He always gave me sound advice and allowed me to make mistakes without too much criticism, which made me who I am in the hospitality industry. He is still always on the other end of the phone and still checks in with me.
What do you love most about events?
Every event is different, I am most happy when people are thankful and appreciative. It is not an easy job, and tends to be very stressful. When people have a great experience it does make all the stress worth it.
Do you have any favourite events or festivals from when you were growing up that inspire you?
I first started working in events at Melton Harness Racing. We would have events for over 12,000 people six times a year. These were exciting, challenging and rewarding all at the same time. The organisation involved took months of planning.
What does a typical day at Canada Bay Club involve?
Every day is different at the Canada Bay Club. It begins with a quick check of emails, then we usually have corporate clients during the week that we look after. After events we usually then have to turn the room around for the next event. Our job includes meeting the client to completing the event, and everything in between.
Tell us about your customers at Canada Bay Club – have you got any great stories to share?
With events you get people from all walks of life and with different budgets. I treat everyone the same no matter what, because the event may be a once-in-a-lifetime event and we need to make it special. The most interesting event I have done at Canada Bay Club would have to be a 100-day birthday. There were more than 1000 balloons and children’s entertainers galore. The clients were happy and it was like a tornado had gone through the room at the end of the event with the kids popping all the balloons.
What’s the best thing about your job and working at Canada Bay Club?
The biggest thing about my job is being quick on your feet. Even with years of experience you can never prepare for the unexpected. The people I work with make it enjoyable to go to work everyday.
How would you describe the team at Canada Bay Club?
The Canada Bay Club team is like a family, we all work well together and socialise outside the office. Each staff member doesn’t just do one job – they are all multi-skilled and everyone helps each other. With almost 100 staff employed, we all band together when times are tough and the camaraderie is something that is not often seen elsewhere.
Tell us some of your personal interest or hobbies. What do you love doing when you’re not at work?
When I’m not in the office, I enjoy cooking, spending time with family and seeing new things in Sydney. I have only been here for two years and still enjoy this wonderful city.
Favourite places to hang out in the Inner West?
I am a little partial to the Wentworth Hotel in Flemington. They renovated a year ago and the staff are very friendly and the food and facilities are fantastic. It reminds me a little bit like Cheers, “where everyone knows your name”.