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Meet Shaina: Q & A with our Rentals Coordinator

Meet Shaina: Q & A with our Rentals Coordinator

by Jessica Fondo

Q: What do you do at the Hippodrome?

I am the rentals coordinator here, so anybody who is interested in renting our basement or our cinema for a private event, it all goes through me. So I book those and make sure they’re on our calendar, and I’m there assisting if they need any additional help along the way.

Q: When did you start here?

In September! I just moved here from Arizona in August.

Q: What were you doing before this?

In Arizona, I was a wedding coordinator at an all-inclusive event venue. We did about 100 weddings a year. People would come in and tour our space and book their wedding date. From that moment on we were with them throughout the whole planning process. We would do their decorations, assist them with their vendor choices and of course we were there day-of. We would coordinate the ceremony and then be there throughout the evening to ensure the event ran smoothly.

Q: How do you do what you do?

I wanted to get into event planning. In college I took an event-planning course, and I fell in love with the organization of it, planning the event and meeting new people, working with everybody. And every day on the job is totally different. It’s definitely my passion. I got an internship in college working with wedding flowers and decorations. My job would consist of going to all the weddings and set everything up, making sure it all looked picture perfect. I did that internship for about a year and I loved the coordinating aspect of it so I jumped right into coordinating weddings full time!

Q: Where are you from?

Glendale, Arizona. I’ve been here for about two months now.

Q: How are you liking Florida?

I like it! I like that there’s a lot to do here. Gainesville’s like a little, big town, and like a country city. I also love that Gainesville is it’s own little community and so involved with everything.

Q: How are you liking the Hippodrome?

I love it. I love how everybody is so supportive of each other, very appreciative of everybody’s work. We all work as a team. And I think that’s the most important thing about workplaces, that you all work together. You don’t ever feel like you’re by yourself. So yeah, I think the teamwork makes the whole place. And, definitely, everybody, accepting one another is a great way to describe the Hipp.

Q: From a renter’s perspective, what is special about the Hipp?

The building is so unique. They’re not going to find another building anywhere like this. I think it really speaks to people who have an appreciation towards historical buildings and the arts and everything. I think its uniqueness really speaks for itself. It draws people in without you even having to really try.

Q: What different rental spaces are there?

We have our basement other known as the lower level. This space is ideal for wedding receptions, gatherings, private parties, business meetings and so much more. We have the full-service bar down there and no vendor restrictions. And then we have our cinema room. If people want to rent out a private screening or showings, this room is perfect for that. The Cinema is our movie theatre-style stadium that seats 75 guests. So more small gatherings, business meetings, speeches, and presentations.

Q: What do these different spaces have to offer?

Each rental space has its own unique feel to it but also very versatile and goes with any decor/theme you want to create. We have full-service bars in our Lower Level and Cinema room available. Every package comes with a bartender and a house manager. The house manager is there for your whole entire event to make sure your event runs smoothly which I think that’s a great aspect.  Our packages also include tables, chairs and linens. Our Lower Level is A/V equipped which is great for slideshows and presentations that can be shown throughout the event.

Q: Why should people host their events at the Hipp?

I think the location of the Hippodrome is perfect. I mean, it’s right in the middle of everything. It’s easy to get to. And again, the uniqueness: it’s not just a blank little room… it adds character. It’s historical and unqiue. 

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