Are You Doing Business with an “Easy” Event Venue?
By: Matthew Bradford
It’s one thing to say that doing business with your venue is easy, but it's another thing entirely to back it up. For Scotiabank Convention Centre (SCCN) in Niagara Falls, Ontario, being “easy to work with” extends far beyond planning assistance and dedicated staff. According to President and General Manager Noel Buckley, it’s a philosophy that's embedded throughout every corner of the company, a mantra shared across different departments, and a guiding principle that unifies their team: “We’ve identified this as one of our key organizational pillars, knowing fully well that we have the right people and practices to make it happen.”
Ease of travel is one part of the equation, and the 14 million people who make a point of visiting Niagara Falls every year from around Canada and the globe are proof of that fact. On a smaller scale, however, SCCN takes steps to ease the burden of loading in and loading out of the venue space. Access to the venue's main hall is available without freight elevators, and the availability of SCCN's in-house Licensed Electrician affords clients the ability to install and display many different types of equipment, both commercial and consumer.
At many venues, it isn’t uncommon to see the flow of trucks and shipments get stifled by long lineups and wait times. At SCCN, aside from being located on one of the city’s main arteries, the lack of congestion from downtown commuter vehicles gives loading dock personnel plenty of space and time to marshal the area quickly and effectively.
“With our Exhibit Hall located on the main floor, if it’s a vehicle that drives on the road, it can easily drive up the ramp and right into our building,” adds Buckley.
Streamlining the planning process can also contribute to reduced event stress. Typically, planners are overwhelmed by suppliers, subcontractors, and food and beverage services approaching them from all angles leading up to the big day. However, Carrie Paolone, SCCN's Director of Events, says it helps when those many points of contact become one: “As a planner, it can sometimes feel like you’re being pulled in different directions. So instead of having our clients talk to multiple people and do the sourcing themselves, we’ve streamlined the communication process so that everything is handled under the watchful eye of the Events Manager”.
Certainly, the choice to funnel all communications through a single channel can pay off greatly. As well as allowing event staff to address sudden changes, it reduces the risks of miscommunication.
“Having a good communication system in place, one which bridges gaps and builds trust, means we can focus on executing events in the way the client envisions,” says Paolone. “If we’ve told a client the Scotiabank Convention Centre is easy to do business with and in, it’s paramount the client comes away with a ‘that was easy!’ feeling.”
With expectations rising and competition getting tighter, it's on venues to play a greater role in making sure events go off without a hitch. And as Buckley, Paolone, and the SCCN Events Team have learned, that means uniting all departments in an effort to bring a personal and simplified touch: “At the end of the day, we want to truly make it easy to do business in our Convention Centre. Thanks to our boutique style size and feel, we can do that. Our clients and their groups tell us they feel at ease and as though they are the only event in-house which, in the end, leads to a successful event for everyone involved.”
Noel Buckley and Carrie Paolone are with Scotiabank Convention Centre. For more, visit www.fallsconventions.com.