I was asked to review a large conference and events centre which was underperforming and receiving negative customer feedback. Although the centre had a large modern exhibition hall, some of the conference facilities were dated and shabby. When trying to drill down into the operating metrics it became apparent that the level of management information was limited. In the first instance, and working with their accountant, I undertook an analysis of the current event booking using industry metrics of utilisation and yield per square metre. This identified that more than 80% of the bookings generated little or no profit once all costs were included and that the sales focus was on bringing in more of these unprofitable events. I then carried out detailed research on the regional conference and exhibiton market, including drivetime catchment analysis, identifying key sectors and local competitors. This defined a much clearer target market with profit thresholds that helped the sales staff to ensure they were pitching for the more profitable business. Using an architect and interior designer that I regularly work with, I set out images of what the facilities could look like with a make over. This was then tendered and the work carried out.
The catering service was also underperfoming and lacked the critical mass to ensure a solid core of key professionals. As a result, it was agreed that the catering should be outsourced and I assisted the venue in tendering and selecting a new caterer. The venue was relaunched in 2017.