2) Developing a team that matched the size
of the Corporate Event Centre’s requirements to
ensure adequate services. This involved adjusting
the responsibilities of some staffers to align each position
to the corporate strategy. The former facility director
became the general manager and is now tasked with
managing the event center’s business, while the facility
manager’s title changed to client services and facility
manager, encompassing both managing the building and
maintaining the relationship with the internal tenants
who use the facility.
A new role, the guest services manager, was created
to match the growth of the venue; this team member
focuses on marketing the business, staying competitive,
and maintaining relationships with event center clients.
3) Aligning the product to the customer. CHSI
determined that three core groups were using its event
space and tailored its approach accordingly.
Resident clients included paramedical clinics,
health and safety associations, and other businesses
headquartered at CHSI, which mainly played a landlord
role for this group. Serving resident clients required an
understanding of unique businesses and special attention
to customer surveys and quality guest services.
Corporate Event Centre clients represented
multiple business types (which required the venue to
remain flexible), but the team decided to target corporate institutions as the venue offered a plug-and-play
corporate meeting environment. Wooing these clients
meant ensuring competitive pricing for rooms, free
services (such as Wi-Fi), and on-site catering in order to
compete with other meeting spaces. To meet that goal,
CHSI re-evaluated its pricing strategy and invested in
re-branding, targeted marketing, and collateral.
Finally, the community event clients utilized the
organization’s health, safety, and wellness resources
to benefit the surrounding community. Serving them
required keen knowledge of community needs and the
ability to satisfy multiple market segments at once. Here,
CHSI focused on building its brand, defining its market,
and increasing its own value in order to drive sponsor-
ships from industry partners.
“A lot of the success was built on understanding both
Build on Your Successes
the product and the client,” explains Lobb. “With these
tools in hand, CHSI grew our business nearly two-fold in
The transition from cost center to profit center won’t
happen overnight, so it’s vital that you keep pushing for
change even after your first successful initiative as a small
business. That attitude can make all the difference, Theriault explains.
“What I see is a dichotomy of facilities managers who
are just treading water because they’re doing it the old
way and the successful people who have been able to
implement change, get money for resources, and have the
ear of senior management,” adds Theriault. “When I look
at where that comes from, the difference between those
two people is business leadership and strategic skills.”
“Start doing things differently,” Theriault urges. “Don’t
keep doing it the same way. Don’t do it the way your
boss used to do before you took over the job. Don’t do
what all your colleagues did. Learn from people in other
departments who are successful and have climbed up the
Janelle Penny firstname.lastname@example.org is senior
editor of BUILDINGS.
“START DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY. DON’T KEEP DOING IT THE SAME WAY. DON’T DO IT THE WAY YOUR BOSS USED TO DO BEFORE YOU TOOK OVER THE JOB. DON’T DO WHAT ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES DID.” —Michel Theriault, principal, Strategic Advisor
CHSI’S APPROACH allowed the management team to expand the center’s reach and grow its revenue twofold in