S E AT
leading the premium seat industry winter 2010
Published by the Association of Luxury Suite Directors
Commemorate 20 Years
of Premium Seating
in New York City
At the 2010 ALSD Conference and Tradeshow: June 27 – June 30
Why Disney Institute Matters To You • Ticket Management Solutions
Per-Event Sales Strategies • The ALSD’s First Look at Target Field
Marvel Makes the Game!
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hoses, CO2 tank and regulator, drip tray and interior
Refrigerator cabinet encased in high Automatic interior light
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Full auto defrost Full extension drawer slides provide easy access
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S E AT
ConTEnTS WinTEr 2010
8 NEW MEMBERS
10 STATE OF THE INDUSTRY
What the premium seat industry must continue to do in response to change in order
to fill seats.
BY BILL DORSEY
12 STATE OF THE ASSOCIATION
What new ALSD leadership means for you and your association.
BY AMANDA VERHOFF
14 INDUSTRY AND ASSOCIATION NEWS
18 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT
He has a voice made for radio; he has a 26-year track record selling baseball
tickets in a football stadium; and he looks good in a hard hat. Meet SCOTT
O’CONNELL of the Minnesota Twins and visit his new home, Target Field, for the
26 20th ANNUAL ALSD CONFERENCE
AND TRADESHOW PREVIEW
Discover the program sessions and venue tours aimed at providing the solutions
to your team and suite holder corporate hospitality expenditure challenges. PLUS:
Why the ALSD is bringing Disney Institute to this year’s conference, and why you
should be listening.
BY AMANDA VERHOFF
37 THE LEADER IN PER-EVENT SUITE SALES
Per-event suites have a positive financial impact on those teams needing to
develop a more diverse premium seat product selection. If your team is behind the
curve, learn from the best in the business- the United Center.
BY JARED FRANK
41 TICKET MANAGEMENT
Out of the need for suite holders to achieve high ticket utilization rates stems the
necessity for sophisticated, sometimes confusing, ticket management systems.
Breakdown the top software solution companies side-by-side to decipher which is
best for your team.
EDITED BY JARED FRANK
46 INFUSION OF TECHNOLOGY ACROSS SPORTS
Nearly every segment of modern society is influenced by technology accelerators.
The sports and entertainment industry is no different, as the need to improve the
fan experience through innovation continues to grow exponentially. Find out who
the top companies are in this space in 2010.
BY CHRISTINE STOFFEL
50 INSIDE THE WORLD OF LUXURY SUITE ADMINISTRATORS
Suite administrators are the front line of the premium seat market, yet few
understand these unsung professionals. Investigate their common perceptions and
learn why we should care about these key stakeholders.
BY PETER TITLEBAUM AND HEATHER LAWRENCE
56 COMING ATTRACTIONS
The first look at stories being researched for the Spring 2010 issue of SEAT. See
how you can participate.
About the Cover: The ALSD with the New York Yankees and Legends
Hospitality Management will celebrate 20 years of premium seating at
The New York Marriott Marquis, host of the 2010 ALSD Conference the new Yankee Stadium, the first tour and reception of the 2010 ALSD
and Tradeshow. Conference and Tradeshow. Photo courtesy New York Yankees.
S E A T 7
new ALSD Members
ASSoCiATion oF LUxUrY SUiTE DirECTorS
Chairman of the Board Bill Dorsey
Executive Director Amanda (Kuntz) Verhoff
President Jennifer Ark, Green Bay Packers
John Bluck Courtney Brown VP, Business Development Pat McCaffrey
Sodexo AT&T Wi-Fi Service Director, Sponsor and Partnership Development Dene Shiels
District Manager 2600 North Central Expressway 3.4004
Director of Finance Dan Lindeman
Southeast Region Richardson, Tx 75080
P: 404-272-1024 P: 214-576-4341 Financial Account Manager Vickie Henke
F: 678-714-4813 F: 469-621-4979 Director of Information Technology Sean Kellner
Editor of SEAT, Website Director Jared Frank
Russ Mushro BJ Toner Account Executive Scott Hinzman
Sodexo Toner Cable
Design Carole Winters Art + Design
Vice President President
5 Lloydminster Court 969 Horshman Road
North Potomac, MD 20878 Horshman, PA 19044 ExECUTIVE COMMITTEE
P: 240-505-4275 P: 215-675-2053 Chris Bigelow, Bigelow Companies
firstname.lastname@example.org F: 215-675-7543 Brian Bucciarelli, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts
Greg Hanrahan, United Center
Tom Kaucic, Southern Wine & Spirits
Phil Eletto Pat McCaffrey, ALSD
New Meadowlands Stadium Company Dianne Rowland Jamie Norman, Dallas Stars
Manager, Premium Services Toner Cable Kim Reckley, Detroit Red Wings & Olympia Entertainment
102 Route 120 Tradeshow Coordinator
East Rutherford, NJ 07073 969 Horshman Road BOARD OF DIRECTORS
P: 201-559-1737 Horshman, PA 19044 Pam Benoist, St. Louis Rams
email@example.com P: 215-675-2053 Janie Boles, Auburn University
F: 215-675-7543 Natalie Burbank, Utah Jazz / Salt Lake Bees
Trent Dutry, US Airways Center
David Stys firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Granger, National Basketball Association
Turnkey Sports & Entertainment Patti Kimbrough, University of Arkansas
Vice President John Chambers Gerald Kissel, Ball State University
9 Tanner St., Suite 8 netFactor Phil MacDougall, Sacramento Kings/ARCO Arena
Haddonfield, NJ 08033 6041 S. Syracuse Way, Suite 105 Debbie Massa, ROI Consulting
P: 856-685-1450 Greenwood Village, CO 80111 Mike Ondrejko, Madison Square Garden
email@example.com P: 720-489-5534 x205 Richard Searls, New York Red Bulls
firstname.lastname@example.org Tom Sheridan, Chicago White Sox
Josh Brickman Michael Smith, Philadelphia Union
Peter Titlebaum, University of Dayton
Turnkey Sports & Entertainment Rick Colford
Brian Varnadoe, Houston Texans
Director, Product Development Hulshof Leather USA Jon Vingas, Centerplate
9 Tanner St., Suite 8 4947 NC HWY 127 South Bob White, Calgary Flames
Haddonfield, NJ 08033 Hickory, NC 28602
P: 856-685-1450 P: 704-462-1188 SEAT IT Board
email@example.com F: 704-462-1154 Christine Stoffel, S5 Enterprises / SEAT Consortium
firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Wood, APS
San Diego Padres ALSD 2010 Conference Committee
Richard Dobransky, DNC Sportservice
Vice President, Partnership Solutions
Chris Gallagher, New York Yankees
100 Park Road Pat Jones, New York Mets
San Diego, CA 92101 Jon Muscalo, Legends Hospitality
P: 619-795-5000 Richard Searls, New York Red Bulls
email@example.com Rob Sullivan, New York Jets
Anne Wheat, New Meadowlands Stadium Company
University of North Carolina SEAT IT Division Steering Committee
Rams Club Director of Tickets and Christine Stoffel, Committee Chairman
Chris Wood, Committee Co-Chairman
Chris Dill, Portland Trail Blazers
PO Box 2446 Sasha Puric, Toronto Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
Chapel Hill, NC 27515 Mike Morris, Major League Baseball
P: 919-843-6432 Lorraine Spadaro, TD Banknorth Garden
F: 919-843-5777 Wayne Wichlacz, Green Bay Packers
firstname.lastname@example.org Casey Bookout, University of Oklahoma
Jim Darrow, Illitch Holdings, Inc.
Tod Caflisch, New Orleans Hornets
Brett Michalak, Tickets.com
John Pollard, IdentityMine
John Gallant, IDG Enterprise
Published by Venue Pub. Inc. Copyright 2010. (All rights reserved). SEAT is a registered trademark
of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors. SEAT is published quarterly and is complimentary
to all members of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors.
10017 McKelvey Road, Cincinnati, OH 45231 • 513 674 0555 • email@example.com
8 S E A T
State of the Industry
It is clearly a time of transition as the industry is beginning to respond
to changes in the marketplace with proactive adjustments.
By Bill Dorsey, ALSD Chairman of the Board
he state of the $10 billion pre- eveNT SuITeS: While leased inventory is declining, event suites
mium seating industry is in on a nightly basis are increasing. This is due to two factors: 1)
flux. What existed and what Availability. There is now open inventory that never before existed.
worked for the past 20 years is 2) Suite Flexibility. Many new venues are allowing for higher suite
changing in the following ways: flexibility in their new venue models. Suites often have open walls
and can be converted into larger event suites for special occa-
Leases are getting shorter. sions. So ironically, while many companies are going away from
full-fledged suites and opting to buy into four to eight person loge
Occupancy rates are lower
boxes, some companies are increasing their purchases of event
than the year before.
or per-event suites.
No shows on the club level
Bill Dorsey are up. fOOD AND BeveRAge: One price for F&B is definitely becom-
ing a trend. Companies are beginning to take harder looks at in-
corporating the price of food and beverage and suite tickets as
one hospitality package. It is predicted here that the day when
LeAgue INvOLvemeNT: Just a short time ago, premium seat- hospitality, which includes F&B, is considered part of the entire ex-
ing was only considered to be a local sports issue. To some ex- perience is just around the corner. The major F&B companies are
tent, because the vast majority of leases do come from the local beginning to look at how they are doing business in this regard.
marketplace, premium seating revenues are still very much a local Some F&B companies are beginning to rethink their pricing strate-
issue. But league offices are now beginning to take note and are gies for F&B as per-caps are declining.
providing teams with a lot of support that previously did not exist.
The leagues are beginning to compile and collate a best practices CONTRACT NegOTIATIONS: Leases are getting shorter and
group on the premium side in 2010. shorter, and companies who buy leases are beginning to under-
stand the pricing dynamics better. More contract negotiations on
TeChNOLOgy TAkeS OveR: High-tech is beginning to make annual leases is certainly a trend as companies realize the buyer/
inroads in venues across the country. The sports industry tradition- seller power relationship has somewhat shifted in more uncertain
ally has been slow on the uptake for high-tech items, but no more. economic times. Teams are going to have to incentivize lease in-
Suites are becoming media centers these days, and the amount vestment with such things as expensive amenities, renewal cred-
of IT infrastructure in a new venue is truly astonishing. This will its, re-selling options/alternatives, branding, etc.
In general, the rules of the premium seat game have changed.
New pRODuCT OffeRINgS: It is clear that some of the models Teams need to make adjustments in how they do business.
in venues built in the late 90s are failing. There are far too many Many are already doing so, but some teams, are very reluctant to
suites, especially in Major League Baseball, and far too many club change. On the corporate premium side, clearly teams are going
seats in all areas of sport. In many instances, venues that have too to need to look at more ways to fill their seats in 2010. And accord-
many suites are reconfiguring their premium spaces. There is not ing to most indications, the current trends are likely to continue for
so much a downsizing of these numbers on the premium side, but a few more years.
a change in the types of offerings. Suites are being torn down, and
they are being replaced by four to eight seat loge boxes, theater But help, on many fronts, is on the way. #
boxes, and multiple varieties of stadium membership clubs. The
price points on these new products, on a per-square-foot basis, Write to Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org
are often higher than a suite price. It is just that many companies
do not want as many seats as are in suites on a nightly basis.
10 S E A T
State of the Association
The ALSD is a growing, ever-changing association, built on
reflections and new directions of the industry. At present,
the ALSD leadership is built on both principles.
By Amanda verhoff, ALSD executive Director
hose of us who work for the because in a way, it was my sense of competition. I wanted to do
ALSD know full-well that it better and be better than others, but I wanted to do it in a way that
takes all types to run an as- would please those around me. I wanted the “do-good, be bet-
sociation. That said I would like ter” image because I thought that was what it took to impress and
to explain which type I am, as please those around me.
well as my place in this associa- how am I making it work for me now?
tion. I will do so as it relates to Being a people pleaser is stressful. Not because specific
the founder and now chairman of tasks are hard or because the ones you want to please are dif-
your association. ficult, but because being a people pleaser ultimately means being
To put it simply, Bill is the new a personal critic. A mantra I undesirably hold deep down is that,
direction of the industry; I am the “It’s never quite good enough.” Consequently, there is an ongo-
reflection of the industry. ing struggle to please others for the validation that it, whatever
what does that mean? it is, is good enough…for them, for me. I take criticism, however
Bill Dorsey is a visionary. He constructive, to heart. I want to improve on things that are within
knows the industry inside and out; my control, personally and professionally. Am I a perfectionist?
he sees where the industry is heading and will lead the way. Con- Maybe. Am I perfect? If you read the mantra, you’ll see I am far
versely, I am the reflector of the industry. I can’t see what Bill sees, from it. And for that reason, I will continue to try to improve myself
at least not yet, but I learn more about the industry every day and in order to please others. At this point in my life, those others are
as the reflector, I will inform our members on where we are pres- ALSD members.
ently as an association and as an industry. why does it work for the ALSD?
what does that make me? As mentioned, I am young and I am a learner. Am I too young
It makes me a learner. It also too often makes me a repeater and too inexperienced to be the ALSD Executive Director? Some
of the Dorsey-ism, “Without you I cannot grow.” But that phrase, may think so, maybe I even think so. But understand this: the title
even as overused as it is in the ALSD offices, rings true. I am is not the role. I am still the ALSD Conference Director and the
young; I am less experienced than many. But I am a learner none- Membership Services Director, now rolled up together into a new
theless and will keep being an informational sponge to Bill as long title. Please understand though that I am not Bill Dorsey. I never
as he will let me. In turn, I will arm our association with the informa- will be. Understand that the individual, not the title, reflects what
tion I pick up from him. the role of Executive Director means. Bill is and always will be
who am I? the leader, the “boss” of the ALSD. He is simply handing over the
I am a people pleaser; one who got my start as the weird reins, slowly and cautiously, to a new generation. The role of the
middle kid who watched my older sister rebel like oldest kids do new Executive Director will be different than when he held the title.
and my baby brother act like one, though he won’t say so. And This Executive Director is a people pleaser, a reflector of the
there I was, in need of an identity other than “the weird middle kid”. industry, a member devotee. I will listen to you, the members, and
So, I turned to sports and in a few short years, that was me, an will take guidance from those who know the business better than
athlete. I had my identity. And I played to please for as long as I I do. I will always believe that, “It’s never quite good enough,” but
can remember. I wanted to please my parents – my dad a college I will use that to improve the association. I pledge to “do the thing
football player, my mom a graceful and theatrical drill team cap- that’s the best for the most people.” And one day, validation will
tain. They were good, so I had to be good too. I wanted to please come, maybe not for me personally, but for the ALSD. Validation
my coaches, my teammates, even my opponents (then beat them will come when the ALSD lives up to its “premium” reputation and
of course). Eventually I wanted to please those outside of athlet- is confirmed as the preeminent association in the sports and en-
ics too: my art teacher, my summer employer, my college mentor, tertainment industry. #
my husband and eventually Bill Dorsey. I needed to please them Write to Amanda at email@example.com
12 S E A T
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Halftime starting in four minutes and stadium network has just crashed.
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Pre-ordered four vegetarian plates for luxury suite.
Automatically adjust catering inventory.
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simplify management and improve revenue stadium-wide. Provide faster, more accurate service in luxury suites
and club sections with mobile POS devices. Speed up concession lines and increase sales volumes with easy-to-use
POS terminals. Maintain accurate inventory of every concession, bar, restaurant, caterer and fan shop—in real time—
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Industry and Association News
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL NFL/SUPER BOWL/TECHNOLOGY
Cubs adding new premium club to wrigley field Cisco and Sportvision enhance Super Bowl XLIv
Chicago Cubs fans will have a new premium seating option for the through technology
2010 season. The team is constructing a new all-inclusive club Cisco’s StadiumVision platform and Sportvision combined their
designed by Populous on Wrigley Field’s suite level, the only of powers to enhance the content on two channels viewed on the
its kind within the friendly confines. The Executive Club (naming 1,500 HD displays inside Miami’s Sun Life Stadium during this
rights are expected to be announced shortly) will be home to the year’s Super Bowl. The first channel displayed the live network
most expensive Cubs ticket at $300 per game for each of the 71 broadcast, including the Sportvision yellow 1st and 10 line and
available seats. Season ticket holders will pay $24,300 to sit in the down and distance graphics. The second integrated Sportvi-
Executive Club in 2010. sion’s Feature Tracker and Synthetic Video effects to offer replays
The club, located down the left-field line, is the Cubs response throughout the game.
to unsold suite inventory. The new space is being created from the Feature Tracker combines a 2-D graphic with 3-D player trails
consolidation of six suites, which up until now were sold on a per- to deliver relevant performance data to fans, such as a player’s
event basis. It is an attractive premium option for those businesses speed, total distance traveled and separation distance from other
and individuals who cannot afford a leased suite product, yet still players. Synthetic Video presents replays in a 360-degree virtual
have a need for hospitality. A $24,300 season ticket package in- environment, so key plays can be viewed from multiple angles.
cludes many amenities including all food and beverage (alcohol
included), parking, the option to buy additional tickets for select
games, access to postseason tickets, tickets to concerts and other RACING
special events and access to corporate meeting space on non- Charlotte motor Speedway adds premium seats
While other raceways are reducing their number of seats and
ticket prices, Charlotte Motor Speedway has announced the ad-
giants organize auction to aid haiti relief efforts
dition of 15,000 new premium seats to be installed along the front
Many athletes and teams have come through in a big way to assist stretch of the 1.5-mile track in the Chrysler and General Motors
the worldwide community in supporting Haiti, which as we all know grandstands. The new seating area will have the best views of the
was ravaged by a 7.0 earthquake last month. The San Francisco start/finish line, as well as pit road. The renovations, which are part
Giants had a clever fund raising idea, holding an online auction on of the raceway’s Fan First initiative, will be ready in time for the
its website, www.sfgiants.com. All proceeds from the auction were NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22.
coordinated through UNICEF and directly went to the supply and Season ticket holders will automatically become members of
recovery effort. the Victory Lane Club and have bronze nameplates installed on
Items up for bid included ten swings against a Giants starting their new seats. In addition, they will be able to take home one
pitcher, four field club seats, a pregame field visit, an autographed of the old seats as a piece of nostalgic memorabilia. Other mem-
bat signed by a player of choice, a baseball signed by the 2010 bership benefits include a personalized hard card, VIP parking,
Giants pitching staff, a private hitting lesson with Giants infielder discounts on ticket purchases and souvenirs in the speedway’s
Pablo Sandoval and hitting coach Hensley Muelens and a private gift shop and a free six-month trial membership to The Speedway
meeting with Tim Lincecum, two-time National League Cy Young Club.
Churchill Downs will continue Infield Club
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE with additional seats
Those fans with infield tickets to this year’s Kentucky Oaks and
future of “The Joe” in question Derby will once again have the opportunity to pay a little extra for
Hockeytown’s future residence is a bit cloudy these days. The Red added amenities. The Infield Club, which debuted last year, will
Wings lease with the city of Detroit to play in Joe Louis Arena, a have more seats this time around. During the 2009 Oaks and Der-
venue over 30 years old, expires in June. And the Red Wings say by, only 20 percent of ticket holders had seats available to them
it will cost upwards of $10 million to renovate The Joe. Major up- at any one time. This year each ticket sold is guaranteed a seat,
grades are needed to fix crumbling concrete, update concourses albeit on a first-come, first-serve basis.
with modern amenities and efficient concession and restroom set- Churchill Downs is also adding a VIP Club area, which will
ups, replace seating with more comfortable versions, build pre- include reserved seating with cocktail service, half-priced menu
mium spaces closer to the ice, add additional ingress points and items, elevated television screens, staffed and self-serve betting
provide better parking options. windows, concession booths and restrooms.
Team owner Mike Ilitch’s preference is to replace The Joe, Even with no direct view of the racetrack, two-day general
which is currently isolated from the rest of downtown Detroit by the admission tickets for the Infield Club are $250 and two-day VIP
Detroit River and neighboring Cobo Center, and build a new arena area access is $375.
downtown. Some reports have claimed the team is considering
playing at The Palace of Auburn Hills while the new facility is under
14 S E A T
Design creates culture.
tell your st o r y
loewensteininc.com | 800.327.2548 | a division of
Industry and Association News
COLLEGE made online through the Senators website, www.senatorsbase-
ball.com, or in person at the team offices at Metro Bank Park. Fans
update on university of California endowment could enter as many times as they liked and had their name en-
Seating program tered once for every $10 donated. 100% of the proceeds went di-
rectly to UNICEF. The winners were announced at the Harrisburg
As first reported in SEAT in the Fall 2008 issue, the University
Mall at the conclusion of the Senators event on February 10th.
of California is employing the innovative financing model dubbed
Endowment Seating Program (ESP) to finance a $321 million
renovation to California Memorial Stadium. The Regents of the
Also out of harrisburg…
University of California gave formal approval for the renovations The Harrisburg Senators are currently finishing up Phase II of a
last month, allowing Cal to proceed with the project. Preliminary two-phase renovation to Metro Bank Park. Part of this renovation
construction will begin in June 2010, with completion expected by includes new club seats in three sections directly behind home
the fall of 2012. plate. Amenities include a private entrance, restroom, and park-
1,700 ESP seats have been sold as of January 15th with a net ing. The restaurant, located directly behind the club seating area,
present value of over $215 million, which is in line with projections. offers an all-you-can-eat buffet; the buffet menu changes on a
Approximately 2,250 seats must be committed by the summer of nightly basis.
2011 to make the financial model work. The club seats are cushioned and wider than Metro Bank
Park’s normal box seats. At full price, seats are $2,000 each for
Board of Regents approves renovation of the 2010 season, but the Senators currently offer discount options
Arizona Stadium if a contract is signed by February 28th and paid in full by April 1st.
Also, if a seat holder buys three seats on a three-year contract, he
Another Pac-10 Conference school has received Regents’ approv- or she receives one free seat.
al for a football stadium renovation. The Arizona Board of Regents
last month agreed to $85.7 million in improvements to Arizona Sta-
dium, home of the University of Arizona Wildcats.
The upgrades will be paid for entirely by private funds. Ideally,
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
half the money will be raised in time for construction to begin in kansas City wizards’ wait for new stadium
2011. A private donation of $10 million has already been pledged approval is finally over
and earmarked for the stadium renovation. After many avenues pursued all leading to dead ends for various
Highlights: reasons, the Kansas City Wizards finally have approved plans in
• A multi-story building in the north end zone will be constructed place for a permanent, soccer-specific stadium. The Unified Gov-
to house team offices, 5,000 seats and a premium loge area. ernment of Kansas City, KS consented in January to the Wizards’
• A premium loge area will include 200 premium seats with club plan for new stadium and fields complex.
amenities and a donor lounge. There are no suites in the cur- The approximately 18,000-seat stadium will be covered by
rent plans. a roof distinctive of the popular style found in European football
• The scoreboard will be moved from the north end zone to the stadiums. The roof will serve a dual-purpose. It will shelter from
south. inclement weather, and also function as a crowd noise amplifier.
• The stadium’s lights will be replaced. The stadium will also include three club areas. One will be a
• Jimenez Practice Field will be enlarged. field-side club where players will pass by on their way to the field.
Front row seats will only be 16 feet from the touchline.
washington State renovation now to come online
in 2012 philadelphia union season ticket sales off
Washington State needs 80% of its premium seating committed to fast start
to in order to move forward with its third phase of renovations to The MLS expansion Philadelphia Union has sold approximately
Martin Stadium. The athletic department is currently at 50%, but is 9,000 season tickets for its inaugural 2010 season, which is a
optimistic Phase III will begin this year as planned. There is reason base of about one-half of its new 18,500-seat stadium. The club
for optimism as 13 of 18 luxury suites priced at $35,000-$50,000 is confident they will sell out the new venue based on analysis of
annually and all 32 loge boxes priced at $9,000-$15,000 annually current sales and trends, which would be a huge accomplishment
have been pledged. considering only four of 15 MLS teams averaged over 17,000 per
game in 2009.
Premium seating includes:
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL • 30 corporate suites with seating for 15. The suites are located
Senators hold luxury suite raffle 27 rows from the playing field and are priced at an average of
$50,000 per year.
Like the San Francisco Giants mentioned previously, the Harris-
• Ten “field-level tables” with seating for four priced at approxi-
burg Senators of the Eastern League raffled off premium seats to
mately $10,000 per year.
help the people of Haiti. The team gave away two luxury suites to
• 150 field-side seats priced at $2,000 per seat.
one game during the 2010 season. Fans that made a $10 donation
• 28 “super club” seats (14 behind each bench) with VIP club
to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF supporting UNICEF's relief efforts for
access priced at $7,500 per seat. #
children in Haiti were entered into the drawing. Donations could be
16 S E A T
ALSD Member Highlight
A Conversation with Scott O’Connell
Director of Suite and Premium Seat Sales and Service, Minnesota Twins
The lifetime man of Minnesota and the Twins organization reflects on 26 years in the business, shares a few lessons
learned along the way, and unveils Target Field to the ALSD for the first time.
By Jared Frank
Q: How long have you been Q: What advice do you have for the next generation of premium
involved in the sports and enter- seat sales and service professionals?
tainment industry? A: I guess my advice would be two-fold. One is to become very
A: I started as a telemarketer involved in ALSD, because obviously this is a group of people
back in 1984, which was sort of who have been through the wars and know what it’s like to open a
a banner year for season ticket ballpark and sell inventory. I can tell you I lean very heavily on my
sales. We had just changed counterparts within ALSD to help shape our policies and directions,
ownership from the Griffith and lean very heavily on their expertise. And two, I think it’s very
organization to the Pohland or- important that people in the future don’t try to reinvent the wheel, but
ganization in August of that year, learn from those people who have been doing this for an awful lot
and there was a ramp up in an of years. I came to a number of meetings prior to opening up, and
effort to sell season tickets, es- had a chance to meet a lot of people and find out what the heck I’m
pecially since in 1985 the Twins doing, because up to this point, this was all new for us.
and the Metrodome hosted the
Major League Baseball All-Star Q: Alright Scott, you have the floor. What should we know about
Game. That gave us plenty of Target Field?
incentive, as well as the fans in- A: Oh man, it’s gorgeous. You’re going to find that this ballpark has
Scott O’Connell centive to support the team with a lot of similarities to other ballparks, but in its own way is its own
new ownership and an all-star entity, an urban facility that is modernistic, but really attaches itself
game to boot. That’s how I kind of got my foot in the door, and gosh to downtown Minneapolis and really takes some of that downtown
I guess I’ve been here ever since. synergy and brings it into the ballpark.
Q: Are you a lifetime man of Minnesota? What kept you busy before
joining the Twins organization?
A: Born and raised here on the St. Paul side of the river. I actually
spent a number of years as a broadcaster for local, smaller town
radio stations. I guess my aspiration from an early age was to be a
sport play-by-play, specifically a baseball play-by-play announcer.
That was kind of what I aspired to do in the early go’s, but it never
quite happened that way. I guess maybe for the better.
Q: How did you learn the business as a young professional? Does
anyone or anything specifically stand out as an influence?
A: I would definitely say so. I think the one thing that has changed
drastically over my initial time with the team to where we are at to-
day is back in those days, it was a much smaller organization. When
I started, our sales department from a full-time sales staff standpoint
was only three people, and I think now we’re up to about 28. So the
times have changed in that regard. Certainly when I came on board,
Multi-talented: Radio broadcaster, suite salesman, and
there were some veteran salespeople like Tom Cronin, who was the now construction foreman? Is there anything this guy
son of Joe Cronin- the former American League President, who was can’t do?
a sales rep for the Twins at that time. He kind of took me under his
arm and taught me an awful lot and really helped me get my feet
Turn the page to keep reading Scott’s
on solid ground. Then along the way, a number of different people
throughout the organization really helped me from a sales stand- highlight of Target Field.
point. But certainly Tom was a mentor in the early stages.
18 S E A T
ALSD Member Highlight
Introducing Target Field:
The New Home of the Minnesota Twins
A decade in the making, Target Field gives Twins fans something they have been missing
since 1981: A home to call their own.
By Jared Frank with Scott O’Connell
atience is a virtue for the Minnesota Twins. Caught in the midst in existence, it has been a multiple-purpose facility, serving as the
of an uphill battle to get a new baseball-only facility for the past past or present home to University of Minnesota Golden Gopher
ten years, the Twins saw city after city after city throughout the football, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Twins. It is a facility built
country erect the newest baseball palace with seemingly no prog- for football with terrible sightlines for baseball fans and the small-
ress made on the home front. But perseverance has its rewards. est infield in all of Major League Baseball with only 6,600 seats
And sometimes blessings come in disguise- Target Field being a between the bases in the lower deck. In contrast, the design of
perfect example. “We had the opportunity to go out and tour a lot Target Field gears everything towards watching the game of base-
of the new ballparks to find out what they felt was done right and ball. “[Sightline improvements] are going to be a real change for
also to find out what things not to do, so I think we had the benefit our fans,” says O’Connell. “The other thing that people are really
of being at the tail end,” says Scott O’Connell, Director of Suite going to get excited about is the branding. In the multi-purpose
and Premium Seat Sales and Service for the Twins. So as it turns facility, there were so many multiple brandings going on in the
out, Target Field is as superlative as it is, not because the Twins ballpark. It was confusing.” The concourses of the Metrodome
led or followed the pack, but because they learned from the pack. feature pictures of Dave Winfield side-by-side with Fran Tarken-
To understand any highlight of Target Field, one must first ton side-by-side with old Gopher uniforms and signage. Target
know where the Twins are coming from. For all the years the Field presents the Twins with a chance to brand the facility with
Twins old home, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, has been touches like the 573 Club that pays homage to Harmon Killebrew,
On Target: Scott O’Connell and the Twins
hit the bullseye with the construction of
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with 573 being the number of home runs that Killebrew hit in a
Major League uniform. And further, the five gates in the ballpark
are named after five retired Twins players- Harmon Killebrew,
Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, and of course Kirby Puckett.
Target Field has a capacity of 40,000, including premium
seating for 3,000 in the club level, 54 suites, eight event suites,
and two party suites, or as the Twins call them, Skyline Suites
that face the downtown Minneapolis skyline. The Twins initially
had the space to build 60 annual suites, but once the economy
took a hit, it made sense to scale back to 54 and reconfigure the
last six down the third base side into the two Skyline Suites. In the
core of the infield, suites are a ten-year lease. Beyond the bases,
Target Field at a Glance the option was for the customer to choose from a ten-, seven-, or
four-year lease. Controlling suite inventory is a whole new world
Approximate capacity: 40,000 for the Twins organization. When the Metrodome was being built,
Seating in Upper Level: 13,000 the Twins and its owner Calvin Griffith did not want to move from
Seating in Lower Level: 19,000 old Metropolitan Stadium, so the Vikings committed to the market-
Seating in Club Level: 3,000 ing and servicing of the suites to the Stadium Commission; there-
Number of Suites: 54
fore, “the Vikings controlled the suites lock, stock, and barrel, so
that’s one of the reasons why we were starting from square one,”
360-Degree Open Main Concourse
O’Connell explains. “We knew who the people were in the build-
Main Concourse Width: 40 feet
Upper Concourse Width: 26-44 feet “You have to remember this is a state where
Seating Levels: Event Level
people sit on frozen lakes and a plastic bucket
Main Concourse Level to catch fish, so we’re pretty resilient I think.”
Terrace Level ing; we knew the banks and the law firms and the companies that
owned suites in our building, but all the contractual obligations and
all the servicing of those accounts were done through the Vikings.”
Restrooms: 401 women; 266 men
The Twins initial way of courting suite holders included hand-
Architects: HOK Sport, now Populous; delivering actual stadium chairs to prospective clients with an
Hammel, Green and invitation to visit their marketing center, which was in a 46-floor
Abrahamson Inc. (HGA) skyscraper overlooking the construction site. “That was our initial
way of getting people in the door, but from our standpoint, it really
Builder: M.A. Mortenson Company was an easy scenario to get people excited about the ballpark
based on the fact that where we were coming from was totally
Concessionaire: Delaware North Sportservice inadequate for the comfort of the fans,” says O’Connell. From
this initial provocation to the actual selection of seats, customer
Cost: Approximately $425M service issues have been few in number. Logically, the Twins
prioritize the picking of seats in the new ballpark based on lon-
Owner: Minnesota Ballpark
gevity, so the longer an entity had been a season ticket holder,
the higher in the pecking order they are when picking seats. The
Operator: Minnesota Twins only major obstacle that has presented itself is the fact that the
record keeping of the Griffith organization, which dates back three
stadiums, is not strong. “We really didn’t have any way to differ-
entiate those longstanding accounts. We had basically 70 ac-
First Game: April 2 vs. St. Louis counts that have been with us since 1961 when the team moved
Cardinals (Exhibition) from Washington, so we had to go about prioritizing those, and
of course every one of those 70 accounts thought they were the
Home Opener: April 12 vs. Boston Red Sox first one,” O’Connell details. “What we kept telling people over and
over again is ‘You can’t get a seat worse than what you had.’”
22 S E A T
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home games. To account for less than desirable temperatures,
Target Field does have radiant heat throughout the ballpark and
certainly in the concession stand areas. “In a lot of the overhangs,
you’re going to find radiant heat coming down on the back rows of
the infield and the club levels. That’s going to help keep this ballpark
comfortable, or as much as possible, for our fans,” says O’Connell.
The financing breakdown for Target Field is about two-
thirds from the public, one-third plus overages from the Twins.
The organization’s initial investment in the ballpark of $150 mil-
lion has since increased to $200 million. “That’s our own doing.
We found a number of scenarios where we could enhance the
ballpark experience by putting money into it,” states O’Connell.
“For instance, throughout our concourses, instead of having open
piping like you see in a lot of ballparks, we have drop ceilings.
In our sky roof, or our overlook area that overhangs the upper
Home Run: “The two fat guys” will shake hands during every
deck of the ballpark, we put in soffits to keep it from becoming
Twins round-tripper. birds’ nests and give more of a sleek line look to the ballpark.”
Additional expenditures that were added include the entrance
One of the great benefits the Twins have is moving from a facility of the ballpark, which was going to come about a block short of
where the front row is still 20 feet above the playing field down the main area of downtown Minneapolis. The entrance was ex-
to a facility where the front row is even with the playing field. tended an additional block so fans are able to walk right from the
The most obvious difference between the Metrodome and downtown area into the ballpark. The Twins are also playing the
Target Field is that the latter is an open-air facility. Yes, outdoor nostalgia card by rejuvenating one of the cooler old logos in base-
baseball is back in Minnesota, where average highs in the 50s and
lows in the 30s rule the baseball season bookend months of April
and hopefully October. The Twins did originally attempt to get a re- “I guess the one thing that I would really want
tractable roof ballpark, but by the end of ten years of attempting to
get a new ballpark, the cost of a retractable roof was approximate-
to make sure other teams do is always look at
ly an additional $150-$175 million on top of what the facility initially everything you do with the fan in mind.”
would cost. By taking the retractable roof off the design plans, the
Twins were able to get the correct funding mechanism in place.
“We knew that outdoor baseball was going to be a readjustment ball, which the Twins refer to as “the two fat guys shaking hands”.
for fans. It’s been a long time since they’ve seen outdoor baseball “We have a four-story-high replica of that logo in centerfield that is
on a Major League level. But you have to remember this is a state outlined in neon and LED signage. When our players hit a home
where people sit on frozen lakes and a plastic bucket to catch fish, run, the two guys will actually shake hands,” says O’Connell.
so we’re pretty resilient I think,” O’Connell says. Cold weather in Scott O’Connell and his fellow Twins’ salespersons are now
April in an obvious concern, but in 2010, the Twins only have nine rewarded with the opportunity to sell the crown jewel of downtown
Minneapolis to an entire state of hungry fans. O’Connell is quick to
deflect the credit for the success in building baseball’s next master-
piece, instead passing praise onto his peers in the industry and the
fans of the Minnesota Twins. “I think we did a wonderful job tran-
sitioning from the old ballpark to the new ballpark, but we did so
really because we had the benefit of knowledge from other teams
that had gone through the process, and put that into our own use.
By the time we got around to building this ballpark, we didn’t have
to reinvent the wheel,” reflects O’Connell. “Also what we’ve strived
to do is make sure that the fan becomes a big part of our planning.
Our concourses are wider; seats are wider; leg room is drastically
increased over what the uncomfortable Metrodome was. From our
standpoint, I guess the one thing that I would really want to make
sure other teams do is always look at everything you do with the
1,042: The number of 42” flat panel televisions needed to fill the fan in mind.” That and prepare to exercise any level of patience
same space taken up by the 4th largest scoreboard in Major necessary to complete the task, even if that means ten years. #
24 S E A T
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20TH ANNUAL ALSD CONFERENCE AND TRADESHOW
June 27 – 30, 2010
For the sports industry, 2010 is a “rebound year”. The economy is not thriving, but it is surviving.
Companies are pulling themselves out of a tough recession and starting to reevaluate corporate hospitality
spending. That said, the time is now for teams and venues to adapt to a changed landscape in the
premium seating industry. The 2010 ALSD Conference Program embraces this change by including sessions
that address the future of the industry by way of investigating and evaluating the industry at present,
suggesting strategies for change and introducing solutions for the coming years.
By Amanda Verhoff, Executive Director, Association of Luxury Suite Directors
Schedule of Events
Please note: The schedule of events is a meeting and traveler planner and the conference program will be updated continually.
Sunday, June 27
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Conference Registration Open
8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Exhibitor Set-Up
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. New Attendee Welcome Meeting
4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open; Schedule Monday Meetings; Cocktails in Hall
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Yankee Stadium Tour and Reception
Monday, June 28
7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Conference Registration Open
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Optional Exhibit Hall Appointment Hour
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. League Meetings (continued after lunch)
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. League Lunches
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. League Meetings (continued)
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. All Leagues Best Practices Session
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open; Cocktails in Hall
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open; Dinner and Reception in Exhibit Hall
Tuesday, June 29
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Conference Registration Open
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Disney Institute Seminar “Disney’s Approach to Quality Service”
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Other Sessions
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open; Lunch in Hall
1:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Sessions
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. New Meadowlands Stadium Tour and Reception
Wednesday, June 30
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Sessions
1:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Sessions
6:00 p.m. Tentative/potential venue tour
26 S E A T
Detailed Schedule of Events and Sessions
Sunday, June 27, 2010
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Conference Registration Open
8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Board of Directors Meeting
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
New Attendee Welcome Meeting
4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open; Schedule Monday Meetings;
Cocktails in Hall
Buses Depart for Yankee Stadium
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Tour and Reception at Yankee Stadium
Sponsored by: Legends Hospitality; New York Yankees; Southern
Wine & Spirits; Corona
Monday, June 28, 2010
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Optional Exhibit Hall Appointment Hour
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL, F&B, Minor Leagues/Racing/
Soccer, College, IT
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sponsored Lunches; Specific Leagues TBA
2:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
All Leagues Best Practices Session: Roundtable Discussions
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open; Cocktail Hour
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open: Dinner Served, Reception
Sponsored by: ALSD, Southern Wine & Spirits, Corona
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Combined General Session: Disney Institute Seminar:
DISNEY’S APPROACH TO QUALITY SERVICE
Disney Institute: Available for Q&A in Exhibit Hall
Fee to attend: $75/person; Attendees and Exhibitors welcome
See page 30 for the full Disney Institute seminar introduction The New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square.
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Sales Session: Selling Your Suites
• Small, Medium, Large Markets≠≠
• Best Practices, Case Studies
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open; Lunch Buffet Served; Disney Institute avail-
able for Q&A
S E A T 27
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 cont. -- Contracting and Selling in the Future: Options
• Per-Event Suites and Unique Selling Strategies
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. • Rental Suites: Service and Sales
The Economy and the Premium Seat Industry • Food and Beverage: Leased Suites, Per-Event/Rental Suites,
Sales Session: Selling in the Current Economy Club Areas, Kitchens
• Renewal Terms: Lengths, Escalators • Non-Game Day Use of Suites
• Special Packages: Flex Plans, Per-Event Plans • New Venue vs. New Venue Complex
• Strategies, Case Studies • International Growth
Customer Service Session: Servicing in the Current Economy • Products That Work
• Staying Close toYour Customer – More important 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
than ever Lunch on your own
F&B Session: F&B in the Current Economy 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
• Per Caps: How to improve? General Session: Research in the Industry: Knowing
• Digital Menu Boards Your Customers
• Loaded Tickets vs. All-Inclusives • Current SIC Codes: Ron Contorno, Heather Lawrence
• Service Charges: How to make money, but not gouge • The Perception of the Elite Premium Corporate Buyer:
the customers Peter Titlebaum
• Innovate Affordably • Luxury Suite Administrators/Coordinators: Who Are They
and What Do They Think: Peter Titlebaum
2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
General Session: Transforming the Suite Model Sales & Service Session: Bridging the Gap --
• Mini-Suites Sales and Service Staffs
• Club Level Modifications • Which venues are bringing sales and service staffs together
• Selling the “Transformed Areas” for mutual benefit and financial success?
Combined Session: Bridging the Gap: The Partnership Between • How can we bridge the gap between the two departments?
F&B Companies and Teams/Venues
• The Suite Experience: A combined “product” of the F&B F&B Session: Role of the F&B Suite Director on Game Day
company and the team/venue?
• How can we create a better partnership between the 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
two groups? Sales Session: Retaining and Regaining
• How can we bridge the gap between the two groups’ • If and when the economy turns around, how do we get
approaches to the Suite Experience? back the former suite holders and other premium seat clients
who left during the financial downturn?
2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. • What are the best practices for retaining the customers who
Combined Session (IT Based): Social Networking have stayed during these times and now want more?
– Future Impact
Presented by: Christine Stoffel Customer Service Session: Amenities & Gifts, Ticket Packaging
and Delivery, Suiteholder Events
5:00 p.m. • Interactive Attendee Share:
Buses Depart for New Meadowlands Stadium • Attendee Roundtable: Moderator asks for participation on:
-- What amenities and gifts work? Which are worth the
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. money/affordable?
Tour and Reception at New Meadowlands Stadium -- What are the best packaging and delivery methods? What
companies have provided branded, unique solutions to
packaging and what teams have a new and innovative way
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 to deliver tickets?
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. -- What is the best and most affordable suiteholder event?
General Session: Suiteholder Focus Group When do these events take place? Who is involved: Service?
Sales Session: Sales Strategies 101 Sales? F&B?
10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The State and the Future of the Industry F&B Session: Potential Cocktail Engineering Session
General Session: The State and Future of Premium Seating
• The State and Future of the Industry: Bill Dorsey 5:00 p.m.
• Premium Seating: Where We Were and Where We are Tentative: Depart for Venue Tour
Headed: Peter Titlebaum
-- Where are we headed as an industry?
-- Understanding the Client: Motivations and Expectations
-- Educating the Client and the Team:
• Teams > Suite Sales > Suite Service > F&B > Suite
• ROI, ROO, Sponsorship
28 S E A T
The following are the proposed league meeting agendas to be 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
presented on Monday, June 28, 2010 to the Food and Bever- Alcohol Policies
age, College and Minor League Divisions. -- Stadium, Suites, Club Seating
League agendas are tentative and subject to change -- Per Caps with Alcohol Sales vs. Per Caps
without Alcohol Sales
FOOD AND BEVERAgE PROgRAM
Monday, June 28, 2010 2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
-- Current Issues
-- Stadium Security
Swap menus, training manuals, game day operation
-- Work-Life Balance
manuals with other venues
2:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
All Leagues Best Practices Session
Setting up an Efficient Kitchen System
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (possibly 12:30 p.m.)
Marriott Marquis Presents!
MINOR LEAgUE PROgRAM
-- Marriott Marquis Chef, F&B Director to present Monday, June 28, 2010
-- Interactive Session: Tasting, Preparing, Packaging, Serving COMBINED SESSION: College, Minor Leagues,
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Lunch The Evolution of the Industry: An Architectural Perspective
-- Smaller Venue vs. Larger Venue Capabilities
1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
F&B Options 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
-- Healthy Options Economy
-- Green Options -- How has the economy affected minor league venues?
-- Packaging: What menu items can you package to allow -- What are venues doing to improve attendance?
for a lower price point?
-- Suite Ordering: Who is doing it well? 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 a.m.
Renewing or Prospecting?
2:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. -- Did venues lose customers? If so, what are the new
All Leagues Best Practices Session prospecting strategies?
-- Are customers renewing? If so, what are the best
COLLEgE PROgRAM -- What business categories are purchasing currently?
Monday, June 28, 2010
12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
COMBINED SESSION: College, Minor Leagues,
9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
The Evolution of the Industry: An Architectural Perspective
Show and Share: Specialty Programs- Teams to Swap
-- Smaller Venue vs. Larger Venue Capabilities
-- All-Inclusives, Flex Plans, Group Plans, Family Plans
10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
1:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
-- Retaining and Realigning Staff
Customer Service 101
-- Training: Staff, Volunteers, Student Workers
-- Budgets, Suiteholder Events, Amenities, Incentive Plans
11:20 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
2:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Executive Suite/Club Game Day Catering
All Leagues Best Practices Session
and Special Event Ideas
-- Suite Directors and Caterers Working Closely
SOCCER AND RACING PROGRAMS COMING SOON!
-- Special Events: Who is successful? What kind
of events work best?
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
S E A T 29
Why Disney Institute Matters To You…
T he world-renowned customer service pros from Disney Institute
are set to share their unmatched secrets to success with ALSD
Conference-goers. This three-hour interactive session at the ALSD
Disney Institute has paved the way for millions of business
professionals and more than half of the Fortune 100 companies to
benchmark and adapt proven best practices that have sustained the
Conference and Tradeshow is sure to be your team’s or company’s success of Disney as an organization for over 85 years. Disney Insti-
catalyst for positive organizational change. This highly effective and tute has influential training experiences and professional develop-
powerful learning experience will allow you personally to partici- ment programs that enlighten learners on how Disney creates its
pate in collaborative and immersive discussions, where key elements business “magic” every day. Learn how to adopt this model during
from the industry are identified and approached with the Disney its presentation at the ALSD Conference.
core competencies in mind.
Disney’s Approach to Quality Service
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Q&A to follow in Exhibit Hall)
2010 ALSD Conference and Tradeshow
New York City; Marriott Marquis
Available to Attendees and Exhibitors
See the ALSD Conference Sign-up Form to Register Now: $75.00
Contact Amanda Verhoff for Details
Facilitators for Disney’s Approach to Quality Service: Dennis Frare & Tom Thomson
Learn more about Disney’s Approach to Quality Service Standards
Quality Service: While a ‘Common Purpose’ provides an organization with direction,
Disney’s Approach to Quality Service is the result of half a century’s ‘Quality Service Standards’ are the operational priorities, or criteria,
experience in exceeding customer expectations in the face of com- that are utilized by every employee, at every level, to ensure consis-
petition, growth and the public’s ever-changing tastes and attitudes. tent delivery upon the ‘Common Purpose’.
While Disney is not perfect, it has never lost sight of Walt’s goal to
“give the public everything you can give them.” As a result, Disney Service Delivery Systems
has been successfully able to keep pace with progress while remain- Once ‘Quality Service Standards’ have been created, the next step
ing firmly grounded in the traditions and values of The Walt Disney is to focus on the methods for delivering customer service. There
Company. are three primary ‘Delivery Systems’ present during any service
Customer Measurement • Cast: employees, human resources
Measuring customers both demographically and psychographically • Setting: physical and virtual resources
to determine customer service approaches is critical to any organiza- • Process: policies, procedures, tasks and events
Quality Service Integration Matrix
Common Purpose The ‘Quality Service Integration Matrix’ combines the use of the
Once customers’ expectations are understood, a statement of global ‘Quality Service Standards’ and the ‘Delivery Systems’. Its purpose is
‘purpose’ is created that helps an organization determine what ser- to create a strategic plan for creating seamless customer service expe-
vice it intends to deliver to its customers. The ‘Common Purpose’ riences, to act as a diagnostic tool to see how a business is currently
defines the organization’s purpose, aligns that purpose with its cus- performing its customer service and to become a benchmarking tool
tomers’ expectations and communicates that alignment consistently to determine what any outside competitive element is doing.
to its employees.
30 S E A T