BCC Takes Grades Seriously

by Lisa DiLuzio, Director of Marketing & Sales at Bayfront Convention Center

Even in my professional life, one of the things I value most is my report card.

Some things never change.

As part of my role as the Director of Marketing and Sales at the Bayfront Convention Center, I am responsible for ensuring great customer experiences. And really, there’s no better way of hearing back from our customers than with a customer survey.

Here’s how it works: We ask customers to rate us on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the best) on these categories: Overall Food, Overall Cleanliness, Overall Operations Department, Overall Service, and Overall Staff. Then, we total it up and get an Overall Score Average.

Getting all 5’s on our survey feels a lot like being a student and bringing home that report card with all A’s.

reportcardEach of our event coordinators follows up directly with each and every customer at the conclusion of the event verbally and then forwards a customer survey to complete that outlines details of the event’s experiences. The event coordinator has a monthly/quarter goal they’re held to, and the building as a whole is held accountable to a percentage goal.

But we don’t just want 5’s. We want to earn them.

These surveys assist the Bayfront Convention Center in making changes, enhancements, etc. to make experiences even better for all. It’s a great way to listen to what our customers are saying and looking for, and a constant working aide to help us continue to strive for the best.

Like in the classroom, we want to learn and grow as we earn our grades.

We’re baaaaaack!

by Brandon Boyd, Coordinator of Communications and Client Relations

What does Erie Events and an Uber driver have in common?

We’re both picking up!

Stick with me now. When you’re done groaning at that terrible joke, keep reading for the point I’m trying to make here: We’ve got a lot going on here at Erie Events.

With all the hoopla around the head honcho over, we can all breathe, but just a little bit — that’s because the events keep coming!

Right now as I type this, the 2018 Ice Breaker Tournament is about to begin. Providence plays Miami (OH) at 4 p.m. and Notre Dame plays Mercyhurst at 7:30 p.m. The losers of those two games play each other Saturday at 4 p.m. and the winners play at 7:30 in the Championship game.

If you’re reading this, the Ice Breaker Tournament has already come and gone. But the hockey hasn’t! The Otters are back in business and back on home ice beginning October 17.

If you’re not much of a hockey fan (and how dare you!), we have opportunities for just about everyone.

Looking for a different sport? The Erie BayHawks play an exhibition game against the Toronto Raptors 905 on October 26 (and, oh yeah, tickets are free!)

Looking for a family show? Check out Sesame Street Live! at the Warner Theatre on October 18.

Looking for some music? Come see Rumours of Fleetwood Mac at the Warner Theatre on October 23 or TobyMac on November 11.

Looking to laugh? Come see truTV’s Impractical Jokers at the Erie Insurance Arena on November 13.

Looking for an expo? How about the Liv Well 365 Expo on October 20 or the Her Expo (formerly For Women Only Expo) on October 27 and 28? Both are at the Bayfront Convention Center.

Looking for heart-pounding, rip-roaring action? Monster Jam will fit the bill! It’s at Erie Insurance Arena on November 9 and 10.

Looking to catch a Broadway show? The schedule is out and there are several upcoming shows!

Looking to explore art and crafts? Shocker, we have something for you. The Warner Winter Wonderland Art and Crafts Show takes place November 24 and 25.

When you combine allllllll this with the renovations happening at UPMC Park, the planned upgrade at the Warner Theatre, and the introduction of our new Bayfront Landing, it’s an exciting time to be in Erie.

And unlike that Uber driver, we don’t plan on dropping off any time soon.

President Trump Comes to Erie Insurance Arena

By Brandon Boyd, Communications and Client Relations Coordinator

Erie Events executive director Casey Wells walked into my office and shut the door.

He’s never done that before.

“This is it,” I thought. “It’s been a nice ride, but now I’m fired.”

I’ve been here about six months and I love this job. I love working for Erie Events and being able to contribute to all the happenings in Erie and making sure everything runs smoothly. I love the people, I love the atmosphere, and I love the ability I have to put my creative mind toward just about anything I want.

But enough about that. Back to my office.

My door is closed, but the floodgates of my mind are wide open. What could this possibly be about?

“I’m about to tell you something,” Casey started. “But it has to stay in this room and you can’t tell anyone.”

Sure, yeah, of course.

“The President of the United States is probably coming here next week.”

First, a sigh of relief. I get to keep my job! But then another thought – I’m really going to have to earn my paycheck with this one.

As we all know, just about any political topic in today’s society is met with a mountain of commentary. And as President Trump comes to visit Erie Insurance Arena on October 10, we’re sure to receive our fair share of that commentary.

First thing to say about that: Be civil. We understand politics are a delicate topic and we aren’t here to comment either way. We ask that if you choose to express your opinion in some way before, on, or after October 10, you do so in a civil manner.

trumperieSecond thought: If you’re looking for tickets, you won’t find them through us. All tickets must be requested through www.donaldjtrump.com. If you receive tickets, you will be able to enter Erie Insurance Arena on October 10 beginning at 4 p.m. The event starts at 7 p.m. Road closings and parking will be different than usual, so we’ll have that for you when it’s ready.

It’s not every day the sitting President makes his way to Erie. No matter which side you’re on, it’s a headline-worthy time for Erie.

Holiday Parties at the Bayfront Convention Center

by Danielle Steffan, Event Coordinator at the Bayfront Convention Center

Thinbccxmas.pngk it’s a little early to be planning for the holidays? Think again!  Here at the Bayfront Convention Center, we are already planning and booking holiday parties! ‘Tis the season!

While we host a multitude of events inside the walls of the Bayfront Convention Center — ranging from weddings to concerts to Erie Insurance meetings — we also boast a healthy amount of holiday parties for organizations in Erie and in surrounding areas. As the holiday season quickly approaches, it is worth saying that we take special care to respect each group’s specific cultural background. Most of our clients do host holiday parties for their employees and families, but we are actively searching for other culturally diverse holidays.

The Bayfront Convention Center is the perfect venue for a gathering around the holidays. We have an array of space available from large ballrooms to small meeting spaces. The building boasts just under 70,000 square feet of meeting space. Our beautiful campus is transformed into a winter wonderland from the end of November until the beginning of January. It is a truly wonderful experience for any guest who enters the building.  Whether it is a corporate Christmas party or an intimate dinner party with friends or family, we do it all! We have a talented culinary team that can customize and create the perfect menu!  From specialty cocktails to a completely custom holiday themed menu, we love to make ideas a reality.  The Convention Center is connected to the Sheraton Erie Bayfront and the Courtyard Marriott Bayfront hotels, making it very convenient for any out of town guests.  Did I mention we have great views of the lake and downtown Erie?

We do still have space available for this coming holiday season! If you’re feeling particularly festive, feel free to contact us for details about hosting your own gathering this season!

Be Careful When Buying Tickets

by Brandon Boyd, Coordinator of Communications and Client Relations

If someone came to the Erie Insurance Arena, purchased a small popcorn for $2.50, and then turned around and offered to sell it to you for $15, would you buy it?

No?

So why do that when it comes to tickets?

It seems obvious when we plug in other items, but when it comes to tickets, we find that every once in a while people purchase their ticket from a third-party vendor.

We only sell tickets at http://www.erieevents.com or in our box office. Any other website, AKA a third-party vendor, is serving as a middleman and taking money from you. They are purchasing tickets from us and reselling them to you at a higher price. Or, even more dangerously, they could be selling you a ticket they don’t actually have.

When you Google search “erie events tickets” or other similar search terms, these third-party vendors will pay to disguise themselves as the top link for the search. If you see “ad” by the listing, it’s likely not us. We are ONLY at http://www.erieevents.com

TICKETEXAMPLEwitheditsJust as an example, I pulled a ticket for Trans Siberian Orchestra (now on sale!) for the 8 p.m. showing on November 21. To keep it all equal, I even chose the same section. In this case, I chose section 208. The Erie Events price includes fees; the other sites do not.

  • http://www.erieevents.com price: $49.25
  • Bad Ticket Site 1: $73
  • Bad Ticket Site 2: $74
  • Bad Ticket Site 3: $81
  • Bad Ticket Site 4: $150

Yikes! Big difference, right?

If you’re overpaying for tickets you can get from us for cheaper, you’re getting played like the music at the concert you’re going to. If you’re extremely picky about your seats and we’ve sold the exact ones you’re looking for, perhaps it may be worth exploring your options. It’s likely we’ll be able to get you into seats you will like, however, and we recommend going through us for all your ticketing needs.

badticketsites

oursite

See you soon at http://www.erieevents.com. Or give us a call at 814-452-4857. Or, if you’re nearby, just come to the box office!

 

Erie, Local Sports Teams, All Benefit from RACP Award

by Casey Wells, Executive Director

The RACP (Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program) award of $12 million for UPMC Park will have a profound impact on our community by creating and retaining jobs, increasing economic impact and improving the quality of life in our region.

The Erie Otters and Erie SeaWolves are professional sports teams, but also local business in our community.  Each organization has a team of employees that include management, marketing, finance, and operations that help fulfill their respective business plans.

This RACP Grant will ensure that our Otters and SeaWolves remain in Erie for another 10 years. This is especially gratifying since other communities have attempted to “steal” our teams. Losing these teams would not only damage Erie’s psyche, but also hurt our economy.

Communities recognize the value of professional sports and often offer significant incentives to attract teams to their city.  These teams not only invoke civic pride, but also create positive economic impact and improve our quality of life.  Just ask any downtown Erie business what these teams mean to them. They consistently share that the half million visitors who attend games annually are the difference between their success and failure.

Some criticize the use of State funds for ballparks because many other funding needs exist for education, employment, social services, etc.  The State has created funding opportunities through the RACP Grant Process that is separate and distinct from other State programs so we are not competing with education, social services or any other program for these funds.  If Erie did not secure these funds, they would simply be spent in other areas of Pennsylvania.  We deserve to have a portion of our State taxes reinvested in NW Pennsylvania, since we have historically been underfunded when compared to other areas of the Commonwealth.

Erie should be optimistic about the new opportunities ahead.  The completion of our downtown cultural, sports and entertainment district will contribute to our collective success by helping Erie be a great place to live, work and play.

New Menus at Erie Insurance Arena

By Beth Wilkinson, Concessions Operations Manager

MenuBoardIdea2

When you go to order food at the Erie Insurance Arena this year, you’ll notice a different look.

Don’t be intimidated! We feel change is a good thing, and we’ll tell you why. We’re presenting options in a clear, concise way in bright colors and text that you can read from far away. This will allow you more time to scan for your favorite option, and our hope is you’ll know exactly what you want when you get to the register. If you’re at the Club Level, in our suites, or watching the BayHawks courtside, you’ll also see a new menu.

We’re also excited about where you see the Coca-Cola ad in our example picture above. There, it will be moving video that shows several options that you will have. In that spot, we’ll be showing you items like pop, beer, and popcorn to further help you visualize some of our options.

One item of note, as well: Don’t be afraid to move around the Arena! We have specific items at each area that can’t be found in the rest of the Arena. Those items include a walking taco, root beer float, brownie sundae, gyro, philly cheese steak, chicken tenders, poutine, and more.

We look forward to serving you this year at the Erie Insurance Arena!

The Art of Food in Our Community

by Jake Juliano, Sous Chef at the Bayfront Convention Center

Sometimes, we have to take a moment to smell the (cantaloupe) roses.

For us here on the culinary side at the Bayfront Convention Center, we do something, we do it again, and then we do it again. And in the back of house, it’s easy to get lost in the fact that, for example, we’re doing a fruit platter every day. And yes, we might be cutting cantaloupe or pineapple in a different way on different days, but for us, it’s still cantaloupe and pineapple. For people here only once in a while, that palm tree made of pineapple and that flower made of cantaloupe made them go “oh, wow,” and it could be a reason they come back or bring someone else in.

Watermelon fruit display

An example of just some of the cool things we do here at the BCC. 

There’s a couple who called Lisa DiLuzio, our director of marketing and sales, who had their wedding here five years ago. Their family is in the area, but they are not. At the wedding, they had the candied bacon we do in house, and they loved it at the tasting. However, they weren’t able to have any the day of the wedding due to their responsibilities, but all their guests still rave about it. They’re going to be in the area for their five-year anniversary and requested a bouquet of the candied bacon skewers to celebrate.

How cool is that? For five years, something we did made such a lasting impression on them that they came back to us. What we put out into the community may be just another event to us sometimes, but the littlest parts and things we do live on in hearts, minds, and future celebrations.

This is a lesson I learned from Chef David Robbinson here at the Bayfront Convention Center. One of the first things I learned was professionalism, but then I also learned the community aspect. I don’t think I truly realized the finesse of things until I got here. And to be in this industry, as much as I love food, you have to enjoy the artistry and the aesthetic.

Cooking is one of the few art forms that utilizes all five senses. If I bring out a plate of fajitas, you’re going to see them, hear them, and – hopefully – taste them.

Some people say there’s a box you’re limited to when you work a job. And there is a box here, but that box is so much bigger than anywhere else. If you’re working at Lucky Louie’s, you’re making hot dogs. If you’re at Cloud 9, it’s poutine with some occasions for something fancier. Don’t get me wrong, those are great places. But here, yes, you have your hot dogs and hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, but you also have the opportunity to work with food that no one else in the area gets to work with. And to be able to work with food in that way, whether it’s a cantaloupe rose or a four-pound block of ice, it’s amazing.

First Concert Memories

by Dawn Betza, Marketing Coordinator

This blog comes on the heels of a big first in my family – my daughter’s first concert, Taylor Swift at Heinz Field. And wow, what a show — or better yet, what a spectacle! Taylor does not disappoint. My daughter is 9, much younger than I was when I saw my first concert…Rick Springfield back in 1983. But I remember so many details, almost like it was yesterday, because it was such a memorable event in my life.

TS

My daughter and and I in front of Taylor Swift’s semi.

Music inspires, empowers and motivates. We listen together with our peers, go to concerts with friends, dance with significant others – exciting & meaningful times in our lives. When you hear a song from the past, it transports you back in time to a particular moment or feeling as if you were actually there.

I recently read an article about the ‘reminiscence bump.’ Psychologists say that we tend to recall more memories under the age of 30 than any other time in our life, this is because we experience things for the first time & everything is new.

So what was your first concert? I thought it would be interesting to share some of the artists who have performed at the Erie Insurance Arena & Warner Theatre over the years.  I’m sure many of you have special memories or a few good stories from attending one of these shows!

concertsinerie

We would love to hear your stories or see your pictures from your first concert…or from any other show!  Share with us on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ErieEvents/