Expectations Fell Short

When we first spoke with Theresa - Convention Center Coordinator we anticipated our symposium to have around 100 attendees and wanted to get into our room at Noon for a 2pm kick-off. At first, about 6 weeks prior we learned that our room had been given to another group - but moving things around we still have our original requested set-up. The morning of our conference I received a phone call stating that there was a group ahead of us and we would not be able to set-up until 1:15pm. Our registration processes was to begin at 1:30pm. The room had to cleaned and reset as we requested in 15 minutes. While this turn over did happen quickly it did not provide time to trouble-shoot the A/V, prepare the Presenters for our set-up. everything was just too rushed and unnecessary. I had several Vendors with displays and they could not set-up at 1pm as I had told them and was not ready when conference participants began to arrive. We had requested that the water, coffee stations be refreshed as needed. Coffee ran out, no cups, no creamer. When we asked - we were told at first that it was already done. When we said No, it was not done - they said they needed to make more coffee which of course, took a long time when people were waiting for it. At dinner time, we asked about 5:15pm if dinner was about to come out. Our dinner was slated for 5:30pm. At 5:30 pm I and several others had to take the wrap off trays and staff came running with the hot items. We did run out of food even though I asked to make sure I had enough. Staff was very helpful in getting more center pieces for us as we had a lot of last minute registrations. I again, let Theresa know our attendance was up and again - did I order enough food? We had to go to the office several times to ask for things which made us feel like we were bothering them. After 5pm there was no one to contact except catering staff and they just would just shrug their shoulders which was not helpful to us and made them feel inadequate to meet the needs of their guests. I feel like the Convention Center knows they are about the only place in Salem to hold large conferences so they really don't care much once the reservation has been made. Parking was a real issue as well. We had some people that just drove away after they found out how far away they had to park. Also, not a safe place for ladies leaving in the dark and rain to walk to by themselves. Overall conference evaluations confirmed a huge problem with parking. This is an annual activity for Salem Hospital and we will look at other options for next year.

Written by Kerry R. on November 18th, 2015

Reviewing: Business Meeting

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