Streamlining Processes for Large Venues
The thrill of sporting events: the emotion, the comradery, and the atmosphere. There’s no better sense of community than attending a game surrounded by thousands of your closest friends. If there is one city in the U.S. that captures this excitement and carries it through every event they host, it would be Atlanta, Georgia. Home to the NFL’s Falcons, MLB’s Braves, and NBA’s Hawks, downtown Atlanta is the epicenter of all things sports and event related. At the center of these events, you’ll find the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA).
The GWCCA manages many of the facilities that are found downtown. From the internet connectivity to the logistics, planning, and booking, the GWCCA plays a vital part in keeping this bustling city alive. The Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia Dome, Centennial Olympic Park, and the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center are all under the management of the GWCCA. It is most notably the largest convention, sports, and entertainment complex in North America making it a truly unique and unprecedented venue.
MASSIVE EVENT SPACE
What may sound like a logistical nightmare to some is something that the GWCCA manages in a seamless manner indicative of the mass amounts of communication behind the scenes. The management of GWCCA shares venue and booking data across multiple venues through one umbrella system. The 200+ acre campus consists of a 3.9 million square foot convention center, a 72,500 seat NFL stadium, 21-acre downtown park, and more. Using one system to power their venues, the GWCCA maintains their facilities and manages events through processes that are all located in one unified database. The GWCCA also provides internet connectivity and Wi-Fi to all of its venues as well as network connectivity to surrounding locations such as the College Football Hall of Fame, Omni Hotel, and other facilities.
Not only do they utilize this system to manage the events held at their facilities, but because of the close proximity of the downtown area, it is also used to monitor surrounding events that may not be part of their authority. The monitoring and planning is extended to outside events that have an impact on traffic patterns and other logistical considerations. The goal is to provide an overall positive experience of the downtown area for all guests, no matter where their particular interests may lie.
SEAMLESS COMMUNICATION AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
The GWCCA has over 300 people who access and use their system as part of their daily jobs. As a result of the singular system utilized by the GWCCA, the data and event information accessed by each employee is accurate and based in real-time. As a result, they are able to provide better customer service to clients and focus more on those clients, rather than timely administrative tasks. Additionally, staff members can view function schedules and service orders in real-time on multiple devices, making it easier than ever to communicate tasks and responsibilities without being tied to a desk.
A COMPLETE EXPERIENCE
It’s fair to say that a vast majority of the venues in downtown Atlanta are managed by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. In light of that fact, it’s important to note that those events (again, a good majority) are ran from within the same database and system. Why is this important? We spoke with Sam Brown, IT Manager, and Gardy Noel, Business Analyst, of the GWCCA and they credit the experience – electric and engaging – that is downtown Atlanta, in large part to the seamless management of the large venues and facilities.
During the NCAA Men’s Final Four Tournament in 2013, the games were held in the Georgia Dome, there were concerts in the Centennial Olympic Park, a full fan experience in one part of the convention center and a NCAA basketball coaches conference in another. The sprawling downtown campus is managed and controlled by the Authority, allowing them to provide better customer service and attendee experiences.
CONTINUED GROWTH WITH EXPANSIVE SYSTEM
The GWCCA, America’s largest convention, sports, and entertainment continues to grow and expand, and they have made sure that the technology powering their events is adaptable and can grow as their business grows. The GWCCA, in partnership with the Atlanta Falcons, is in the process of building a new stadium, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, to replace the Georgia Dome as the Atlanta Falcon’s home. The stadium, located on the Authority’s campus, is already slated to host the College Football Playoff National Championship in 2018, Super Bowl LIII in 2019, and the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2020. The GWCCA also has a new hotel in the planning stages to help meet the demand of rooms near the convention complex.
However, the facilities aren’t the only thing growing on GWCC’s campus; their inventory and range of services must expand to accommodate for the other changes. The GWCCA is currently in the process of establishing their own internal business development department to create and manage events brought to their location furthering their position as a powerhouse in the venue and events industry. The Authority continues to adapt to the changes and creates its business practices to best meet customer needs and continue to meet industry demands in the future.
Last year, the GWCCA hosted 555 events including sporting events, concerts, tradeshows, and conventions, hosted over 2.4 million visitors to the facilities, had a $1.33 billion economic impact to the State of Georgia. Being as large and influential as the GWCCA is, they must have the systems and infrastructure to support their best-in-class service while making sure there are no mistakes in the execution of an event. With facilities serving such a wide range of events and customers, there must be a unified system to increase productivity, revenues, and analyze data. GWCCA has made strides to continue to efficiently and effectively manage their operations, bookings, facilities, and communication and it shows with the immense success of the organization.